We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Do we really believe that many thousands of local children growing up in fractured and often chaotic families can do as well academically, on average, as other kids growing up in much more stable homes? Honestly? …
Well, yes, actually. The chaotic, impulse-ridden genes they inherit from their parents are turning out to account for an enormously greater amount of the dysfunction than the environment itself.
Amazingly, we are finding it hard to identify much of anything in the environment, short of disease and trauma, that is a big influence on future outcomes. My own experience tells me differently. I can see that my two natural children and the older of my adopted children might have turned out fine in any environment. But my fourth and fifth sons I have to regard as rescue jobs who would have foundered without us.
Yet I have to admit, the science isn't backing me up on this.
Assistant Village Idiot
Any child can live up to their potential. They need nuturing and encouragement. They need good role models and a sense of competition. Children are like empty containers that you can fill with knowledge or trash. The role of the parents in this job is enormous especially for children 6 years old and under. Read to then, talk to them, teach them, encourage them and challenege them. It is unfathomable to me that a 6 year old child in the U.S. today does not know how to read a little and at least write their own name.