Another board meeting, another show. Where to begin? At the beginning I guess. Did you hear today that scores on the SAT (college entrance exam) for students in the U.S. reached their lowest in math and reading ever recorded? Just think of that - after 20 years of school reform and 35 years of a national department of education our scores are the lowest ever.
At the board meeting they discussed more planning and more firms. Then Youth Connections gave their annual update - being sure to note that their grant expires in 2013 and they hope to be fully integrated into the public schools by that time. Did our public sign up for this? I think when most people vote for school funding they think they are voting to educate the children not analyze them and behaviorally engineer them.
I read all of the Youth Connections material. Did you know that Youth Connections did mental health screening (according to their literature) in 2010 fall and spring, of all 9-12 graders? Did you as a parent see this screening and sign off for it to be done? All K-1 classes get social skills programing aimed at reducing impulsive and aggressive behavior and increasing social competence ( Is their a behavior guru who knows the perfect behavior for all of us?). Four "Project Success" counselors have been hired at the middle schools and high schools to identify students who could benefit from mental health services.
Tracy Moseman , project director, went on to say that they are basically assessing teachers and parents too because everyone must feel safe. Apparently they are doing all of this in large part to prevent substance abuse ( I thought the DARE program and the RESOURCE OFFICER program did that- how many programs do they need to do the same thing that doesn't work? ) Tracy went on to say that, according to her statistics teen underage drinking is down, but maybe this is because, as reported by her, 25% of our teens are doing MARIJUANA!!
The principal from Broadwater School was there to tout her attendance initiative under MBI's (Montana Behavior Initiative's Best Practices- every state has one so if you were in New York you'd have the New York Behavior Initiative and if you were in New Jersey you'd have the New Jersey Behavior Initiative, you get the idea- the Federal Government through their grants are social engineering America). So what is she doing to increase attendance? A graph in the hall that shows tardies and attendance for every class. I taught for 30 years, 9 of those at Bryant school where some families are really struggling. Should the weight of peer pressure be put on little kids to get to school and on time? This is an adult thing and I just feel for those little guys stressing like that. So when has school been so important to these people? This year they are using FOUR DAYS of instruction(no school for kids) for all their teacher pressuring and behavior controlling workshops mandated by the Federal Government. Class time is used almost constantly for MBI programs and performance assemblies, as well as screening and then the RESOURCE OFFICER in the classroom and DARE and children whisked away for Big Sisters Big Brothers and buddy programs and community service training and contests for collecting food and then the PEAK program which takes them out 1 day a week (1/5th of their education). Aidan Myhre was praising all these programs and then lamenting that it is REALLY SO IMPORTANT that kids get to school. To school for what, BEHAVIOR TRAINING? Do you get the feeling that these folks are more interested in social engineering behaviors than academic teaching? I do.
The after show was really great though. There were actually 2 other people who spoke up besides myself ( I spoke about building reserve money being spent to hire a firm that will not just handle buildings but will handle curriculums and programs etc., and about the yelling out of names of private genitalia at CRA) these people were wonderful- smart, informed and with really important messages.
One lady spoke about the RESOURCE OFFICER program which is criminalizing children at early ages. She noted that school behaviors are apparently at times turned over to the RESOURCE OFFICER (police). With the new POWER SCHOOL program children's behavior is monitored and data is collected on every student. If your child has a fight on the playground he can have a record before he turns 7!
Another mother spoke about the PEAK program which apparently selects out kids, 90% of which are highly motivated high achievers, based on a not very scientific IQ like test in 2ND GRADE. Before you turn 9 our district has labeled you as not one of the smartest ones. Apparently at Hawthorne School last year some of the PEAK kids were going around telling other kids they were always right because they were smarter. And what do they do to teach these children when they miss a whole day of school? Apparently rafting trips and even trips to FRANCE!
You can contact Tracy Moseman director of Youth Connections at firstname.lastname@example.org (a school district email) if you have any advice for her on what everyone's behavior should be and how to identify insecure parents and teachers. Personally I think this whole behavior control thing has gotten out of hand. The schools are trying to create the perfect world while our children are NOT GETTING AN EDUCATION! Reading and math are the most important things they need for self esteem and success in this world and for their futures. Trying to be all things to all children at all times (the whole child concept ) is destroying our schools. It would be like serving dinner at the barber shop- neither job would get done well.