Back to education policy this week. I will start by bringing this political discussion into education policy. A left-leaning political action group allows all people in a gathering the power of voice on how the issue at hand unfolds-----they can say anything they want as long as it is not abusive----and it is the people who create the structure determining what is important and what the solutions will be. A REAL left-leaning moderator for such a gathering SAYS LITTLE ----THEY DO NOT WANT TO TALK VERY MUCH. They will organize the introduction of the topic----then step back and simply see that people stay on topic-----NOT JUST ONE ISSUE OF A TOPIC------and not be abusive. So, left-leaning moderator says---we are going to talk about housing issues in Baltimore and then steps back and allows twenty people in the gathering talk for an hour simply stopping any one person from too much of the conversation. That moderators' job is to be writing down on a board all issues brought up by the people during that hour. Then, the second hour will use that discussion to open the floor again to all people at this gathering to offer solutions to those problems and again, the moderators simply write on the board what these people in the gathering say.
THE MODERATOR AT LEFT-LEANING GATHERINGS DO NOT COME TO A SESSION WITH AN AGENDA-----ONLY A TOPIC AND DOES NOT SET THE DISCUSSION TO A VERY LIMITED FORMAT OF DISCUSSION.
This is what all political discussion groups in Baltimore that claim to be left-leaning do-----the moderators do much of the talking---they bring one or two guests that do the rest of the talking----and then when the people at the gathering are allowed to talk----the issue becomes very micro-managed.
THAT IS RIGHT-LEANING CONTROL OF LEFT-LEANING TOPICS.
What we see in Baltimore is corporate moderation with the panels and set agenda. It looks just like the corporate event gatherings I attended as a young adult employed as a manager for United Parcel Service. Left-leaning gatherings have no hierarchy in moderation----the events are not structured but encourage broad thought on an individual topic. Yes, a moderator does need to keep the conversation on focus, but their voices are rarely heard during a gathering.
Below you see how this corporate structure for activism has developed into structured committees and commissions with appointed leadership that now does all the talking on issues of social, left-leaning activism.
I AGREE WITH TINA MINKOWITZ WRITING THIS ARTICLE-----NO, NO TASK FORCE IDENTIFIED BY CLINTON/OBAMA WALL STREET NEO-LIBERALS WILL TALK FOR ME!
NCMHR Does Not Speak for Me
By Tina Minkowitz, Esq.
Featured Blogs January 19, 2013I am appalled to read a press release by the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery that lauds the proposals emerging from the Vice President's Task Force and accepts in principle a national database of individuals with mental health diagnoses that is "limited to those with a known history of violence."
The headline reads "National Coalition Representing Individuals with Psychiatric Diagnoses Lauds President Obama's Recommendations to Contain Gun Violence."
The Coalition notes that "several of the recommendations will increase the fear of, and discrimination against, individuals with mental health conditions," including expanded reporting by mental health professionals to local authorities, but does not suggest that the President reconsider and revoke those recommendations. Instead, the Coalition makes a number of suggestions for development/application of the President's executive actions, of which six deal with preferred approaches in mental health, and number 7, the only one to address civil liberties issues, reads:
"Limiting a national database of persons labeled with mental health diagnoses to those with a known history of violence."
It astounds me that the Coalition accepts in principle a national database of persons labeled with mental health diagnoses that have also committed acts of violence.
How will it be determined that an individual has a "known" history of violence? Will hearsay accusations by family members and mental health system workers, routinely included in mental health records, be used to deem an individual to be violent, just as it is used and accepted in civil commitment hearings?
And why stop there? Why limit a database only to people with a "known history of violence" who also have mental health diagnoses? Mental health diagnoses have nothing to do with violence, so why not go right to the heart of the matter? Again, what would count as evidence of a "known history of violence"?
Such profiling would certainly be used against anyone and everyone who is out of favor with local authorities for whatever reason. And it would almost certainly involve the "expertise" of mental health professionals. Remember the racist "Violence Initiative," which Peter Breggin helped to expose - a series of initiatives by the federal government to fix the blame for violence in genetic predisposition?
