Ending the Race: One Project and its Mission

We need a broader vision of success.

We believe that real success results from attention to the basic developmental needs of children and a valuing of different types of skills and abilities.

We support parents and schools who are willing to set the bar high for children, and who understand that real success encompasses:

  • Character
  • Health
  • Independence
  • Connection
  • Creativity
  • Enthusiasm and
  • Achievement

That’s the mission of Challenge Success – a project of  the Stanford University School of Education. co-founded by two of the people featured in Race to Nowhere –  Denise Pope and Madeleine Levine

Denise Pope is the author of “Doing School”: How We Are Creating a Generation of Stressed Out, Materialistic, and Miseducated Students

The book tells the story of how she followed five motivated and successful students through a year of high school in a high performing school. Her troubling conclusion is summed up in the subtitle of her book.  It’s the consequence of what Robert L. Fried called  The Game of School. Students play it, schools perpetuate  it and parents condone it: The collective folly of pretending and believing that education means a deadly, deadening competitive frenzy over grades and achievements.

Pope started SOS: Stressed-Out Students – a research and intervention effort to help K-12 schools counter the causes of academic stress. From SOS came Challenge Success whose mission is to seek a broader vision of what success means. Their website explains  why it matters and provides resources and practical suggestions for parents, students and schools.

You can read an interview with Denise Pope here.

Does success have to mean scrambling ever harder on the hamster wheel?

Incidentally, success has not always been understood in the same way.  Over time the interpretation of success has changed. There’s more on that here.


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