Mandatory retention of 3rd graders who don’t pass a reading proficiency test has spread to about 40 percent of states. Even though it is stigmatizing for children to be retained, and “multiple studies show that flunking a grade makes it likely students will fail to graduate from high school. ”This is a dehumanizing slide down into systems where the punitive is seen as normal, even for our youngest students; the reward and punishment of kindergarteners would have seemed despicable 20 years ago. Market-driven reform may have begun as a way to force teachers to comply. Then it was dumped on teenagers. Now, when such stressful incentives and disincentives are imposed on 5-year-olds, it doesn’t seem surprising to read Big Data studies in the states with the most funding for market competition-driven reform promote such horrible policies."