Profiling is always wrong. Scapegoating is always wrong. Our community is alarmed that it hasn't even mattered to our President and Vice President that we are no more violent than anyone else; that really if society wanted to profile anyone as violent, it should be males from particular states. Profiling that is not only stereotyped but flies in the face of all rational evidence can only mean that there is an intentional policy to create an enemy that the rest of society can unite against. We have seen this so many times, in the anti-Muslim profiling after 9/11, and so much more. Now we are the ones targeted, and NCMHR by supporting the President's policies and endorsing in principle a "limited" database will allow the Administration to claim that it has the approval of our community.
I call on NCMHR to reconsider and revoke its support for the President's recommendations on gun violence and in particular to oppose any database of persons labeled with mental health diagnoses. If NCMHR truly is in favor of those recommendations, including a "limited" database, I call on them to make known the votes of its membership on these policies, so we know whom to hold accountable.
I had a great question at a recent mayoral forum hosted by a local high school. She said this......'everyone speaks of creating jobs but they never talk about how we get those people in the communities that hang on street corners into this process. How will you get everyone in a community into the workforce'? She knows the problem. Citizens in Baltimore have been left for a generation without the ability to attain employment and are literally without concept of reporting to work daily to an environment being highly structured. The past decade has Wall Street global corporate neo-liberals and Republicans using this need for exposure to build a huge VOLUNTEERING platform we are told will grow those skills and for a decade people have volunteered and most have gotten no job. Now of course people do not want to volunteer because they want paid work.
THEY HAVE FIGURED THIS RIGHT-WING SCHEME OF FREE LABOR AND NO PAID WORK.
Life-skill education is the same as work-skill education-----you expose citizens to ordinary socialization structures and allow them responsibilities as they can handle this. First they are participating in a venue----then they have a part-time employment----then they are hired into the venue. You start with venues people see as entertaining and capture their interests----that is what I intend when I say I will build a local, small business economy in each community that is broad. If you are going to build a cultural arts venue, a small business media venue, a recreational venue, and a fresh food venue as community economies-----there are lots of opportunity to first be a participant and then socialize to meet the needs of a job. See how that is different than being told to pick up trash----clean vacant lots----stencil 'do not dump' on street drains? One is simply work for which a person should be paid----and the other brings people's cultural and leisure interests together into a business climate.
THAT PERSON HANGING ON THE STREET CORNER MAY NOT WANT TO 'VOLUNTEER' TO CLEAN A COMMUNITY----BUT THEY ARE OFTEN INTERESTED IN BUILDING A CULTURAL OR RECREATIONAL VENUE IN THEIR COMMUNITIES.
This is what employment training should look like in Baltimore underserved communities---
The Importance of Incorporating Local Culture into Community Development
Mark Brennan, Muthusami Kumaran, Randall Cantrell, and Michael Spranger
This paper is part of a series of discussions on community development. This series includes specialized papers on civic engagement, community action, and other topics important to the development of community.
Developmental trajectories of communities are usually explained by reference to economic history and trends, human capital deficits, and/or the local labor market structure. Local culture is rarely seen as playing a significant role in development outcomes. Nor does empirical research routinely consider the role of local culture in fostering a more complete understanding of community development. Instead, culture is often viewed as an outgrowth of a particular region and is dependent upon social and other experiences, rather than an independent force.
Such perspectives miss an important aspect of the community development process. The culture of a community significantly shapes debate and action that lead to development. Local culture also presents unique options for locally based economic, social, and other developments. Local understandings and interpretations of a community's history reflect past events that feed into and are partially driven by the demands, sentiments, and interests of those in the present. This makes it crucial for community development practitioners to consider the cultural importance of efforts to improve local well-being. By paying attention to and incorporating unique cultural values, traditions, value systems, and related factors, more efficient and effective development efforts can be achieved.
