My 16 year old unschooled son and I watched TODAYshow’s Matt Lauer interview President Barrack Obama on education reform this morning. It was a frustrating and depressing scene to watch, as the President inadvertently outlined the problem- that American children’s performance in math and science has declined sharply in one generation- but he was unable to make the connection that the decline occurred during the time when public schools became increasingly standardized!
In the 1990’s and 2000’s, high stakes standardized testing, teaching-to-the-test, increased homework and policies of homework for all grade levels (including for children as young as preschool) became the law of the land. Schools began to slash hands-on learning, recess, movement, outdoor free time, play, art, music, fun activities and field trips, further causing distress and trauma to the bodies and the psychological, creative and intellectual well being of public school children. With this frantic teach-to-the-test mentality of schools, these deprivations of childhood joy needed to become standardized practice in order to corral and indoctrinate millions of children into one cookie-cutter system, with results that guaranteed the failure and mediocrity of the many. These deprivations would quickly come to include the abuse of children’s bio and neurochemisty as well. [...]