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When does the "Age of Opportunity" start and end?

Posted By: Dick Schutz on May 26, 2015
It seems to me the Age of Opportunity starts at birth and ends at death, but Sternberg doesn’t address either the age span or the “New Science of Adolescence.” The commentary is concerned with low standardized test scores in high school. Early on, Sternberg tells us, “The problem with our high schools is that, for all but the very best students—the ones in AP classes who are bound for the nation’s most selective colleges and universities—school is tedious and unchallenging.” Fine. That’s an addressable problem.

Then we’re told, “The bottom line is that it is hard to point to anything about American high schools themselves that explain why they perform so poorly, both in comparison to high schools around the world and in comparison to elementary and middle schools in the United States.” Oops.

Then, “The fundamental problem with American high-school achievement is not our schools or, for that matter, our teachers. If parents don’t raise their children in ways that enable them to maintain interest in what their teachers are teaching, it doesn’t much matter who the teachers are, how they teach, what they teach, or how much they’re paid.” Ditto Oops.

Finally, “Without changing the culture of student achievement, changes in instructors or instruction won’t, and can’t, make a difference. In order to do this successfully, we need to start with families.” If that’s the lesson of the “New Science of Adolescence,” more science is needed.

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 When does the "Age of Opportunity" start and end? by Dick Schutz on May 26, 2015
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