“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