I thought this was an interesting artcle.
I don't dispute that there are lots of kids who take courses and many practice tests to up their scores. What I dispute is your claim that they aren't smart. Why do you equate studying and practicing with not being smart? Do you think that smart people should be able to ace the exam without studying and if they have to study they must not be smart?
I think we agree.
What I said was:
"With most of them, no matter how much you go nuts with the super-parenting, the kid will not go to MIT, but if you beat and abuse them, they may end up in the gutter."
IOW, if the kid does not have the "goods" and the interest in going to MIT, in most cases no amount of "hands on" will make him go. I would also question why anyone would have such a goal with parenting in the first place.
Before you defined "hands on" as giving chores and setting curfews. Now you are including "encouraging a great education." It would be nice if you would give a fuller account of what it is that you see as hands on parenting (as well as specific examples of how a parent would encourage a great education).
It is paying lip service to the idea of education for your kids if you talk a good game, but do not support them if it turns out that their goals are different from yours, for example. Dh's parents cut off all financial support when he declared a humanities major and made clear that he had no intention of ever going to law school. They were not really interested in his getting a great education, but in his entering one of a narrow range of professions and they were very hands on in trying to effect the outcome they wanted.
I just checked with dh, for undergrad he applied to Chapel Hill, UVA and an Ivy. He was accepted to all, but went to the Ivy because it was local and his parents refused to pay if he went far from home. As it turned out they ended up only paying for one semester anyway, for the reason explained above.
The ones who "live" in the ACT prep centers doing practice exams for months?