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Most controversies over education are centered around the question of how strictly standards should be upheld The concern over whether or not flunking students is appropriate or even in the best interest of the student is a widely discussed topic The argument often begins with students just starting school where the question of standardized testing for kindergartners arises The majority of people are actually against such testing because they feel that a child who is labeled as a failure at such an early age may be permanently damaged Bowen 86 The worry over the failure issue is further traced to educators who feel children just entering school are not fully prepared Teachers are faced with kindergarten students who do not know their addresses colors and sometimes even first and last names An F 59 Another reason why the assignment of failing grades has decreased is the influence of the self-esteem movement which promotes the assumption that children who do not h ave a positive self-image cannot learn or develop properly Although this theory is widely accepted it has been discredited by several studies Recent research shows that although American students felt more confident about themselves and their work they were outperformed by several Asian countries on tests of elementary skills American schools and teachers tend to worry more about the students self-esteem than the actual academic performance Leo Damn 21 Mary Sherry a teacher of adult literacy programs does not believe such theories Her view is that students become motivated by the threat of failure and that not failing a student not only shows lack of confidence on the teachers behalf but also hurts the society as a whole Employees are becoming highly disappointed with so-called graduate students 8 In a letter to columnist Ann Landers a college professor wrote about his views of the education system He feels that universities have turned into business es where teachers are just looking for money and students
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