Small Things Part II: School-Age Children and Emotional Abuse in USA

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”  – Nelson Mandela

Often as a nation our politicians and many others speak  about how they love and care about our children. Maybe they only mean their OWN children.  HYPOCRITES! Dare I say, LIARS! In the USA local government has to pay for almost all cost of education in every state. Who suffers the most? Our public school children, our small things!

small greenery

small greenery

To add to this insult, the Department of Education requires local schools to follow No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and its testing, or often the federal government has withheld government funding. I call this testing: NO CHILD LEFT WITHOUT ANXIETY.  This is one of the cruelest things we can do to American school-age children. As far as I’m concerned, it is emotional abuse.

One year while I was teaching younger children in a public school, (prior to that time, I had taught mostly in private schools where there was no NCLB) I taught and prepared children for testing. I was shocked to witness that the last TWO months of the school year were dedicated to preparing for the test, administering the test, and then retesting. This is common across the USA.  In the state where I lived then, high-stakes testing began in the third grade. Many second graders there were anxious to move up to the third grade because of that high-stakes testing.

This is a website where you can read more about high-stakes testing in the article called:

Problems With Standardized Testing | › School and Academics › No Child Left Behind Act

small red fungi

small red fungi?

Today I have some hope about ending this high-stakes testing. In a few schools this year, whole grade levels of students are opting out of testing, and even some entire school districts are doing that as well.  This is happening in some places in the Northwest and in a program in Maryland.  Listen to this podcast from 2/27/15 that was on Here And Now called: “More Parents Say NO to Standardized Testing”.

Instead of the NCLB testing companies and their stockholders making money off of our schools and states and making public school children anxious about their education, and forcing teachers teach to the test, American education has other options: OPT-OUT of the high-stakes testing all together. This is a way to save our kids from anxiety and teach our children more thoroughly!

In other parts of the world, children have fear about going to school because of where they live: there is war, or extreme violence, and death around them every day. Why have we in the USA made our school-age children fearful and angry because we force them to take these useless tests? How insane are we? And who is benefiting from this? Certainly not the USA’s public school children!

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character- that is the goal of true education.”

–  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.