The Coddling of American Children Is a Boon to Beijing – WSJ:

My son is not a genius, but he started studying math at an early age. When he was 5, I taught him fractions. Two years later, I introduced him to algebra. It is a core belief in Chinese society that talent can be trained, so schools should be tough on children. Chinese students score at the top of international math and science tests.

This is not a philosophy shared by American schools. On Friday night my son came home announcing in bewilderment that he didn’t have any homework. In China students tend to receive twice as much homework on the weekend, given the two days to complete it. How will America compete with a China determined to train the best mathematicians, scientists and engineers? 

Two quite different issues are being conflated here, and the difference can be put in the form of two questions: Do American schools do enough to challenge and educate our children? Do students learn more when they get a lot of homework?