It doesn't surprise me that England's like that- in fact I knew someone who was from England and was 16 going off to college. Granted she was smart, but it also showed that Europe is probably slightly above America in terms of what they view is ordinary at a scholarly level. There were a couple of people in my school who got near perfect SAT scores, and they were actually investigated and asked to take it again with slightly more attention paid to them to verify the fact that they didn't cheat. To me that was always kind of fucked up. Not that there weren't cheaters in high school- I was friends with a few, and that was entirely their prerogative, but to question the validity of someone's intelligence when you are PUSHING for that, seems so ass-backwards. And those individuals ended up getting pretty similar scores despite the scrutiny, so it was both undignified and unnecessary. We are in a position now as young adults though, where when we have kids we can really tell them how it is, instead of just doing what most of our parents did- adding fuel to the flame by insinuating that when we didn't like something about school or do homework, it was because we were lazy and slackers. My parents couldn't keep up with my intellectual level when I was 15, and as a 23 year old now, some of the things I say to them are almost scoffed at because it is so beyond their social and intellectual framework, that it probably just sounds like bullshit to them. My dad served in the Marines for 25 years before retiring and he jumped in right after high school. He was a meathead and not an intellectual. I got some of his athleticism, but I also took to things like coding and web development early on for whatever reason it appealed to me. That part of my life he didn't get, and that led to a great disconnect in matters regarding my education, because I was constantly being lectured to do better by someone who couldn't help me with my math homework when i was in the eighth grade. My mom's a lot smarter than my dad, so that only made her perspective of me not having straight A's every report card a lot harder. I'm sure she still regrets me not going to college and getting a degree, but she's also from an older generation. She doesn't understand that going into debt for a piece of paper that is quickly losing merit in a progressive and socially-demanding society is like taking two steps back, unless you absolutely need the further education. Pretty soon, the only degree that's going to matter in America is a Master's. Kids need to be brought up and educated to optimize their individual potential, instead of being raised like cattle who are eventually going to have to compete with one another for a limited amount of positions in the same field because that's all they know.