Local culture provides a sense of identity for communities and residents. This identity facilitates common understandings, traditions, and values that are all central to identifying plans of action to improve well-being. Culture contributes to building a sense of local identity and solidarity. It influences the confidence that communities have for coming together to address specific needs and problems. This local commitment among residents, regardless of economic or political conditions, can serve as a valuable tool in shaping the effectiveness of development options and local actions. Such commitment, based on culture and common identity, can be seen as a potentially important tool in sustaining local government, development, and social improvement efforts.
Providing a local linkage and cultural basis for development is important. People are likely to take part in and remain committed to development efforts to which they have a direct connection. Development efforts that consider or focus on cultural aspects of communities provide a mechanism for linking local residents to the development process. Through such efforts, local residents can encourage development that preserves or promotes their culture. This is particularly important in development efforts that seek to elicit local participation, philanthropy, volunteerism, and community action. In understanding the place of culture in the development process, consider the social basis of culture, its relationship to interaction, and the types of development and local actions it can contribute to.
Role of Local Culture
The concept of culture has many definitions and interpretations. In social settings, it is often used broadly to represent entire ways of life. Included in such ways of life are rules, values, and expected behaviors. At its most basic level, culture can be seen as the shared products of a society. These products have a common meaning that accumulates over time and also reflects shared attachments among community members.
Culture can be seen as consisting of ideas, beliefs, rules, and material dimensions. Ideas include things such as the values, knowledge, and experiences held by a culture. Values are shared ideas and beliefs about what is morally right or wrong, or what is culturally desirable. Such values are abstract concepts and are often based in religion or culture in that they reflect ideals and visions of what society should be. Such values often shape expected behavior and rules. These rules are accepted ways of doing things and represent guidelines for how people should conduct themselves and how they should act towards others.
Values and rules are often taken for granted and assumed to reflect a common understanding. Both, however, have direct origins and developed in response to conflicts or needs. At the core of such values and norms is a process of interaction that led to their emergence and acceptance. This process shapes the actions of individuals and social systems within their communities. Culture provides a sense of belonging and an arena in which residents can make a difference. At the same time, culture contributes to exclusionary practices and has been seen as an impediment to overall community development efforts. Regardless, it is clear that culture plays a critical role in local community action.
Applied Uses of Culture in Treatment
inclusion of culture into community and economic development models can take many shapes and forms. Culture can serve as the central focus. Included would be tourism and other efforts that focus largely on the promotion, preservation, or enhancement of local or regional cultures. Culture can also be a factor that needs to be addressed to determine its impact on new or existing development programs, such as resource management or environmental protection. In facing development, the programs that communities are willing to accept and embrace are likely to depend largely on cultural factors. It is therefore vital that problems and potential solutions be defined in a manner consistent with the local culture.
Culture as a Focus of Development
Regional or local culture can serve as a basis for development. Such efforts can serve to promote the local identity, regional languages, and minority cultures. Efforts can focus on preservation or promotion of a culture, but they can also use culture to mobilize the local population. Examples of cultural preservation or efforts focusing solely on a culture are often seen in relation to tourism and conservation efforts. Included are renovation of villages (architectural rehabilitation), highlighting the architectural heritage of an area (restoring historic sites to serve as a focal point for tourists), cultural venues (local heritage centers and traditional cultural events), traditional craft and artistic skills (development of industry and employment based on producing crafts that symbolize local culture), and cultural-based entertainment and cultural dissemination (organization of cultural activities, festivals, and permanent exhibitions). Equally important is the environmental aspects of culture in which traditional uses of natural resources or events symbolize local cultural ties to environmental processes (solstice festivals, harvest festivals, and agriculture progress days).
These efforts serve as a basis for development, but they also serve to maintain cultural traditions and ways of life. Furthermore, such forms of development highlight the importance of rural cultures and identify their role in shaping wider society. Finally, through such development, community and cultural identities are reinforced and collective identities strengthened. Such interaction can lead to an improved state of community and social well-being.
