Rushing Them and Crushing Them – Church of Reformed Education

I had my son at 40 … so I am old enough to remember the way things were.” Pamela Settle

Didn’t matter.  You were totally unprepared for social and emotional learning, closed reading, frustrating math, social justice curricula, computerized assessments, and college and career ready education. And… of course … academic kindergarten.


This is the newspeak of elementary education. The amorphous language that weighs lots and confuses more.

It’s the age of acronyms and pithy phrases that hide endless absurdities … so what you remember of your own school years will be washed away.

“I am intentionally shunning the culture that is trying to destroy my son’s childhood … because I see it … and I am living it as a mom in today’s upside down world.”

You can run, Mother Settle … but you cannot hide.

“We moved him to private and although some of the peer issues were better, the curriculum was the same.”

Is anyone else stunned-numb by this?

Or is Pamela Settle all alone?

The wandering worrier?

No. She’s hardly alone.

And the fact that motherhood arrived later in her life spared her nothing. Her added maturity counted for nothing … because there is nothing to prepare new mothers … of any age … for this madness except the words of mothers who had been there before.

“I went to public school. So I expected the same for my kid. Except by 1st grade I had teachers telling me he wasn’t meeting expectations.”


Get in line.

That’s part of the new base-line anxiety cultivated by the new reformists. The whispered shock … the cold-water splash … that your child isn’t up to snuff.  Not quite on par. Behind. Lacking. Deficient. Staring at a future of dread.

And he’s all of 80 or 90 months old.

They told Mother Settle that … “He can’t sit still … he’s not learning his sight words fast enough. What’s wrong with him? Have you had him tested?”

That’s the fabled Arne Duncan knife-twist … that condescending indictment that you are unfit to be a serious factor in your child’s education.

Don’t ever whisper that to Mother Jill Schwietzer. Or Mother Michelle Moore. Or Mother Elaine Coleman. Or millions of other mothers who have been very wide-awake for a very long time.


But too many mothers had to see it to believe it. And so …

“I was shocked. He was 6 effing years old!!! They labeled him and disregarded him as average … not caring about school and worthy of their attention.”

Didn’t you know about the deciding algorithms? The incessant testing? The daily measuring? The labeling? Weren’t you up on the new math? And computer based education …  laughing called “personalized learning”?

“Daily homework … talking to him like he was a teenager …and [I] stopped myself because he was 8!!!” Eight years old … 96 months … a few hundred weeks old.

And that, dear lady, is your ugly baptism in the

Church of Reformed Education.


Your introduction to that creepy sect of reform zealots who … in this moment of extra-special, didactic tutelage … are rewriting nearly all of mankind’s understandings of learning because … because they had an epiphany. Behind the plexiglass.

And they know more about your son’s needs than you do … while never once sitting on the classroom floor with him … or playing with him at a water table … or joining him in a song … or with others in the play yard.

Then there are those state guardians of education … and the local superintendents … and neighborhood principals …  all unwilling, it seems, to listen to the mothers like you.

Reluctant to even listen to their own inner voices that whisper that this is scholastic madness.

And their silent acquiescence invites even more farce … more ruin of childhood … and more damage to children.

It’s all so age inappropriate. Rushing them … and crushing them … at the same time.”

“Rushing them and crushing them …”

What a splendid war cry.

And that’s the siren for all new mothers. Whatever their age. Whatever their memories.

“Young moms have no idea what is happening to their kids. They don’t know what they don’t know.”

That’s the sad soliloquy of Mother Settle. But it’s also the sorry cry of millions of mothers who have tried to run away from this educational madness.


Perhaps it’s finally time to run straight at it.

Denis Ian and Michelle Moore

4 thoughts on “Rushing Them and Crushing Them – Church of Reformed Education

  1. Comment from Verna Barber on FB posting.

    “You may remember my story Denis, but you other Moms may be seeing it for the first time.

    My great-granddaughter starting kindergarten, 5 years old – children putting together an autumn scene pasting colored leaves on a tree. All the rest of the children pasting their leaves on the trees in such perfect likeness to each others we wondered if the children had actually done it themselves, Isabella’s leaves lay scattered on the ground, still beautiful but not on the tree.

    We are in a southern state now but this was the first year away from New York, where Isabella had delighted in playing in the leaves on the ground. You get the picture.

    Our hearts really and I mean really were broken to see the crushed look on Isabella’s face when that horrible teacher would not even hang her picture up on the wall with the other children’s. WE were crushed.

    Long story, I know, her mother immediately removed her from public school, home schooled for 1 year, decided to try first grade, guess what she has a wonderful, dedicated teacher, this is first grade, testing shows she reads and does sight words at a FOURTH grade level, she is given work that increases this all the time, that’s this year, we are all happy but my granddaughter says ALL her future teachers better measure up or she will home school again.

    DEMAND the best for your child, don’t let them be crushed in their baby years, you are their protectors, DEMAND and do not accept anything but the best!!”

    Verna Barber

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Had to share another Mom story from the FB post, this is from Danielle Beckmann Haen:

    “I had a similar occurrence last year as my daughter (then in 5th grade) was given an assignment to make homemade bread from scratch, they were given some ingredients, some wonderfully delicious flour. They were told to make two, one for home and one to donate to a nearby charity, wonderful.

    She did MOST of the recipe independently at her request, kneaded the yeast into the dough, let it rise, peeking at it occasionally, how excited she was!! Watched it bake, turning the oven light on & peeking every so often, watching it turn to a beautiful light brown.

    She was slightly disappointed when we released the loaf from the pan to find the bottom had blackened ever so slightly. I told her we will have it for dinner and decide how she did then.

    Our family was bursting with pride as the bread melted in our mouths and was a pleasure in our bellies! She was so proud at just 10 years old.

    She took the donated loaf to school the next day and her innocently young teacher, when handed the homemade bread replied “Grace, it’s burnt on the bottom, no one will want to eat this!”. My daughter came home crushed that day.

    I could see it the minute I picked her up from school. I was livid to say the least.

    Of course my family reassured her that even the most talented of bakers have burnt some goods at one time in their lives.

    Her bread was truly delicious and her teacher never even tasted it!

    She was ok at that but the thought of her going through her school day, thinking she had failed, truly hurt. No matter how I build up her self esteem, it can all come tumbling down with a burst of thoughtlessness.

    The teacher did end up apologizing however the damage was done and the scar will remain forever.”

    Danielle Beckman Haen

    Liked by 1 person

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