“Indeed,” the article asserts, “online programs have expanded to such a degree parents can now conduct full academic surveillance.”
It turns out, though, that not everybody wants “full academic surveillance.” One mother said:
I tell them flat out, I don’t do that. I don’t think it’s normal to be so involved. It creates an unhealthy relationship between parents and their kids. I think kids resent it. My job as a parent is to teach them how to do things on their own. I don’t want to be that kind of policeman in my house.Unsurprisingly, the kids aren’t that fond of it, either:
One child complained on a discussion board, “Every single time a teacher entered a grade incorrectly, I had a missing assignment, or something else bringing my grade in a certain class down, it was hell at home. I began to stress more over my parents’ reaction to grades than the actual grades.”A psychologist interviewed for the article warned that “When parents exert too much control, children can become depressed and have increased levels of anxiety.”
Another student railed, “My mom now seems like the enemy.”
But who cares, as long as their grades and test scores go up? No one assesses schools by how much anxiety and depression they cause. No funding hinges on those metrics. No school jobs are on the line. Nor does the law care whether the kids get any experience with being independent, or whether they become adults who hate learning, or whether they are immersed for thirteen years in authoritarian values. Under No Child Left Behind, education now has one and only one goal: get those scores up, and nothing else matters.
It’s a nice coincidence, though, that this “full academic surveillance” became possible at just the same time that it became fashionable again for the government to spy on its own citizens. No one can say we’re not preparing these students for life in the real world!
Related post here.