October 12, 2012
Two pieces in the New York Times early this week—
“Attention Disorder or Not, Pills to Help in School” and “Invitation to a Dialogue: A Student’s Call to Arms.” The first is a prominently placed article (by Alan Schwarz, October 9, 2012). The second is a Letter to the Editor (by Nikhil Goyal, October 8, 2012).
The article reports on the prevalence of giving poor kids drugs so they’ll be able to tolerate going to school—these are kids without a diagnosis of ADHD—because American society won’t or can’t change how schooling is done.
“I don’t have a whole lot of choice,” said Dr. Anderson, a pediatrician for many poor families in Cherokee County, north of Atlanta. “We’ve decided as a society that it’s too expensive to modify the kid’s environment. So we have to modify the kid.”
The letter to the editor is a high school senior’s plea to change the schools so that students and teachers can be treated like human beings.
“As a student, I want to be taught how to think and create and explore. I’m not a number in a spreadsheet; I’m a creative and motivated human being. I want my teachers to be paid well, given autonomy and treated like professionals. I want my school to be adequately funded. Is that too much to ask?”