MOUNT PROSPECT, Ill. —
"We have to give up this 'go, go, go' mentality."
Lisa Lawrence, a mom in Austin, Texas, said she realized this when her daughter, now a sixth-grader, told her she felt like "nothing she did was ever good enough" for her mom.
"It sent chills down my spine," Lawrence says. "I think I felt that way growing up."
So she's backed off. And so has Dorway, the principal in Minnesota who's also a dad.
After his son's seventh-grade band concert last year, he recalls watching three kids "running down the hall, literally stripping out of their band uniforms with basketball uniforms underneath."
"This is insane," he says. So once the homework issue is further examined, he's vowing to take on the "holy grail" of issues at his school — the packed practice and game schedules of student athletes.
Back at Prospect High in suburban Chicago, counselor Lynn Thornton ponders the question of expectations, as she pets Junie, who is sitting next to her in a school counseling office.
Educators are feeling the pressure to perform, too, she says. And while raising standards can be good thing, she wonders if we've taken things too far by making "high school the new college."
"I really don't see it changing," Thornton says, "until maybe colleges would really step up and say, 'Hey, you know what? You guys teach high school and we'll teach college."
Until then, students will find Junie at their beck and call, often on the counseling office couches.