When I think back to my days in elementary school and middle school, though we had standardized testing to assess the schools, I don’t remember pressure. I’m sure some students had some anxiety, but it wasn’t prevalent. I also don’t remember homework in the first grade. Better yet, I don’t remember having homework until third grade, and even then, it was only one sheet.
The fact exists that our school system is broken and Common Core has a major hand in that brokenness. And it doesn’t take an American to see the problems that arise from a system like Common Core.
Susan ‘Carter’ Peacock, a British mother, posted a poignant and emotional Facebook post that pinpoints every bit of what is wrong with Common Core – even though it’s directed towards their own country’s standardized testing. And if you have any drop of a soul in you, it will make you tear up.
In a letter written to a Mrs. Morgan, Ms. Peacock describes her son’s suffering.
“I do not use the term lightly or to sensationalize his distress. He really is suffering… The nails on his fingers have been bitten until they bled. Angry red rainbows over each one which will take days to heal.”
Sound like your kid? According to IoHud, a majority of psychologists from New York school districts agree that testing was “causing greater anxiety than local assessments.”
Ms. Peacock then described the physical manifestations her son suffers from now thanks to the anxiety that stems from testing.
“He has had scans and blood tests that show the stomach pains he finds so unbearable and the vomiting episodes he endures almost daily have no medical cause. A physical manifestation of the symptoms of anxiety.”
She states her son is dyslexic and struggles with writing legibly or remembering information in order. And all his school system does, and America’s too, is implant the idea that he is stupid, worthless, and a failure.
“Instead, you have challenged him, a child who is unable to work at speed, unable to spell, unable to write legibly to do all the things he cannot do with ease…”
And they aren’t failures. My sister is not a failure even if she never finishes one math sheet in time. Ms. Peacock’s son isn’t a failure.
“My son knows how to catch fish, he knows how to put up a tent and cook food around a campfire. He knows how to draw and paint in a way that would invoke emotion. He knows the important of friendship and being kind to others. He knows how to be gentle with animals. He knows how to grow vegetables. He knows how to cook. He knows how to play the piano. He knows how to make people laugh. He knows he is loved.”
We send our children to school trusting a system we support with our taxes. That system has turned into a cold machine of business and meeting quotas. To meet those quotas, teachers educate students to take a test, not succeed in life.
Measuring school performance is perfectly okay. Yes. We want the best teachers. We want the bad ones out. But, is the current standard of measuring performance doing the exact opposite of what it is intended to do?
Yes. Yes it is.
With more time spent on meeting those goals and expectations, children are learning what anxiety and fear is like. When I was in school, I went outside for recess. In third grade, my sister rarely enjoyed whole recesses because she was kept inside to finish math sheets. She’d get the answers right. But, she couldn’t finish in time. Furthermore, efforts into curbing bullying are stunted, and we have children committing suicide.
If we get nothing else right, let’s get this right America.
Image in public domain via Pixabay.