One of the reasons why I enjoy reading through Amy Chua-Rubenfeld's book "Battle Hymn of a Tiger Mother" is that we see this one truth - every parenting system has their extremes. If American parenting can be too lenient then she acknowledges how Chinese parenting can be so unreasonable. She thought it'd work for her because her parents did it. Later, she said she'd do some things different if she could do things all over again with some adjustments. One of the controversies in the Chinese parenting is that an A- is a bad grade.
But for some, they want to be EXCELLENT all the time. They don't realize that perfectionism is very self-destructive. Think of how some of the most intelligent people end up making stupid decisions. Some quit not because they flunk but because they didn't make it to the Dean's List. Others end up ending their lives after a mistake because they believe that they have to be perfect or excellent when nobody can always be on top. You can get all the high grades you want but you may be killing your actual intelligence in the process. You can even be a licensed lawyer yet be a very stupid lawyer even if you've mastered all the things you need to know about the law. You can get several doctorates and still be very stupid about real life. You can even top the board exams but lose your smartness in real life.
The truth is it's time to stop the whole, "Nobody gets an A- everybody gets an A in this family." In truth, how sure are you no one in your family line got an A-? Did they ever go back to all their ancestors and claim that they were all A+ scorers? For all they know there's probably someone in the family who flunked several times. Maybe their great patriarch they take pride in wasn't always an achiever and was nobody before he became somebody. I doubt it Confucius or any influential Chinese guy always had an A+. Jack Ma of Alibaba didn't even enter College because he flunked the entrance exam yet he's one of the richest men in Asia.
Perhaps we should take a look at things thing way. Perhaps why some dropouts succeed is because they seek to go outside the box of the industrial-age value of the school system. I'm not saying school is bad entirely. I still believe in education but not in the industrial-age value one. Schools need to stop being too theoretical (though theory is still important) and it's time to think about installing practical values into the students.