Standardization is killing America | Letters
January 24, 2013 · Updated 4:32 PM
Standardization is killing America, and 30 percent of young Americans are being left behind.
I have been doing some thinking. It saddens me that no one has mentioned what I believe is at the heart of this killing problem in America.
Yes, guns are a part of the problem. Yes, poor mental health funding is part of the problem. Yes, this is more than a police matter. Yes, divorce is part of the problem, particularly for young boys and the single mothers who cannot control them as they struggle to become men.
Hearing about the education system in Finland and its success and knowing what our education system was like when I entered it in 1958 as a 5-year-old and later as a Washington state certified teacher … compare that to our present mandated, standardized, competitive, business driven, political education system that focuses mostly on those who would succeed in any system, the college bound. We repeatedly tell the majority of our children through the required standardized tests that they are not good enough to meet standard.
They fail to meet standard at fourth-, seventh- and eighth-grades, and by tenth grade, they have no confidence and drop out. If 500 kids enter our high schools as ninth-graders, we are lucky if 350 graduate. Yes, this means that 30 percent are being left behind. Yes, angry kids are being left behind everywhere in America. They are left feeling helpless, inadequate, without confidence and angry.
No Child Left Behind and its call for standardization is killing America. Today, “racing to the top” is racing to our demise; standardization must end. Our teachers, like those in Finland, must be trusted as we were prior to the NCLB act. Education in America must return to teaching the whole child, before teachers of my age and experience retire. Innovation does not occur if standardization is our standard.
I know this could be better expressed if I had more time to think. My point is that standardization has produced a large group of angry young people, mostly boys, who have not been nurtured, they have been left behind. America is hurting because we are failing to meet the needs of our children.
Edward Duggan, Federal Way