Children paying the ultimate sacrifice, thanks in part to devotion to rigor and grit. 

The emotionally needy child is being shafted by this embrace of rigor and grit … and this unhealthy devotion to testing-mania. And now, it seems, some are paying the ultimate sacrifice. 
Here is yet another case of in-school bullying culminating in a child’s suicide. Is there not a war on bullying? Or have schools more important issues to service? Children are taking their own lives. What ever could be more important than that?

If schools can be held answerable for student test-performances, surely they can be held accountable for their efforts to protect the lives of our most vulnerable children. And don’t dare talk of priorities. THIS is the ultimate priority.

Every school child is the responsibility of EVERY school staff adult. From the principal right through the custodial staff. Everyone has a job with an asterisk … and that asterisk is a child. Doesn’t matter if they’re the principal or the custodian … KIDS FIRST …. always.

Everyone has been wrongly distrated by this sick homage to this dreadful reform … even parents who are overwhelmed. 
No one wants to talk about this. 
Please examine the following. Even elementary Guidance counselors who normally would be devoted to counseling and guiding the students, have written in anonymously saying that their career has now become about testing and college and career readiness.—school-counselors/common-core-state-standards.pdf?sfvrsn=2 

And this;
From the piece below, the goal for guidance counseling under common core-

“1.Revise the job descriptions for school counselors so they focus on equitable education and on preparing all students for college and career.

2.Shift university training programs so they center on the school counselor’s role in educational equity and college and career readiness.

3.Align and tighten state credential requirements so that all school counselors get adequate school-speci c training, including college- and career-ready counseling, and practice using data to spur change.
4.Support working school counselors and principals through strong, embedded professional development to help develop effective college- and career- readiness programs.

5.Align school counselor evaluations to academic outcomes, including appropriate measures of college and career readiness.” 

Tomorrow is too late … safety-protocols must be established at once. 
Schools must make attentive counseling and nimble peer-intervention immediate goals. Guidance counselors have been dangerously distracted by this focus on college and career readiness … even in the youngest grades. Like their classroom colleagues, they, too, must pay queer homage to dangerous Common Core ideals few seem willing to acknowledge.
Anonymous elementary guidance counselors have declared that their careers have now become consumed with testing and student data. Tracking students has replaced meaningful student-assistance with real life issues and much needed social navigation. They want nothing more than to listen to children. They regret having signed on to a reform that is now bordering on madness. They miss talking to the children, providing council. That is what they went to school for. Now, they track and enforce grit. 

As one veteran observed …
“Is this how children should ever be treated? Are there not school campaigns to disarm bullies … and to champion kindness? … I sense adult ugliness seeping through a holy firewall that protects children. It seems too many are now comfortable ignorers … even when some ugly reality is staring them in the eye … A school has no place or space for anyone unable to plug into their memory bank for recollections of their own childhood. If one cannot stay linked with the memories of their own past, perhaps they shouldn’t be in the memory-making business at all.”

We have lost our balance … and now we are losing our children. 

Our guidance counselors are needed to protect the children. College and career can wait. 
It is not just the counselors whose focus has been wrongly stolen. Classroom teachers … absorbed in reform antics and their own job security … seem preoccupied with endless demands. They cannot be everywhere at every moment. But that does not absolve schools from being distracted from the real-world concerns of student bullying. And in some extra-alarming instances, school leaders themselves have set poor and disturbing examples by mistreating children whose parents resist reform intrusions.

This is not an indictment of hard-working school personnel. It is a plea to refocus the efforts of every building professional. Every child is more important than a test score or a percentile or any ranking. We must get back to basics.  Let’s practice what we preach. 

No life is worth losing. 

Even once is too often.

This reform madness has now morphed into something beyond for educational practices. It is now in very dark territory.

Contributions from New York educator, Denis Ian.