"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Where Are the Mental and Social Health Professionals?

When I was doing research in Louisiana in 2000, I could not imagine that states outside the former slave states would ever use tests to decide children's futures. Who could have predicted that the Big Apple would have outdone the Coon Asses by 2005! Instead of using the tests to make promotion decisions in grades 4 and 8, NYC requires passing in 3, 5, and 7.

Now we learn of new horrors of kindergarten and pre-K abuse in the liberal bastion of California, where they are using standardized tests and scripted curriculum to move the intellectual and emotional genocide even further toward infancy.

If anyone in a professional mental health capacity had predicted this 25 years ago, they would, themselves, have been committed. While children are being subjected to this institutionalized abuse at the behest of the federal government, where are the APA and AERA and the other professional groups with their high-sounding pronouncements on the ethical use of tests? They are going about their business undeterred by this organized attack on childhood, hoping that they, too, will keep their federal money flowing and not lose any of their valuable contracts.

They will continue to attend their annual meeting and continue to share their research and continue to sequester themselves in their offices and continue to cluck at what is happening during happy hours with other professional cowards in ivory towers who have submitted their own integrity to the demands of holding on to their meaningless positions of powerless authority, thus assuring their continued irrelevance.

Here are a couple of clips from this piece from California Educator, source of the photo above showing 4-year old, Devany Loera, undergoing an assessment:
Now viewed as a way to make students kindergarten-ready, preschool may be subject to both state and federal assessments. Kindergartners are under pressure to meet state standards and get ready for standardized testing by second grade. By year's end, they are expected to be reading. Is the accelerated pace making kids smarter faster — or is it turning them off to learning?

Concerned educators feel it may be the latter, and worry that the joy of learning is being quashed before it can even take root. . . .

Children aren't the only ones feeling overwhelmed. Conducting individual assessments and one-on-one observations is cutting into valuable teaching time.
Teachers are having to force-fit state standards into activities more likely to hold their students' attention. Students go from activity to activity at a frenetic pace that barely allows time to breathe. To fit it all in, some school districts are embracing all-day kindergarten. . . .

Some believe the higher expectations of preschools and fear of kindergarten retention are contributing to a higher preschool "expulsion rate." A new study shows that children attending preschool in California and in the rest of the nation are expelled at three times the rate of older students. The Yale Child Study Center report, "Prekindergartners Left Behind," says 4-year-olds are expelled more often than 3-year-olds, and boys are expelled at 4.5 times the rate of girls. African American children are twice as likely to be expelled as Latinos or whites and five times as likely as Asian Americans. . . .
Is there any limit to this madness? What kind of Chernobyl will be required to begin the end of this disastrous takeover by, what we would have viewed just a few years ago, as a Stalinized system of educational brainwashing.

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