Friday, September 2, 2011

A letter from a 12 year old

Recently Sandra's been focusing on a couple children being forced to take standardized tests under the NCLB law and state regulations designed to enforce the law. The two children have complicated medical issues and were forced to take the tests, by the bureaucracy, in total disregard of medical opinion.

I have my own (legal) ideas about how to deal bureaucrats who'd intentionally harm a child to enforce poorly thought out regulation. I also have an opinion of NCLB and the proposed Obama/Gates/Bush Education Reform insanity...;best left for another time..

Getting back to where I belong..


Meet  Anthony Herrea, the 12 year old at the center of one South Carolina family's objection to mandated standardized.  He wrote this, I suspect he had some help with the typing.  He wanted to tell people what's going on, and thank everyone for the support he and his family have been receiving from Sandra and others.  

First of all I thank you for all you have done for me. The PASS test was horrible. They forced me to do the test and my blood went to 344. I never ate anything either so it was not my fault. I'm so grateful you are helping me out. I really am happy that something is being done. I have been hit by kids, made fun of, and embarrassed. My diabetes bag was called a purse, and once a kid took off his shoe and threw it at my head. Before I was taking a medicine that made me sleepy, so what happened? My teacher jerked me up by my arm and I had to stand in a corner, she then gave a kid that hates me a squirt gun. If I fell asleep I would be shot with it. I cried myself to sleep standing up. All my school life has been a living nightmare that was made for me. My mom put me in SCVCS so I'd be safe. I wasn't even safe there. This test is wrong for everyone not even LIKE me! No one should take this test! Why do they so called "need you to take it"? What is this for? Nothing! Zero! Again, thank you so much! Thank you God for everyone who is supporting me. Thank you again.

Anthony Herrera


In defense of the other kids-- that's what kids do, right or wrong it's instinctive for them to pick on another kid they perceive to be different..It's the job of parents, teachers, police officers or any other reasonably responsible adult who happens to be nearby to intervene.

 WTF did this teacher do? She handed another kid a squirt gun and told him to use it on a child that already has difficulty coping.  What kind of sense does that make?   Add that teacher to the list of bureaucrats I mentioned before.  A teacher is at least supposed to have enough common sense and good judgement not to single out a child for special treatment..  It sounds like this one singled out one to be disciplined and another to administer the punishment...

The system that forces children like Anthony to be tested is No Child Left Behind..  Nice title, sounds harmless, but it's not... Each state had to create mandatory tests and testing procedures for all students, then the states sent the law to the local level to be applied..  Each level of government added something to the law..  By the time it left Washington, no one cared that the law would become almost universally hated, by the time it got to Anthony, no one cared what it might do to a child's health..  Teachers no longer teach the subject, or to students interests and capabilities, they teach to the "TEST"  It's gotten to the point school calender years are defined by the "TEST".

That's bullshit, 

Tell you Representative in DC not to vote against reaffirming NCLB and bury it once and for all..  Tell them to put Obama's Educational Reform Proposals someplace where "the Sun don't Shine"

Constitutionally and Traditionally education is a local matter.  Tell your legislature to inform Washington they can shove their DC Bribe money and the crap that comes attached to it.. Next time your Governor, State Senator, or State House Representative tells you about how much money they got from DC for ___________ (fill in the blank). Ask what they sold DC in exchange for it.  As Rich Swier a Florida Blogger put it recently about the Florida Legislature " They sold our children's souls for 63 dollars apiece."

On a local level, odds are you can get the local School Board Member's email addresses in a matter of minutes. 

If you're a blogger, you know what to do; Anthony's Mom needs the help. 

For more information, you'll find it here and here



  1. This may be more of a South Carolina problem:

    South Carolina is one of the most conservative states in the Union. It's a bright redder than red state.

    South Carolina ranks consistently in the bottom third of almost every evaluation criteria.

    No Child Left Behind and its reliance on teaching only one size fits all education through standardized testing is another legacy of the Bush administration.

    States under conservative oppression like Florida and South Carolina are slashing resources for public education.

  2. It is as I thought:

  3. No Child Left Behind and its reliance on teaching only one size fits all education through standardized testing is another legacy of the Bush administration.

    Not exactly, Bush gets the credit or the blame, depending on whether or not you own stock in a testing company. Actually the monster was a Ted Kennedy Creation

    Cut's in Education Spending make great headlines.. Everybody gets excited and panics.. No one asks where the cuts will be made.. Forty Years ago,, roughly the time the

    "quality of education peaked in the United States",

    class sizes often as high as forty kids. Most Elementary Schools had an admin staff that consisted of a principal, and a secretary.. Now teachers are hard pressed to handle a class half that size.. elementary schools now need three secretaries and a vice principal. Most of that isn't because the teachers or the staff do less. Hell they have to do more..and most of it is regulatory compliance.

    Add to that a little detail about NCLB-- it means just that.. Here in Florida we spend sometimes in the range of a million dollars a year per child to educate terminally ill children... many with do not revive waivers already signed..

  4. Aquagrump:
    I wish it were just a South Carolina story. It is the first story of parents not backing down so easily. The outcome of their complaint MAY have a national effect. Most states and school districts say the kids have to be tested because the federal government says so. Not really the case. As with so much of this stuff, it's complicated. Look here for what parents are saying across the country.

  5. It does not address the subject of testing, but this one hit home. I have a 13 year old grandson with Juvenile Diabetes. It was initially diagnosed when he was 3. Nick has managed very well, and has led a very full and normal life. There have been a few bullies along the way, but Nick has managed more with his mind than braun. I realize this is a part of growing up, and kids can be very cruel. However, every child deserves a safe and nurturing home and school day. I do know that if it ever became as bad for my grandson as it did for Anthony, there are 2 Grandpa's who would become classroom aides.

  6. Marine-- somehow I have a hunch the teacher would have a change of attitude....

  7. I cannot thank you enough for bringing light to Anthony's plea. Yes, I changed a few words. He wanted "hell" and I made him put "nightmare". However, in retrospect, "Hell" may have been more appropriate. His punctuation isn't the greatest either. He loves writing stories (he's working on a great one now called "Population Zero") but his punctuation always needs run through the "detector".. me! :) Thank you all again!


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