What HAS changed in the last 30 years?

Here’s a quote from the NYT magazine today, Aug. 16, about how things might change over a 30 year period:

“It’s hard to argue that Americans collectively have become more irresponsible over the last 30 years; the murder rate has plummeted, and divorce and abortion rates have fallen. And our genes certainly haven’t changed in 30 years.

What has changed is our environment. Parents are working longer and take-out meals have become a default dinner. Gym classes have been cut. The real price of soda has fallen 33% over the last three decades. The real price of fruit and vegetables has risen more than 40%.”

Now just how our students adjust to changes they have no control over is of great interest. However, the observations are difficult to make to stressed-out teachers who only remember how their little peer group of over-achievers behaved and expect all kids to follow that route. Yes, I know that’s a harsh statement, probably unfair, but I am very angry about the supercilious attitude I see so many teachers take. They want compliance. Performance interests them only if it conforms to their lesson plan. That’s why they were complaining 10 years ago about students who are now serving with valor and distinction in Iraq and Afghanistan. Keep in mind, the same sorts of things were being said about students in the late 30s, the same ones who went on to become “the Greatest Generation.”

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