Part II 11-20
Here are the last of the 20 ways current school reforms could break a child’s spirit. Sadly, you probably will be able to think of others. Share them all with those who think the current reforms are going well.
11. Children are forced to take tests at an early age. http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/education/kindergarten-tough-multiple-choice-tests-article-1.1481197.
12. Many books available to young children are made for phonics instruction only. Children must sound out vowels and consonants and are rarely given time to read or listen to books meant for pleasure. Some children don’t need phonics but they must sit through phonics lessons. There is little literary appeal.
13. Children are forced to read early before they are ready. Tests may indicate they can’t read so they are treated like they have learning disabilities when it may be a matter of development. Students could also be unnecessarily grouped and labeled.
14. Children might live in a state or school district where it is perfectly acceptable that they be hit with a paddle because they are frustrated and act out.
15. Children are pushed to think about college and careers before they understand these concepts at a high level through inappropriate testing http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/25/us-usa-education-testing-idUSBRE88O05Y20120925.
16. Children from other countries notice their culture is not valued. They exhibit language difficulties and their families receive little support or engagement.
17. Children could be lost in large classes and receive little individual attention http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/14/larger-class-size-a-thousand-cuts_n_1659591.html.
18. Young students with disabilities may not be provided with an appropriate individual educational plan. They may not have the assistance of a special education teacher for support if they have a disability.
19. Children may not have a qualified early childhood educator who understands they have unique needs related to this special time in their development. The emphasis is rigor. They are pushed to learn much faster than is appropriate and as a result learn to hate school.
20. Children are not valued for their individuality—for who they are and what they like. Their interests are ignored.
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