Red ink isn't making the grade anymore.

According to an article at, parents at several schools are upset that teachers are grading student papers in red ink. One of these "feeling police" parents said that the red ink was "stressful." Let me advise the reader here that we aren't talking about high school or college students here. We're talking about elementary school kids. What kind of person thinks that their 7 year old kid has anything to be stressed about. Stress, I'll remind you is defined by the American Heritage Dictionary defines stress as:

A mentally or emotionally disruptive or upsetting condition occurring in response to adverse external influences and capable of affecting physical health, usually characterized by increased heart rate, a rise in blood pressure, muscular tension, irritability, and depression.
Traffic jams cause stress. Your significant other causes stress. Your job causes stress. Red marks on a paper in an elementary school do not cause stress.

I have a question for all of these "touchy-feely, crusading" parents. How do you expect for your child to learn from their mistakes if they are not pointed out to them? What is the easiest way for anyone to exchange false ideas for the truth? To have those false ideas expressed and then confronted by the truth. John Stuart Mill said this years ago in his essay "On Liberty."
But the peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.
We are not helping these kids by sheilding them from their mistakes, we are only hurting them. The only reason that I was able to turn in any type of paper worth reading throughout my school career is because my mother would edit my papers for me. Those things came back with so much red ink on them that I thought some one had cut themselves and then used my paper for target
practice with the arterial spray. The parents of these kids should take less interest in what color is being used to edit and grade these papers and more interest in actually helping their kids to develop their writing skills. My question is what is going to happen to these kids 20 years down the line when they are expected to produce results and they have a manager who doesn't care how they feel as long as they are profitable to the company?

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 10:00 AM  


Post a Comment