December 11, 2019

“We Want Our Children To Be Happy. That’s the Main Thing, Isn’t It?”

To the Editor:

“U.S. Students Fail to Gain Ground in International Test” is the headline of an article in the Wednesday, December 4, issue of The Wall Street Journal. The exam, called the Program for International Student Assessment, is given to teenage students around the world. The American results are nothing to be proud of. In mathematics, for example, the average scores of the ten leading countries, located in East Asia and Northern Europe, ranged from a high of 591 (China) to a low of 515 (Poland). The average score for the United States was 478.

This is nothing new. For years we’ve seen the scores of American students lag behind those of most other civilized countries in reading, mathematics and science.

It was interesting to read on the same day, in Town Topics [PHS Takes Steps To Combat Student Stress, page one, Dec. 4], about the changes instituted by the principal of Princeton High School to reduce the level of stress felt by Princeton students and enhance their enjoyment of school. The school start time is half an hour later, lunch period is made longer, and free time is expanded. Reducing the amount of homework, and reducing the number of Advanced Placement courses offered, will be considered.

We want our children to be happy. That’s the main thing, isn’t it?

Richard Partridge
Hedge Row Road