Dramatic and thought-provoking.

Inventive Spelling

It is called “invented spelling” or “inventive spelling,” and many teachers encourage it in the early grades. It’s not because they’ve given up teaching children to spell, but because of a general shift in understanding about how children learn.

When children create their own spellings for words they do not know how to spell correctly they’re using invented spelling. They use what they know about letters, sounds and spelling patterns to spell the word as well as they can.

Written in standard spelling, the above excerpt from a first-grader’s story would say: “There once was two flowers. One was pink and the other was purple. They did not like each other because they were different colors. One day they had a fight.”

Commentary on Inventive Math (with a little tung in chek tossed in):

Of course, I now realize that I was also a master of inventive math, and I’ve read that it is still practiced in our schools. Sister James Edward was the dedicated Dominican nun whose misfortune it was to have me in her Algebra II class in 1960, and again in 1961. Today, she would no doubt smile and tweak my cheek playfully, congratulating me for my inventiveness. But in 1960, and again in 1961 the operative word was accuracy.
Things are so much better now. Enlightened educators have come to understand their students’ basic need for affirmation and acceptance at every turn. And in this millennium it has become painfully obvious that attempts to confine inventive techniques to spelling and math have gone by the wayside.


Backlash from the Frontline episode utilizing Creative Math to discuss  Ritalin usage in children

DEAs take on Ritalin (1996):

The DEA has become alarmed by the tremendous increase in the prescribing of these drugs in recent years. Since 1990, prescriptions for methylphenidate have increased by 500 percent, while prescriptions for amphetamine for the same purpose have increased 400 percent.

Ron Paul’s 2005 take on the efforts of Congress for mental health screenings in public education.

Every parent in America should be made aware of a presidential initiative called the “New Freedom Commission on Mental Health.” This commission issued a report last year calling for the mandatory mental health screening of American schoolchildren, meaning millions of kids will be forced to undergo psychiatric screening whether their parents consent or not. At issue is the fundamental right of parents to decide what medical treatment is appropriate for their children.

Forced mental health screening simply has no place in a free or decent society. The government does not own you or your kids, and it has no legitimate authority to interfere in your family’s intimate health matters. Psychiatric diagnoses are inherently subjective, and the drugs regularly prescribed produce serious side effects, especially in children’s developing brains. The bottom line is that mental health issues are a matter for parents, children, and their doctors, not government.

Unfortunately, however, the mental health screening initiative received funding from House and Senate appropriators in the 2005 federal budget. This funding allows states to create or expand mental health screening programs with your tax dollars. More importantly, the commission recommends a broader federal program in the near future.

Parents “encouraged to cooperate” with the foster care system for “the sake of the children” (2003), but more funding needed for the issue?!

”When parents cede their rights in order to place their children in foster care or in a program for delinquent youth, they may also be inadvertently placing their children at risk for abuse or neglect,” the commission said.

The commission said that 5 percent to 9 percent of all children in the United States — at least four million — had serious emotional disturbances. A survey by the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, an advocacy group, found that parents give up custody to get care for about one-fifth of such children.

While some of the quotes in the commentary may have been taken out of context, the NIMH does confirm that 8.6% of children and teenagers were reported in 2009 to have ADHD and in 2010 that number seems to have increased to 10%.

Searching for some non-government study numbers I discovered a pretty comprehensive site for National and Local issues in the Public Education System is EdWatch.org whose mission as stated is the following:

EdWatch supports knowledge-based education that promotes the American Creed, free enterprise, limited government,
and the primacy of parental rights.

Of particular interest is this 2006 pdf titled “Concerns with Indiana’s State Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Health Plan” in which the opening paragraphs state:

INTRODUCTION: Indiana’s (IN) state children’s mental health plan legislation passed in the Spring of
2005 corresponds closely, and in many cases exactly with the legislation passed in 2004 and state mental
health plan being implemented in Illinois (IL), the Florida Strategic plan for infant mental health, as well as
legislation proposed, but blocked in Texas (TX) in 2005. This state legislation was in turn based on the New
Freedom Commission Report on Mental Health (NFC), the preliminary version being published in 2003. The
Federal Mental Health Action Agenda (FMHAA), although published in August of 2005 was in process well
before then and also contains many of the same elements.
This plan is full of statements and assumptions that are not supported by science by agencies and groups that
have a direct financial and policy self-interest in see that these types of programs expand. They are uncritical
supporters of screening and treatment without looking at any of the problems with these programs and
treatments. The assumptions and ideas in this report are helping to spread universal mental health screening
starting in infancy; invasive, non-academic early childhood programs that interfere with parental autonomy;
and the use of dangerous, ineffective psychiatric medication.
It is government’s job via the schools and other agencies to monitor, screen, set norms
regarding, and intervene in the social emotional and behavioral health for all of Indiana’s
children, beginning at birth, as long as active parental consent is obtained – The plan says on p.
30, “Assure earlier identification and intervention of mental health disorders in infants and toddlers
and young children by providing practitioners with mental health consultation and training to increase
their capacity to identify and assist families with infants and young children whose behavior has begun
to deviate from the normal range of development.”

Six pages of highly detailed scientific facts follow on why Mental Health Screening (MHS) has become a “solution seeking a problem”.

It appears that the general understanding that MHSing is perpetuated by those who would benefit economically or in some way socially through the “Dumbing Down” of publicly educated children (some of those may be educators who grew up in the system therefore continuing the circle of damage) is already well-known.

After viewing the above youtube, I encourage all parents to investigate exactly what the Screening process affecting their children might be and also be aware that one has options concerning programs such as “TeenScreen” (ages 12 – 18) which is being used in 46 states at this point.

TeenScreen utilizes “passive consent” – knowing that this program even exists can be challenging when most teens returning home from school will tell you they “done nothing” all day. I’m a parent, I’ve seen it!

Attempting to skate past the radar with “passive consent”
In some areas, TeenScreen currently uses what they call “passive consent” or “opt-out consent”, which requires no written parental approval to screen their child. Instead, a passive consent form is sent home to parents with the child and if they don’t return it, signed by their parents, TeenScreen considers that the parents approve. But what if a parent never sees the form? What if the child never delivers it? Leslie McGuire, TeenScreen’s Co-Director, says: “Unless we hear from you that we can’t screen your child we assume we have your permission and we’re gonna’ screen them.” TeenScreen officials discovered that using (illegal) passive consent boosted the number of teens to be tested from 50% to over 95%.

Here is the official TeenScreen website for parity.

In the end, only a parent can make the decision if this is an issue in their family. The dramatic music and sometimes unsupported “facts” make one cringe, however the overall message is one we see in American Society today. Children are receiving a poorer education, increasing on the rolls of “mentally ill”, and suffering. Maya may be a fictional character designed to tug at ones heartstrings, but your child is real. Take the time to investigate.