January 24, 2006
Antsy? Have some drugs
This article in Newsweek talks about how boys are falling behind girls in primary and middle schools. The whole premise of the article frustrates me to no end. That premise: Boys are different than girls and they learn and act differently. Well, whoopty fucking do. That seems an awful lot like common sense to me. These days it seems like, especially with the issue of raising/teaching children, that not even common sense is or can be true unless some scientific study proves it. And while I'm on my soapbox, can we please stop giving every other kid out there drugs for their supposed ADD or ADHD? The afore mentioned article has a few lines that say it better than i could:
"When he was in first grade, his principal told his mother he was too immature and needed ADHD drugs. His mother balked. "Too immature?" says Diane Arnold, a widow. "He was six and a half!"
It seems that our obsession with defining success by standardized test scores is causing teachers to be much more rigid and push kids harder. Because the almighty test standards are arbitrarily set (and too often not by educators) in such a way so as to push kids to achieve more, the teachers have to cram more into their heads in the same 7-8 hours of school. So the slack needs to be cut, so they say. What times do the kids not overtly learn reading or math skills? Music class, physical education, and recess. Ok then, they don't seem to help the test scores, out with them, and overnight kids are expected to sit patiently and quietly and learn all day. If they can't, then they obviously have a learning disability and need medication. At this rate, America's schoolchildren will suffer a fate similar to the children of South Park, Colorado, where they were all mistakenly perscribed ADHD medicine: They all became Phil Collins fans, and no kid deserves that.