A playbook for families and communities seeking change, Beyond Measure: Rescuing An Overscheduled, Overtested, Underestimated Generation is a huge leap forward in our work to reclaim childhood and education from the Race to Nowhere.


It not only explains the urgent need for action, but it also shows us how to take those first, important steps.

Beyond Measure lays bare the striking evidence that America’s obsessive achievement culture is making our children sicker, not smarter. And front and center are promising solutions — the stories of courageous communities around the country who are working together to break free from achieve-at-all-costs expectations.

With in-depth research, personal anecdotes, and a dose of common sense, it shows communities how to realize their collective power to change the system to better reflect our true values: health, happiness, and genuine learning for our children.

With a foreword from Lynda Weinman, Educator, Innovator and founder of Lynda.com.


“America, this is your wake-up call. With both heart and smarts, Vicki Abeles showcases the courageous communities that are rejecting the childhood rat race and reclaiming health and learning. Our kids really need us to listen.”
—Maria Shriver

“Every parent, student, teacher, administrator, politician, and community member needs to read Beyond Measure. Vicki Abeles has written what is at once a thoroughly researched and eloquent indictment of our outdated, stifling, achieve­at­all­costs educational system, and a call to arms for change. With stories from a burgeoning movement, Abeles offers a hopeful vision for the future, with play, rest, passion, and the quest for meaning at the heart of the endeavor, and sets off flares to light the way there.”
—Brigid Schulte, author of the New York Times bestselling Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play when No One has the Time

“A crucial and credible account of the toxic stress that threatens the health of our youth. The scores, résumés, and admission letters that our educational culture worships have little to do with most parents’ wish list for kids: happiness, resilience, curiosity, kindness, and making a meaningful contribution to society. Research on the growing brain makes clear that we need a new approach. In this important book you will find all the science and stories, statistics and steps you need to make real change.”
—Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., author of The Developing Mind, Brainstorm, and Mindsight

“Our one-size-fits-all school system is running our children’s wells of creativity and inspiration dry. This revealing and powerful book compels us to revive the kind of learning that really matters, to unleash the possibility within each child.”
—Scott Barry Kaufman, Ph.D., Scientific Director of the Imagination Institute, Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania

“Our kids are arriving at college sick, stressed, and ill-equipped for success. Beyond Measure provides a promising roadmap for parents and educators who understand that happiness and well-being are not optional if we want our kids to thrive.”
—Christine Carter, PhD, Senior Fellow, UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center and author of The Sweet Spot

“Intense levels of stress continue to plague the physical and emotional well-being of our children and teens. Vicki Abeles vividly captured key roots of this stress in her thought-provoking documentary Race to Nowhere. In her Impressive new book, Beyond Measure, she has elaborated on these themes, highlighting our often misguided views about success in youth and the ways in which success is measured. First-hand observations from children and adolescents, parents, educators, mental health professionals, and child development specialists illustrate and enrich her message. Beyond Measure not only identifies the sources of existing problems but, very importantly, provides examples of realistic actions and programs that have been taken to address the increased stress in our youth. This book will serve as an invaluable resource as we confront and hopefully find solutions to a problem that robs too many children of their childhood.”
—Robert Brooks, Ph.D., clinical psychologist, co-author of Raising Resilient Children

“In this powerful and provocative book, Vicki Abeles zeroes in on pernicious attitudes and practices in the American educational landscape and identifies solutions driven by school communities to enhance the education of our youth.”
—Howard Gardner, Ph.D., Harvard Graduate School of Education, author of Multiple Intelligences