The New York Times has an article having to do with large class sizes. It’s all about the push to put more kids in classrooms and schools with fewer teachers and specialists. This is happening around the country in every school. It is happening without any thought to the recent tragic events in our public schools.
Consider it the de-personalizing of America’s public schools. It involves the push for high test scores and the elimination of anything that has to do with truly understanding students. This occurs despite the fact that parents with troubled children don’t care about test scores. They want support. They want help to deal with their difficulties. They hope to avert tragedies.
Where’s the conversation?
If you want burgeoning classes and a heavy focus on high stakes testing, recognize you don’t care about students and their mental health needs. Getting rid of special ed. teachers and counselors prepared in mental health and solely focusing on the push to college will not cut it.
It isn’t necessary. With good instructional design, classes could be arranged where students get some kind of interpersonal attention every day. Start by lowering class size K-3rd grade and create at least one small class in later grades where students can individually connect with teachers and counselors. Bring back special counseling and self-contained classes for students who need more help. It may be transitory assistance. It may be long term.
But today’s reforms appear to be about quick, cheap solutions that rely on those with no expertise concerning children and school organization. So both class sizes and mental health problems and tragedies will continue to rise. No one will connect the dots. How sad for America and her children.
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