Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Uninformed Parents Make Stunted Kids.

The US has a Global ranking of 16th in literacy and 27th in Math as of 2015. That is not good.

There are thousands of inexperienced parents across America allowing their kids to opt out of testing this week and every year now it seems, with all sorts of reasons ranging from the testing being too rigorous, to it's too time consuming for the kids, to the idea that someone is making money off the testing. 

Now the bad news... next to your kids' classroom, there is another classroom filled with kids the same ages as your kids, who are doing a gifted or advanced class. These kids are not smarter than your kids... 

This is the class you want to get your child into, because these kids will have different entities, non profits, and fortune 500 corporations offering to pay fully for their college costs, with the after college possibility of going to work immediately for the corporation or being placed in a job immediately upon graduation. All for free.


When you refuse to have your child do the tests, they will not be accepted into a gifted or advanced kids program. You are forcing your child to stay in a regular class and miss out on the extra help that the advanced kids receive. 

Firstly, why are you helping your kids? If they pay attention in class , ask questions and do research, you will not need to help them. I couldn't understand my kids' homework because I was not in their class... I was at work. So they are the ones to do the homework, not me.


These well meaning, inexperienced parents are dumbing down America, by dumbing down their kids. Many if not most of these parents are first timers and are just now having their first experience at getting their kids ready for college and the global job market. 

Many are called 'Helicopter parents' for a reason and a little less of that hovering could prove to be a lot more helpful to their kids ... and the US as well. Unfortunately while they are hearing from all sides about the issues they and their children face in preparation for college, many are listening without hearing certain things.... 


As an experienced parent, I would like to add my voice. My experience comes from having one child enter the job market and the other finishing her last year of college in 2016. I have been there through the years, I understand the fears parents have. 

The question is where do you want your child to enter the job market? Would you want your child to make below 65k or above 75k, when they are fresh out of college at 22 or 24yrs old?. So... At what stage do you want your kids' eventual level of education and qualification to be? Do you want to get them to their flipping burgers stage or to the rocket science stage? 


When they go to middle school, they have a very limited number of years in which to learn certain things and they will have no time in High School to re-learn what they missed in those prior years. I remember my kids telling me that in their specialized high school (Stuyvesant)... they were told that their choice is simple.... sleep or study.

Neil Degrasse Tyson said in an interview on WNYC   that reverse engineering something could have be done years ago because we were doing physics, but today we are using nanotechnology and Quantum Physics ... 

That statement alone reveals a stark reality...With a global marketplace we need to have a student that has a more global standard of education, as there are no more borders with the advent of the internet. 

CNN had some interesting interviews on this topic which parents should watch for themselves. Just click the CNN link.

As Melinda Gates mentioned in one interview, trajectory is important to a child. I would even say trajectory is everything to a growing mind. Parents must realize that a child's brain is a muscle... a muscle that needs exercise and challenges to grow, or they will get bored easily in class. Set your childs trajectory to a high level because that is really what they are capable of.

First rule in class... pay attention. Learning is or should mostly be done in class. Homework is just an opportunity to reaffirm what you learned in class and revise, and expand on it... having already gotten the basics in the classroom. Don't be afraid of having them take extra lessons after school to catch up in what they are lacking. I did that myself 40 years ago.

I know there are parents with kids who have certain disabilities, these tests will identify those kids so they can get the individual help they need without slowing down the rest of the class, the future depends on that. 

These standardized tests that kids are being allowed to opt out of are the building blocks of a great education, which gets them into a great High school and then a great College and an even greater job. The tests are their foundation blocks for the educated self that they are building.
 The more they face the challenges of preparing for each test, they are putting the building blocks in place. If they opt out they have damaged that building process and it will impact them severly in their later years. 

When they get into high school, they will do so in a diminished capacity and they now have a limited number of years to learn everything from foreign languages and programming to rocket science, they can't slow down to try to catch up on anything they missed out in their earlier years. 

Same idea applies to middle school, they will be slowed down if they are allowed to not prepare for testing in their earlier years.

Testing and preparing for the tests, is their greatest opportunity for their next step, whether that next step is Middle school, High School, or College. Testing is an opportunity they simply can't afford to miss out on, and the preparation for these tests are priceless.

From the CNN article..."It's really a way of making children think for themselves and have teachers speak less and students become more responsible for their learning," said a teacher and a mom of two who didn't want to be identified. "I feel the teaching has become better because of what's expected. Where we go wrong is understanding that the Common Core is a guideline and we still have to meet the needs of the students where they are academically."
She also said parents -- rather than educators -- too often are the ones putting too much stress on students about the test."


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