September 08, 2006

Straight A's in School at What Cost

The Psychotic Patriot forwarded this post from MSNBC to me as it relates to the education issue that is of utmost interest to me.

"Parents want their kids to excel in school, and they've heard about the illegal use of stimulants such as Ritalin and Adderall for "academic doping." Hoping to obtain the drugs legally, they pressure pediatricians for them. Some even request the drugs after openly admitting they don't believe their child has ADHD."


"Academic doping — using these stimulant prescriptions in an effort to enhance focus, concentration and mental stamina — first started on college campuses, especially Ivy League and exclusive, competitive schools. Now, the problem is filtering down to secondary schools, Yates says, and more parents are playing a role in obtaining prescription ADHD medication for their teenagers."


"One of the biggest problems in adolescent mental health is motivation,” says Rater. “And this medication doesn’t effect motivation. If a kid is not all that motivated, it’s really not going to help."

There ya go. Motivation. Back to how a good teacher is an inspiration.

I have to wonder if taking it to this level, described as academic doping in the article, is not for the children but rather to make the parents look good. As parents apply ever more pressure for their children to excel, it makes one pause and ask at what cost should the results justify the means. We have to believe, actually we want to believe, that parents are meaning well, that their main focus is on the education available for their children and they want their children to benefit from a good education that will help secure their best future.

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