While I understand how Mr. McCullough's address rings true in communities in the suburbs and schools of privilege in urban areas of our country, at Envision Schools and thousands of high schools in our country serving low-income youth and youth of color, it rings false. At Envision Schools 96 percent of our graduates will be going to college next fall (the other 4 percent have decided to serve our country in the military) and not one of them was "pampered, cosseted, doted upon, helmeted, bubble-wrapped" or received a trophy just for showing up. In fact, it is quite the opposite. The Envision grads and hundreds of students like them have overcome daunting challenges to persist and not only graduate from high school but also graduate ready for college. (Bob Lenz at Edutopa)
The above links to a piece in which Lenz responds to David McCullough Jr.'s Commencement Address at Wellesley High School in Massachusetts.