ERIC Number: ED383138
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990
Academic Child Abuse.
International Inst. for Advocacy for School Children, Eugene, OR.
This position paper presents a discussion of "academic child abuse," defined as the use of practices that cause unnecessary failure of groups of students in foundation skill and knowledge areas. Part 1 articulates the fundamental problems with the decision-making practices of school districts and other agencies charged with teaching children. These problems fall into two categories: first, problems with standards created and applied by the agencies, including standards that are too broad, that are unattainable or unreasonable, that are for practices not outcomes, and that are overspecified; and, second, problems with operational practices relating to data which stem from the lack of respect for data by educational leaders. Examples from the California State Board of Education illustrate this disregard for data. Part 1 also summarizes negative practices which reveal the basic philosophy of decision-makers and describes how problems with standards and data lead to academic child abuse. Part 2 provides suggestions for correcting the structural problems within schools to reduce the instances of academic child abuse. The basic strategy involves holding decision-makers completely accountable for student performance. Suggestions include restricting standards to outcomes, focusing initial reform efforts on grades 1 through 4, and removing administrators who fail to honor traditions of scholarship and sensible scientific practices. Also offered are suggestions for challenging proposals by educational leaders and for shaping professional organizations, major school districts, and publishers. (Contains 24 references.) (DB)
Descriptors: Accountability, Administrator Role, Change Strategies, Child Abuse, Decision Making, Educational Objectives, Educational Philosophy, Educational Practices, Educational Responsibility, Educationally Disadvantaged, Elementary Secondary Education, Learning Problems, Politics of Education, Standards
International Institute for Advocacy for School Children, 296 W. 8th St., Eugene, OR 97401 ($6, 10 copies for $50).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: International Inst. for Advocacy for School Children, Eugene, OR.
Note: Prepared by the Study Group.