Sunday, June 14, 2015

Not another map

It's not that I didn't try.  I schlepped over to the CDC and tried multiple times to generate this map but I cannot get it to work today.  WISQARs, pronounced 'whiskers' may be taking the day off.

The map I wanted to query for you was another map of the country.  If you recall I compared two maps in January.  One was the ranking of schools based on test scores and the other was a map showing the levels of childhood poverty by state.

We already know that test scores are lower where childhood poverty is higher.  We also know that high stakes testing is placing a great burden on impoverished students with no evident return for the student. It seems, in fact, poverty students are penalized by having their schools underfunded and dismantled.

We know that this additional pressure creates stress which can be a contributing factor in self harm.  I was curious to see if there was any correlations between high stakes testing and suicide levels in our state.

We already know the countries that have been utilizing high stakes testing for a while such as Japan have a high youth suicide rate.  I noticed that CNN reported a recent increase in youth suicide and that the rate is high here in Tennessee.  We are ranked 13th in the nation for youth suicide.

As soon as I can pull that map I will post it.  I recognize that poverty could be a factor.  I am going factor that out by looking for an increase in suicide since high stakes testing came in.  Since poverty in many states has been stable for years.  We should not consider stable levels of poverty to bring an increase in suicide.  High stakes testing is the new factor.

High stakes testing is a stresser that creates esteem issues for children who do not test well.  HST narrows he curriculum and can cause illness like effects such as nausea and vomiting on the day of the test.

 Parents are not allowed to opt their children out in our state.  I am hopeful that will change with the right information. I believe the legislatures in our state mean to help the children and not harm them. 

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