The single greatest disservice we do to the children of this country is to teach them that each is so special that they should be showered with accolades simply for being, for showing up, for "trying." Let every kid have his chance on the team, equal minutes on the playing field to all. And so they go unprepared for the iniquities of adult life. Each of us has our strengths & weaknesses. While the strong, the bright, the gifted will always find their way, the majority are left to flounder on the false assumptions instilled by our idiotic educational system.
Are parents and educators so detached that they seek to avoid having to teach the tougher lessons of life? I'm not saying we should be cruel, but to stand gutted by the angry God of Self-Esteem at All Costs is to deny responsibility for holistic learning.
Don't even get me started on special education at the primary level, where parents of bright children must fight for special ed for the advanced child because funding programs don't cover the advanced child. Its a travesty when a first grader comes home and tells her parents she is bored because she has to be taught at the same level pace as everyone else, while the school must provide one on one "teaching" to those unable to keep up. No child left behind is fine as long as it doesn't equate also to no child advances ahead.