The process of achieving Latin proficiency was a combination of brutal hazing ordeal, practical training, initiation rite, and bonding experience. It was vaguely like Marine boot camp on Parris Island, only several years longer in duration. The male youth of some Amerindian tribes were required to dangle unflinching for long periods from flesh-hooks piercing their breasts before being admitted to the hunt. Today we are told, certain gangs of criminal youths require their candidates for admission to commit a murder. Such was the general vibe among Latin-learners. When they emerged proficient they were members of a select guild, an “in” group. The ability to toss off a Latin bon mot made you one of the chaps. In the 1840s a British military commander in India, Charles James Napier, is alleged to have informed his superiors of his successful pacification of the region of Sind with a one-word message: “Peccavi.”** You had to be one of the chaps to get it, but then they were all chaps, the battle of Waterloo having been won, after all, on the playing fields of Eton.
But only recently — and mostly in reliably conservative Kansas — has the term been used regularly and clearly as a political wedge. Education advocates in Kansas said they had heard it in conversations with state legislators (though few use it in public statements), in discussions about public schools on Facebook and on some conservative news sites.
The use of the term “government schools” is part of a broad education agenda that includes restraining costs. The far-right and libertarian wings of the Republican Party are pushing the state to loosen its laws to allow more charter schools. They oppose programs that offer free or reduced-price breakfasts and lunches, believing that schools have become part of the “nanny state” — another politically charged term — and are usurping the role of parents.
They don’t treat school as a race to achieve We moved to the Netherlands, it was a shock to find out that my daughter would be starting school on her 4th birthday. While Dutch kids start school at a young age, it isn’t an early start in a race to see who can learn to read first or memorize the times tables.
Kids are encouraged to explore and play, and the importance of developing social skills is at the forefront of their education, especially in the early years. With 17 million people crammed into a country roughly the size of Maryland, it’s not surprising that a high value is placed on developing the skills to help you live side by side.
They don’t see their kids as a reflection of their parenting A lifeline for us expat moms were the coffee mornings where we would swap war stories in our shared mother tongue, regardless of our accent. Whether boasting or bemoaning, there was a common thread of viewing our child’s actions as a direct product of our parenting decisions. It seemed like an almost reflexive response to doubt our patenting strategy if our offspring weren’t quite living up to our maternal expectations.
The Dutch moms didn’t appear to regularly indulge in this nagging self-doubt. They seemed, from the outside at least, to view their children as separate people, with their own personalities and strengths, and not a reflection of hours spent pouring over parenting books or coordinating after-school activities. The Dutch parents I met were proud of their children’s achievements at school. They were happy when their daughter scored a goal at her hockey match or kept a tune on the piano at the school assembly. They felt proud but they didn’t feel responsible, or confuse their child’s achievement with a report card on their parenting skills.
Tiger moms and helicopter parenting doesn't strike me as good practice, but I'm sure readers will come down on the article.
When Ms. DeOliveira-Longinetti called about his federal loans, an administrator offered condolences and assured her the balance would be written off.
But she got a far different response from a New Jersey state agency that had also lent her son money.
“Please accept our condolences on your loss,” a letter from that agency, the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority, said. “After careful consideration of the information you provided, the authority has determined that your request does not meet the threshold for loan forgiveness. Monthly bill statements will continue to be sent to you.”
Ms. DeOliveira-Longinetti, who co-signed on the loans, was shocked and confused. But her experience with the authority, which runs by far the largest state-based student loan program in the country, is hardly an isolated one, an investigation by ProPublica, in collaboration with The New York Times, found.
New Jersey’s loans, which currently total $1.9 billion, are unlike those of any other government lending program for students in the country. They come with extraordinarily stringent rules that can easily lead to financial ruin. Repayments cannot be adjusted based on income, and borrowers who are unemployed or facing other financial hardships are given few breaks.
The loans also carry higher interest rates than similar federal programs. Most significant, New Jersey’s loans come with a cudgel that even the most predatory for-profit players cannot wield: the power of the state. New Jersey can garnish wages, rescind state income tax refunds, revoke professional licenses, even take away lottery winnings — all without having to get court approval.
“It’s state-sanctioned loan-sharking,” Daniel Frischberg, a bankruptcy lawyer, said. “The New Jersey program is set up so that you fail.”