Oklahoma Schools have enlisted a rule that 3rd graders must take a competency test in order to stay in school in their "right grade". http://ok.gov/sde/reading-sufficiency-act There has been a good bit of kerfluffle over this issue, with legislators being begged for an alternative by parents of anxious or actual failing.
Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation has said they want the public schools to be what anyone would wish as an education opportunity for their child, in this video. A few weeks ago, courtesy of .@FoundationOKCPS the Oklahoma City School Board meeting was rather easy to follow, from their excerpted tweets. A member of the Board was pretty adamant that he wanted every parent of failing 3rd grade readers to sign a paper that said they understood their child was going to flunk the test, and therefore flunk the grade level for that year.
Immediate thoughts ran to .@MHAOK. Mental Health Association of Oklahoma, a steady group with a longterm history of providing supportive education to professionals and non-professionals. Parents in the short or long run often have no idea what the teacher is asking them to do. This writer has written about this twice before, http://www.examiner.com/article/big-ten-quick-guide-to-understanding-stu... and http://www.examiner.com/article/what-the-counseling-students-said those are global and some are older kid concerns.
A conversation with a private non-profit clinic RN manager identified the (sic) following: People can gather together to join and improve stances about life... morals if you will. Truly people who have good will in mind, can learn what needs to be done and do it. Those joinings, and asking questions of community supporting groups, following given advice is where these issues can be resolved. http://www.examiner.com/article/systems-induced-trauma-lynchpins-invitin...
What are these kids who are failing at reading made of? Is the chasm of their experience understandable, preventable? Is it borne of baseline failures to comprehend the child or family, and in that is it an issue of wellness and whole family need, not just THAT child. If this hypothesis is true, then resources to understand and solve it will NOT solely be upon the shoulders of the school system.
So there are some things that maybe are or maybe aren't attended to by the school system as to why any kid in OKCPS might fail a reading test. Parents, as with the issues on bussing probably have some similar questions, thoughts and concerns. They may or may not have the words to express these awarenesses or concerns.
The question is WOULD any of these things in combination or alone solve the 3rd grade reading problem? Or inhibit school performance. Consider the identified problem. Consider WHO is responsible for the problem, and WHO should repair the problem.
1.) Buildings OKCPS schools appear to be crowded if not overcrowded for 4th grade and under for most all schools. Physically, too many kids in a room.
Inhumane or substandard environmental conditions. 2.) Insufficient supplies in classroom, 3.) but also not enough toilet paper, towels or soap. Asking kids or teachers to use hand sanitizer instead of handwashing to save money and time is not in anyone's best interest. http://www.examiner.com/article/flu-preventions-high-five
The lunchroom is an odd experience in some schools. http://www.examiner.com/article/back-to-school-lunches-hey-whaddya-tryin...
Some schools have NO toys to play with, or physical hazards on the playground or skip recess physical activities for a video.
Some of the buildings still have 4.) unhealthy air quality, or issues with structure.
5.) Student teacher ratios Too many kids per teacher.
6.) Behavioral outbursts stop the class and learning stops as teacher has to attend short or longterm to this person or person(s) poorly managed, or just too many kids who cannot or do not follow structure for a day of learning.
7.) Bullying in class, on grounds or on the bus.
presence of GANG or criminal activity or child asked to be in a gang or criminal activity.
8.) Assessments by Allied Staff : OKCPS as with many schools may not be sufficiently assessing learning problems as early as possible. Many are known by kindergarten, certainly before 3rd grade. Many things prevent identification, including child moves, or certain types of problems may not present until a certain age or developmental task flummoxes the child. Child learning struggles connected to bigger: if a child has learning disability, psychiatric illness or behavioral//neurologic disorder this fans out to other problems. For the same reason one could have a headache and broken foot... one can have none, one or all of the struggle trinity schools assess for. ( academic, emotional, behavioral). See medical assessment.
It has been said, that ANY US school system may thwart comprehensive assessments for the trinity school must provide service for, 1.) academics struggles 2.) emotional issues 3.) behavoral issues Parents often don't know their school rights, and have no idea who to ask or how. Schools are financially responsible for discovered problems until the child is 21. Oklahoma Health Care Authority, by federal regulation or of it's own accord has flipped the responsibility for testing and advanced assessment funding on the school first... and so parents who are not given suggestions to get their child assessed in school or who ask and are delayed or refused or merely per-capita cannot get in the que to get a child tested in a timely manner may be SOL.
Schools can refuse to use child testing from another source, like a private insurance paid, or medicaid paid psychologist.
Health Care Authority can refuse to pay for child testing, if the child problem is rooted in "School" problems. Remember, that children in Oklahoma are in school year round, and school is the developmental job for the child. Schools can also say a child is not having a "school" problem and then parents are left with virtually no method to determine who can help their child, or themselves understand what the child is up against and what methods of teaching and structuring/nuturing the child might work.
