In light of the recent shootings in our country by young people in their 20's I am hoping there will be a strong stance on changing the educational philosophy in this country of how young people are taught.
Currently there are little to no programs to help disturbed students, or just students going through common issues in schools. The entire focus, nation wide is on the testing of young people as early as kindergarten and including all special ed students including those with severe aspergers. The pressure of testing is out of control and i believe is having a detrimental affect on many of our countries youth and the educators who are forced to teach these mandates.
The educational philosophy currently has an obnoxious amount of focus on testing. This focus on over the top standardized testing has been going on in this country for over ten years. What the general public does not fully understand is how much of it is being done and what other areas are being neglected.
Testing materials are constant throughout the school year. Every week to two weeks new testing material are forced on teachers to give to students. These tests are in addition to the teacher generated tests on subject matter taught. Standardized test materials are manufactured by outside companies and are making a lot of money for politicians and their friends in the business. There are test prep materials, practice tests, standardized tests, post tests, and outside businesses connected to test makers for parents to spend money on in order to pass what many believe are un-passable assessments. To make room for this, many programs of cultural enrichment have been shortened and all together eliminated. Phys Ed, Social Studies, class trips, guidance, conflict resolution programs, music, art, and after school programs including sports teams have declined tremendously over the past ten years to make room for testing.
Mayor Bloomberg and other politicians fight for more testing of our kids. It covers so many things for them. Most importantly, it is used to judge teachers and the possibility of shutting down schools. In NYC, Mayor Bloomberg has set up multiple guidelines in his hopes of shutting down schools to get rid of all veteran educators so he can place his political cronies in positions to manipulate the children.
There is so much pressure in all schools to raise these biased tests that what is totally ignored are social issues that are disturbing behavior from the kids. I personally see it first hand over many years in my school. There is a ridiculous amount of pressure that is placed on administrators in fear of having the school shut down entirely.
There are mental diseases that are relatively new to the general public like Aspergers where no one has a defined answer how to treat yet these students and all students are forced to take these standardized test. It is painful to watch children so stressed over tests that many believe are unjust.
Because there is so much at stake with testing what is totally ignored is the disturbing behavior of some kids. There is very little consequence for disruptive behavior in city schools. The students know this and many take liberties with it. Teachers are often cursed out and physically abused with little to no consequence to the students. If a student strikes a teacher physically, that student is allowed to sit in that very same classroom the next day and beyond until it is resoled in a "special court." Imagine the message this sends to the rest of the population?
Leaving you with this gem. I currently have a female student who is totally out of control. She is 11 years old and in the 6th grade. Curses at teachers, physically abusive to other students, bully, destroys any attempt that the teacher tries with a lesson. The other 30 students in the class have a lost school year because they are placed in her class. Three weeks ago another teacher intercepted a hand written letter from her. The title was "Ways To KILL WOMEN In Their Sleep." Graphic details of slitting throats, lighting women on fire, stabbing women in the chest and cutting off their "tits" as a trophy, bleeding to death, well you get the picture. Copies of the letter were made and handed to the dean, principal, assistant principal, etc. It is obvious that this student needs serious help. Her behavior is out of control most of the time. Her mother is in total denial and is not cooperative. Needless to say, nothing has been done. This child continues to destroy every lesson and cause a physical threat to others. The message to the teachers from the mayor and administrators are that "the teacher must not have good classroom management, blame it on them." If the mayor admits there is a problem then money has to be spent to help it, money taken away from testing.
When will the general public recognize that current political educational policies in this country are poisoning our youth and in many cases are stressing out young people to no end?
Is it just a coincidence that the last mass shooting in a movie theater, mall, and now school are done by young people just exiting our school system?
Teach the next group of adults that education is more that just tests, teach them that there is more to education than just money, that there are ways to for fill life that includes giving back and helping others. That life is not just the bottom line .
The public needs to take back control of public schools