In the USA and UK, many parents buy into the idea that infants should learn to read + write as soon as possible and measure the intelligence and potential of their children by their ability to do so at an early age. The newspapers advise parents to check out the school league tables and do everything they can to get their children into "good schools". But what is a good school? A school that's good at getting children to pass SATs?
And what is he end result?
1) Good teachers (and the vast majority are good) are increasingly demoralized. They either leave the system or just resign themselves to jumping through the latest administrative hoops. Their knowledge, expertise, creativity and unique skills are sacrificed in favour of "targets", "assessment" and "conforming" to goverment frameworks.
2) Children suffer. They are increasingly stressed out by school. Their intellectual curiosity is stifled. More and more leave school unable to read or write. As children get older, they are less able to meet the more rigorous intellectual challenges of higher education - their minds are less flexible, having been constrained too early.
Is there a better way? (source here)
-- Watch full documentary here