9.) Diagnosis, right or wrong? The sheer number of kids under age 10 in Oklahoma who have a medicaid and a mental health diagnosis are in the top % in the United States. Whether this is an accurate, or inaccurate read of ANY kids in Oklahoma is anyone's guess. Are mental health services acting as opportunities for parenting or community support, where wellness practices or resources are NOT in place in any other way for Oklahoma City Public School kids? Is any of that connected to incentivism in OKDHS or Juvenile Systems or related to the new Truancy laws is anyone's guess. It hasn't been tracked.
Some kids, enlisted into services under OKDHS or family court may experience distortions in practice that do not follow ethics or best practices. http://www.examiner.com/article/core-focus-remains-family-court-human-ri...
10.) FOOD: OKCPS schools are all Title I schools where kids should get breakfast and lunch. OKCPS rules say the staff cannot require the child to eat anything, or any percentage of food on a plate etc.
11.) Public Food Dollars Many families have gotten WIC supports, but these end at age 5. Notice that problems for spike in CPS coincide this age group. SEE OKDHS child abuse reporting and successful pick up stats.
12.) Private Food Dollars The Regional FoodBank offers resources as do many community food closets at local churches.
13.) Family Physician Have and have a relationship with a child medicine specialist. Does the child have a pediatrician they are required to get a physical from annually? This person, through communications with the parent and child would explain to the parents if the child has any developmental delays, who can refer to counseling, can assess the child's growth and discuss nutrition issues like teaching the #MrsObamaDinnerPlate This is not a shake your hand and you look well process, it is truly looking at the child, and the parent developing a relationship with ONE provider. OUHSC is a great school, but their clinics are rotating doctors in training, with virtually no opportunity to develop a standard appointment time, or standard caregiver due to clinic rotations. The relationship with a full physician, not an RNC or PA, but a true MD, preferably a Pediatrician can make a world of difference.
14.) Exposure to developmental milestones http://www.cdc.gov/NCBDDD/actearly/milestones/index.html and ongoing growth expectations. Many churches used to teach parenting and encourage people to tap into understanding child growth. Many people no longer attend church or any organized group where they might access or be able to access data like this. Also, there is virtually no teaching of body changing, and human sexuality even perfunctory information. Some kids hit puberty at 8. Chris Brown was sexually abused by an older peer in 3rd grade, and thought he was a sexual hero. http://www.examiner.com/article/stress-management-couples-this-ain-t-real
15.) Nutrient deficits are real, more severe amongst persons of color and the poor. Do parents know that nutritional deficits, like NOT DRINKING MILK or low sun exposure can cause vitamin deficiencies that look like learning disabilities, ADHD and other like problems. African Americans can have as much as 90% deficit in Vitamin D. Who would ever want their kid medicated, when having a discussion about a better meal could fix the problem? http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/87/4/1080S.full Or taking a child multi-vitamin? or both?
16.) Chicken Act is a good idea, for families who may have limited dollars and need additional high nutrient food. Seasonal eggs, and a chicken for dinner in as little as 6 weeks. http://www.examiner.com/article/chicken-act-other-urban-agrarian-decisio... and http://www.examiner.com/article/oklahoma-city-gets-chicken-classes-but-n...
17.) Obesity is not an indication of nutritional sufficiency. Fat is not a sign of health, nor is it a guarantee the child has had proper nutrients.
18.) Insufficient Sleep is an issue for many people. Speak to your pediatrician to determine nightly sleep rates for a child your child's age.
19.) Head trauma Can come from fights, injuries, accidents or abuse, auto accidents... http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/04/22/study-says-half-of-jail... The commonality of having this, undiagnosed, untreated is pretty stunning. VISION issues connected to neurologic problems are often missed.
20.) Genetic medical conditions, including metabolic disorders can take up to 7 years to be diagnosed but can present with mysterious symptoms of all kinds but inhibit school performance.
21.) Allergies to food or environmental are often not identified.
22.) ELL English as a learned language for parents or child. Bilingual is great, but some parents never learned to read or write in their native tongue, and have no access to translation or a trusted translator. Using the janitor as the translator in major meetings about children and academic needs is unacceptable.
23.) Parents never got above 3rd grade education in school or 3rd grade reading level. http://www.ocpathink.org/articles/208
24.) Parents have mental health or addictions issues, physical disability or other limitation on psychological or physical mobility. Parents have trauma from OKC Tornadoes, abuse, military or more. Parents may not be conscious for the child. Parents may be unfocused. Parents may have no idea how to support their child. Death in immediate and extended families, along with domestic violence issues is also a factor.
25.) Living in temporary or unstable quarters? Homeless, shelter, extended family or fostercare, newly adopted.
26.) Insufficient clothes or supplies for weather, school Cannot tell you the number of kids heading to or from school in a hoodie and no boots, gloves, coat, hat, scarf in under 30 degree weather.
27.) Trauma undetected or unsuccessfully treated.
28.) Physical or Sexual current or past abuses. The commonality of child sex abuse, child porn and child sex trafficking is concerning. As often as 1 in 3 are sexually assaulted. As many as 80% of assaults or molestations unreported. Child porn victims are often under the age of 5, more often under the age of 2. http://www.asacp.org/whitepaper/ASACP-whitepaper-9-10-2010.pdf Mark that issue in understanding language development. Unclear what percentage of children exposed to porn, sexualized behaviors or experiences.
