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General News    H4'ed 7/20/19

The Cruel Policy of Punishing Little Children to Raise Their Test Scores, by John Thompson, historian

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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."

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I began teaching in 1963,; Ba and BS in Education -Brooklyn College. I have the equivalent of 2 additional Master's, mainly in Literacy Studies and Graphic Design. I was the only seventh grade teacher of English from 1990 -1999 at East Side (more...)

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