Red pens are mean! Should a kid feel good for an F? This sort of nonsense is symbolic of the problem that schools readily embrace. Some argue it's teachers' salaries, but the private school I went to paid them less than the public school counterparts. The reason our education was better was because the atmosphere in the school was catered more towards learning and less towards avoiding a little deserved discomfort for a job poorly done. I know of one school that gives high school certificates to grade 12 students who are functionally illiterate - so they receive no diploma, but they get a 'certificate'. Afterall, it would just kill their self-esteem to fail them, even though _they're in grade 12 and they can't bloody well read_. Such pampering is why there is a marked increase in spoiled brats who grow into adulthood with a false sense of entitlement and such an aversion to negativity. Such is also why we'll be sending our kids to either private school or moving to a high end suburb, where the public school education will still be sufficiently intense.