Part I 1-10
These are not easy to read. But I’m sure you will find that many, if not all, have been used to negatively change public elementary schools in recent years. And you will recognize why they break a child’s spirit. Here are the first ten. I will post the others later.
1. Children watch their schools close or their teacher fired because they hear their test scores are low. Or they are told they must do better on the test if they want to keep their school open (See Feb. 23, 2004 TIME “Beating the Test Bubble”).
2. Children may not have access to preschool or Head Start.
3. Children struggle with an overabundance of age-inappropriate homework they don’t understand. They might feel sad and guilty when parents have difficulty helping them. It disrupts quality family time.
4. Children are forced to repeat a grade due to an achievement test score. They watch classmates move ahead. Check on the research of Shane R. Jimerson to learn more about retention education.ucsb.edu/jimerson/retention/.
5. Children rarely, or ever, get decent breaks or recess. They may not have a suitable/safe playground. They get little, if any, time to play. Few toys can be found even in kindergarten.
6. Children get into trouble for not being able to sit still, or they wind up with an ADHD diagnosis because they have to sit and concentrate for long periods of time (Pellegrini, Anthony D. RECESS: Its Role in Education and Development p. 164-174).
7. The child’s school lacks a good program for the arts. Young students work primarily on reading and math. If students are lucky, an artisan will visit to do an arts project, or their teacher will incorporate some art into a lesson. But many credentialed art and/or music teachers have lost their jobs. Children are given little if any opportunity to put on plays, dance or paint.
8. Children don’t get to socialize in school. They march in line to the restroom. Talking to others is seen as disruptive. Even lunchtime must be silent. (Yes I know lunch rooms can be noisy but it is often due to overcrowding and/or lacking supervision).
9. Children attend school with health issues that go unnoticed. They might be hungry, or they are sick, have serious dental problems, and/or poor eyesight. There are no school nurses.
10. The child’s school has a meager and/or run-down library, or no library at all. Yet, libraries increase test scores. See the work of Stephen Krashen http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/living-in-dialogue/2010/05/stephen_krashen_fix_poverty_an.html.