I don’t know what happened over the years to dummy down our educational system. Or did we drug it down?
When I went to school in the 60’s and 70’s the system seemed pretty straight forward. You came to school, you listened to the teachers, who were usually working alone and were graded A through F on your ability. Or by Grade point average which was 0-F, 1-D, 2-C, 3-B or 4-A. There were no above 4.0 point averages. You could not go over 100%! Whoever started this trend of giving scores higher that perfect have done a disservice to students. If kids were in need of special attention they were a small percentage and had their own class. Students were disciplined physically, (Spanked or swatted) and knew the repercussions of their actions.
What has changed? The over active or “hyper” kid of my time has been diagnosed as “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD. Now here is something to blow you away, around 20% of students in the US have been diagnosed with ADHD. Add the 2% Autistic Autistic children and 1.3% with Mental Retardation and other physical special needs and you have almost 25% of the students in the US designated as “Special Needs!” 11% of these kids are on the drug Methylphenidate (Ritalin) and others are on other drugs! Each school district is mandated under law to have 1 on 1 teacher aids to help with education. And with a 22% of the general population of students coming from impoverished families, doesn’t this put poor school districts at a disadvantage in teaching the public?
Even with such help, our students lag way behind other industrial nations in education. Is it drugs? Why do our students use 5 times the amount of Ritalin compared to other countries? Why has the drug use of Ritalin risen 700% over the last 10 years? Wrong diagnosis? Push by Pharmaceutical companies?
What are the solutions? I don’t know if our education system is too broke to fix. Help me out here.