29.) Safety Education As is that Oklahoma has not enlisted a program like Erin's Law http://www.erinmerryn.net/erins-law.html or like this Canadian link https://www.kidsintheknow.ca/app/en/ and as much as 80% of child sex abuse is unreported, or happens to very young children is concerning. Kids who have problems with language, may also have problems verbalizing abuse issues.
How many kids must cross super busy streets that are insufficiently marked or maintained? How many kids have to walk in the street due to no sidewalks?
How many kids are walking in the dark or waiting in the dark for the bus ( school or city) , alone to school because their parents left for work and breakfast and the smiling adult is at school?
How many kids have to walk much further through areas unmonitored to get to school, due to public transit changes for Charter Schools.
30.) Parents work 2 or more jobs, no one at home to read with the child.
31.) Family chronically has no spending money.
32.) Public transit currently does not operate on Sunday in Oklahoma City, so a day that may be a leisure option, is not necessarily useable for the parent to get the kids to the library, park or church. No transportation to get to school to volunteer or learn with the child to improve home, may limit parental involvement in school at all.
33.) Background check Parents have a felony and cannot come to or on school grounds to see class because they cannot pass the background check, some parents may not be "legal" immigrants or have prior experiences with government officials that include abuse, war or other fear inducing residue.
Incarceration for kid or parents. http://www.examiner.com/article/systems-induced-trauma-lynchpins-maintai...
Parental prior or current imprisonment and the cradle to prison pipeline. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvUeOvLSEMI
Or the extremes that roll on incentivism.? http://www.examiner.com/article/systems-induced-trauma-lynchpins-adoptio...
What is the racial or ethnic divide on these kids and their parents?
Family involved in OKDHS fiascos? http://www.examiner.com/article/systems-induced-trauma-lynchpins-just-wh...
34.) TURN OFF ELECTRONICS. Parents have pocket money and spend it on advanced phones, handheld electronics, stationary game boxes, movies, tv or such. Not owning these items or turning them off seems to be out of the range of discussion, even when a comparison of NOT having them, not having them on all the time or using them sparingly is shown to give better results. Parents begin early using television, video, games, phones to occupy their kids. Kids brains are NOT geared to filter this, and use if not over use is not in their best interest. BESIDES the fact that books and reading expand vocabulary, imagination, problem solving attention and awareness, they can be obtained for free from a variety of sources. Some experts suggest reading before the child is even born is good, and reading AT BIRTH to the baby begins a process of ritual and sharing that lasts a lifetime. Reading a book together is a process which gets tapped again in PreK classes, formally.... but there is no reason families cannot learn to do this at home.
35.) Do YOU read? Parents who read generate an interest in reading. Little children who learn to love story time, often love the process of books, reading and learning to read themselves. Newspapers, magazines, signs, books. Reading and reading aloud is a gift of love from parent to child.
Where to find books RIF or other programs like Sugar Creek Camp Literacy Camp http://www.merchantcircle.com/business/Sugar.Creek.Camp.405-235-5154. Area rec centers and parks, like Boys and Girls Club or churches, many provide used or even new books. Many have the little libraries, portable kiosks in neighborhoods, at laundro-mats and such where books can be left and taken as need be.
OKC Metropolitan Library has many books, face to face, paper and interactive games and activities. Having a library card is a contract to care for the selected book, which can be returned for another by a specific date. That is empowerment, selection, responsibility, temporary guardianship and accountability to return the book in good order.... to get another.
36.) Wellness is an undeniable option we have managed to deny our kids and families in OKC. The parks dilapidated, no toys on the play ground and no meeting rooms that are local and climate controlled, no plans for social or community activities. This needs to be made available in schools and to parents. http://www.promoteacceptance.samhsa.gov/10by10/dimensions.aspx
Certainly, there may be other glitches preventing reading easily, however families who are offered many options to get supports early are in better shape than those who never asked a professional for help.
When will OKCPS learn to confirm or deny needs present, and in a roundtable with other service providers in the community look at what needs to happen to provide better invitations, better opportunities to help kids go to school, get something out of it, stay in school and get their diploma and on to vocational training, college, jobs or whatever. This is a long road, and if OKC is supposed to be treating these kids and their offered programming as what we want for our very own kids, this would be the case.
Some of these questions are about what has been originally alotted to students in school.
Some, about what any child needs to be developmentally basically understood, or understood under specialty considerations.
Some of this is acceptance and understanding of what combination of events or situations or resources any person with certain profiles might need.
It is pretty important for parents to have language to express their concerns, and any diverse group of assistance to materialize according to needs.
Fantasizing that these kids or families are up against problems that in fact are not, will cause a mis-allotment of resources or actions, which will perpetuate this problem.
Public failing to understand where these projected to fail 800 students are living and going to school, along with a profile that clarifies the above would be very helpful for that loaves and fishes thing to happen, for people to come forward with resources and action that have meaning and impact.