Diana Senechal argues that schools should make room for the things of solitude, such as literature, science, art, friendship and matters of conscience.
Although this was a short article and only hinted at what the book will be about, I think that the interview touches on a couple important things.
More stuff to do I'm not sure that students in primary or secondary school need to have their education mirror the task-crammed lifestyles they will eventually adopt. While I understand that students increasingly have a shorter attention span due to more and more stimulation from everywhere, there must be value in being able to sit and listen. As those who've attended college know, higher education rarely has breaks for group activities during lecture, and the skill to sit and listen is very valuable in that setting. And how many meetings/presentations have people had to sit through in their professional careers?
Education v. Success As for the reforms surrounding education in public schools and metrics for success, I think administration has its heart in the right place. The logic for setting a definitive educational format ensures that the information is uniformly distributed across all cities/town/villages. The drawback of course being that not all classrooms operate the same, and it's quite clear that what works in place A may not work in place B.
The comparison to China hints at the international competition that US students face. The impression I get is that the Chinese (I know, generalizations) see education as the way to success. While this may hold true in the US for some communities, I don't think that it's as prevalent. In my opinion, US parents are increasingly seeing their responsibility not to raise a fully-functional person, but rather to get validation that they are a "good parent" from their children.