Test Students on their Social Skills?

new york times

5th grade class

The Opinion Pages/Letters

To the Editor:
Re “Testing for Grit? Schools Pushed on Social Skills” (front page, March 1):

Our country’s educational leaders have turned schools into highly academic, test-driven pressure cookers. Now, finding that many children have difficulty working with enthusiasm and exhibit social deficits, many educators want to teach and test for social-emotional skills.

It would be far better if education officials and adults in general eased up on the tremendous pressure they are imposing on children. Give children more opportunities to play, socialize and work on projects they find exciting and meaningful. Give them a chance to work out social conflicts on their own. Give children the freedom to do their own growing.

WILLIAM CRAIN

New York

The writer is a professor of psychology at the City College of New York, CUNY, and author of “Reclaiming Childhood: Letting Children Be Children in Our Achievement-Oriented Society.”

Dr. Crain is also a member of the National Advisory Board of Defending the Early Years.

Here is the link to the original letter in the March 8th edition of the NY Times.