Working 2gether Tuesdays
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working 2gether is greater than being divided
working 2gether is greater than being divided
CHAPTER 1 FROM "How To Mess Up The American Education System". Michael Gray
I believe in the possibilities of the American Publication System. I love and appreciate teachers/educators. But! We can't wait to make changes! The online school the-365-success-system.teachable.com , weareworking2gether.org and the book “How To Mess Up The American Education System” are designed to create immediate and effective action. The usual reasoning for small, incremental, and systemically ineffective “strategies” is weak. I’ve been an educator since 1985 as well as a parent of 4...children deserve way better...and deserve it today
Why can’t we wait?
It is literally life and death consequences for all of our students.
The American Education System is failing now and has been for decades.
Yes, we are sending a lot of students to college. Yes, the amount of Advanced Placement tests taken is rising. Yes, students are earning record amounts of scholarship money. However, schools (The K—12 system) are in crisis. Schools are not dealing with the root causes of why so many students are not doing well. Schools are also not dealing with the root causes of why even the students that ARE performing well are full of anxiety, stress, and depression. They aren’t happy! Even with their success!!
Administrators, Counselors, Teachers, and Parents are putting bandaids on wounds that are deep, years in the making, and systemic. Every day I preach/teach/counsel students, teachers, and parents how to mess up the system. The system of American education has let down our children, families, and educators. The systems of racism, sexism, capitalism, and anti-LGBTQ have created the environment of hopelessness, anger, competition vs collectivity, anxiety, depression. The system of American education pretends all day, every day that these systems don’t do what they do. It pretends that children come to school able to function at a high level. It pretends that if we just keep setting the bar higher that children with no stability underfoot can jump to reach the bar
We keep blaming students. We (the American Education System AND the American People) need to look inward. I'm encouraging the American People to focus on solutions...because, focusing on solutions is where our collective and individual energy needs to be.
Over the past five years, the number of students in colleges seeking help for mental health symptoms has outpaced overall enrollment growth by 25 percent, according to a 2016 report by the Center of Collegiate Mental Health at Penn State University. Southern California hasn’t been spared, as over the past five years the number of students seeking help has jumped at virtually every campus, from a 17.5 percent at the Claremont Colleges to 168 percent at USC . (Press Telegram Boyd-Barret, Haire 2/5/18)
This points out that we are not doing anywhere near what we need to do for students Pre K— 12. If we were, the crisis in our colleges wouldn’t be occurring.
MORE OF...HOWEVER, THERE’S THIS!!
1 out of 5 young people have a mental health condition
1 out of 8 young people have an anxiety disorder/condition
1 out of 10 young people have a mood disorder/condition
1/2 of all lifetime mental health conditions begin by age 14
THE AVERAGE DELAY OF ANY TREATMENT ONCE THERE IS AN ONSET OF SYMPTOMS IS 8 TO 10 YEARS
50% of students 14 years old and older with mental health conditions drop out of high school
70% of youth in state and local juvenile injustice systems have a mental health condition/ illness
Suicide is 3rd leading cause of death in 10 to 24 year olds. 90% who commit suicide had an underlying mental health condition.
!!!Suicides have tripled amongst 10 to 14 yr old females since 2007.
What was debuted in 2007???? The iPhone!!
!!!Suicides have doubled amongst 15 to 18 yr old females since 2007.
AND ALL SCHOOL SYSTEMS REALLY CARE ABOUT IS KEEPING UP WITH THE PACING CHART, HOW MANY STUDENTS ARE TAKING ADVANCED PLACEMENT TESTS, HOW MANY COLLEGE ACCEPTANCES ARE RECEIVED, AND HOW MUCH SCHOLARSHIP MONEY IS EARNED.
(statistics are from NAMI.org , adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/ depression , Centers for Disease and Control Prevention, The Andrew Kukes Foundation for Social Anxiety)
In my local research I have interviewed 229 alternative high school students and 67% of them experience PTSD symptoms. These symptoms range from moderate to severe and include (within 2 weeks of the interview) unable to sleep, sleep too much, unable to concentrate due to thinking about the incident(s), unable to concentrate because of trying not to think about the incident, nightmares, etc... .
SO...I really want you (educators & parents) to feel understood about your frustrations with students... with your children. I get it!! BUT, do you think they feel understood by you????? The power of feeling understood is much greater than “You need to understand me”.
Kurt Fischer of Harvard University says:
“One of the most beneficial things that brain research has done is it’s made it very hard for us to split cognition from emotion. The areas of the brain most involved in memory — the quintessential cognitive function — are tied to the emotion areas”
The American education system has been neglecting what is needed to inspire/move students to be happy and significant for a long, long time. The education system has resisted pricking the hearts and emotions of students on a daily basis in order to inspire/ move them towards WANTING to learn. The American Education System has created such a competitive atmosphere amongst young people that even when they want to learn, they only focus on outcomes and not the joy of learning and living. I wrote a paper (Standardized Testing and It’s Track For Failure) for my master’s program in 1989 on why schools are not nearly as effective as they should/ could be. Too product oriented. Too much testing. John Ogbu from Cal-Berkeley concluded so many students of color, low socio- economic students, and especially African-Americans were missing “effort optimism” (the feeling that hard work was actually going to pay off in terms of the immediate as well as in the future). This “effort optimism” terminology has been replaced by growth mindset vs fixed mindset (The Growth vs Fixed discussion is brilliant!). We keep changing the terminology. We have been knowing (In my case for 30 years) what is needed for real change. We DON’T change the delivery of education...delivery of knowledge. The American Education System doesn’t deal with the Psychology of our students...We only rename and recycle strategies.
IT STARTS TODAY! 2gether we will!!
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Michael Gray is a School Climate Enhancer and a specialist in pointing student-athletes in the right direction academically.