Gov. Chris Christie just vetoed a mandate for New Jersey children to get recess. A lot of people–including me–are not happy with this decision. He obviously thinks school boards should determine how much recess students should get, but does he realize the problem with recess? Recess is a heated topic with parents across the country. If he wants to be President he should know about it.
It is abusive not to allow students several recess breaks a day.
But one also has to admit, it is strange that so many terrible school reforms in this country have reached the point where we need mandates to correct what should be common sense.
Here are 20 examples of terrible school reforms or school conditions that go ignored that make most people stop and think–REALLY? How can this happen in America?
- Withholding recess from young children (even middle school).
- Administering bubble tests to kindergartners.
- Making kindergarten the new first grade.
- Insisting everything a child learns must be aligned to a test.
- Idolizing testing and believing testing is teaching.
- Believing you can sit students in front of a computer for all of their learning.
- Ignoring the effects of poverty on students and their schools.
- Retaining third graders based on one test score.
- Dramatically cutting school funding and expecting great results.
- Letting wealthy outsiders control school boards.
- Permitting wealthy outsiders to determine what students should know.
- Not providing oversight and transparency of charter schools.
- Expecting teachers to manage huge class sizes.
- Calling someone a teacher after 5 weeks of training.
- Abolishing a variety of classes including the arts.
- Ignoring disabilities, giftedness, talent and students with ELL difficulties.
- Instituting harsh and scripted instructional programs.
- Assigning huge amounts of homework.
- Not permitting teachers to teach the way they know best.
- Ignoring deplorable conditions in public school buildings.
- Ignoring the sleep needs of teenagers.
- Closing libraries in schools.
- Replacing media specialists with aides.
- Requiring teachers to spend time developing SLOs.
- Eliminating full length novels from reading classes in favor of excerpts.
- Requiring students with special needs and ELL students to be taught grade level CCSS with their goals aligned to them.
Michelle commented below adding 22 to 25 more excellent factors that should be common sense in public schools. Thank you, Michelle!
Cara added 26. Thank you, Cara!