What do a medical diagnosis and education reform have in common?
Two things: (1) complex matters reduced to a few letters, and (2) failing children.
First, consider ADHD. Below are some readings to help interrogate how this diagnosis has many significant problems, misdiagnosis and over-diagnosis among them, some of which are related to the high-stakes accountability movement in education:
- Medicating ADHD in the Brave New World of High-Stakes Accountability
- Don’t Rush to Saddle Children With the A.D.H.D. Label, Donna Ford
- Worrying Disparities in Diagnosis of Black and White Children, Keith B. Wilson
- Failure to Conform Accounts for Most A.D.H.D. Diagnoses, Susan Hawthorne
- Is It Really A.D.H.D. or Just Immaturity? KJ Dell’Antonia
Next, a growing list of alphabet (toxic) soup is assaulting our schools and students under the umbrella of “state takeover” approaches, targeting mostly high-poverty and racial minority schools.
RSD, ASD, OSD, and EAA—among others—have gained political momentum built on propaganda and not results. Below is a reader addressing the failures of state takeover plans for schools:
- Investing In What Works, Leigh Dingerson, et al. (Southern Education Foundation)
- State Takeovers of Low-Performing Schools: A Record of Academic Failure, Financial Mismanagement & Student Harm
- Whose Choice? Student Experiences and Outcomes in the New Orleans School Marketplace, Frank Adamson, Channa Cook-Harvey, and Linda Darling-Hammond
- Connecting Dots of ASD Advocacy: Don’t Buy It
- A Failing Grade for K-12 State Takeovers, Kent McGuire, Katherine Dunn, Kate Shaw, and Adam Schott
Low-income students need more support, not an achievement school district | NC Policy Watch
Finally, misdiagnosing and over-diagnosing ADHD along with partisan-political state takeovers of schools are targeting and hurting vulnerable populations of students—students who need the most support to overcome the obstacles of their lives not of their own making.
3 thoughts on “Beware Educational Alphabet: ADHD, RSD, ASD, OSD, EAA”
“School was so boring. I tried falling asleep but they kept on waking me up, so I started messing about instead. Now I have ADHD!”.
Reblogged this on Vanessa's Blogueria.
Thank you for addressing this issue. I have been trying to export the message to our low-income communities that the long years of pushing kids toward more and more testing (and now the advent and veneration of even MORE tediously scheduled testing days) has become just another excuse for identifying and labeling children as being problematic, as being hyper-active and as being behaviorally dangerous when, VERY LOGICALLY, they act out under the pressure of our don’t-wriggle, don’t-draw, don’t-move, don’t-read, don’t-fuss testing mandates. ciedieaech.wordpress.com: Don’t Do Me That.