Carol Platt Liebau: Red Pen Lunacy

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Red Pen Lunacy

Apparently, red pens have fallen from favor in grade school circles -- seeing red ink on their papers has been deemed too distressing for today's sensitive youths and their parents.

In response, sales of purple pens are soaring. It's supposedly a "less negative" color. So help me understand. The big problem with American grade schools is the color of the pens teachers use to correct papers. Is this a joke?

Sadly, it's not. It's the latest manifestation in the ill-begotten "self-esteem" obsession of too many grade schools today. Ignoring evidence that there is no correlation between self-esteem and academic performance (in fact, there may even be an inverse correlation), the schools continue to pursue a touchy-feely agenda that does nothing to prepare children for either advanced study or for life generally.

To paraphrase Martin Luther King: What's important isn't the color of the pen, it's the character of the comments (or the grade) on the paper.


Blogger jchess said...

Oh, for the days of my sixth grade teacher, Mr. Curtis, and my college professor Bruce F. Kawin (he who is acknowledged in the end credits of "The Grifters"), and my college professor L. Michael Bell, who considered their job as educator not done properly unless your paper all but bled and drippd red ink. To those three teachers, to those three gentlemen I say again, knowing it hardly suffices:

Thank you.


James C. Hess

9:19 AM  

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