Culture and Territorial Development
It is argued by some that development should focus clearly on specific sectors of the economy, while others argue that community development should be more tailored to the unique cultural characteristics of specific geographical areas and highlight their territorial elements. These sectored approaches have been central to most top-down or government-led development. However, sectored programs have received criticism, because such programs are often seen as being too broad in scope and in application to account for a community’s diversity and unique needs.
In response to such conditions, a shift from sectored to territorial community development policy has been suggested. In such policies, social cohesion and comprehensive planning have been included. Territorial approaches are best suited to meet the unique and complex conditions present in communities. The local culture is part of this later development model. As a result, increasing attention is being given to local level and bottom-up approaches that focus on culture, territory, local diversity, and optimizing local resources. Territorial approaches seek to enhance the particular strengths of a community by developing the potential of local resources such as individuals, businesses, and social groups. Such perspectives tend to include recognition of the total environment in which community development operates. Such methods attempt to address the interdependencies of people, the environment, and the communities within a locality. Enhancing or focusing on local culture serves this process.
Conclusion and Implications for Extension Programming
The perceptions of rural and urban areas, their economic bases, and means for their development will need to be more closely considered in future policy efforts. This is particularly true when considering the changing character of rural areas and the diversity of communities there. Local culture plays a central role in shaping community development, local character, and responses to needs. Continuing to ignore culture's critical role will constrain development efforts, rendering them little more than short-term solutions for endemic community issues and needs.
The relationship between culture and community development is vast. However, this important relationship is rarely given a significant role in the design of development efforts. Using an interactional approach to community development provides opportunities for incorporating insights into the role and place of culture. Furthermore, it means conceptualizing development to highlight the importance of establishing and enhancing social relationships. Aligning such development with cultural promotion and preservation can serve as a tool for successful development. Focusing on the erosion of solidarity or culture can also provide insight into the lack of progress or the presence of obstacles impeding existing development efforts.
Future decisions will need to be made about the types of development activities pursued. In this light, territorial perspectives that focus on local cultures and their attributes appear to provide a more comprehensive approach than those that focus on specialized economic sectors. Local culture is a fundamental component of community life that shapes its unique character, needs, and opportunities. Indeed, it differentiates communities, making one-size-fits-all policies and programs largely irrelevant.
Culture and cultural attachment can be used as a motivating factor in opposing anti-local-development activities, such as extra-local development and exploitation. Using culture to motivate community members can serve as a tool for policymakers and others interested in encouraging development at the local level.
Culture can be seen as presenting both the means and ends of development. To a great extent, it emphasizes the wealth and diversity of their cultural heritage, so communities will be able to develop activities that enhance social and economic well-being. Community development planners and practitioners need to understand and learn to capitalize on the strengths of community solidarity and culture.
As is true with all that is Baltimore we have a structure trying to do the above but as always it is completely controlled by the same Wall Street Baltimore Development/Johns Hopkins as anchors in communities non-profits. The funding will not go to a community for cultural arts development unless someone tied to these structures is a director of a non-profit and we do not see a thriving economic system of small businesses resulting. I mentioned Johns Hopkins engulfing all of what used to be Baltimore's liberal arts and music schools and I think these academic bodies would want a different approach to growing cultural venues in each community.
Our academic campuses are not the only source of what is right or best in our community cultural venues will be. The source of creative talent comes from the community and an academic campus simply acts to facilitate what communities need.
HERE WE HAVE THE SAME SITUATION AS ABOVE---THE DIFFERENCE IN LEFT-LEANING MODERATION IS THE SAME AS WHAT LEFT-LEANING DEVELOPMENT OF CULTURAL VENUES WOULD APPEAR.
I think Baltimore cultural academies get this and would easily move away from a very, very, very neo-conservative Johns Hopkins and Wall Street Baltimore Development model of hyper-control of funding and written policy.
Citizens in Baltimore always complain that people come to their communities to tell them what to do and this includes our cultural arts and media.......people know what they want and what to do----they simply need help in facilitating their ideas.
New GBCA Board Members Announced!
Posted on February 22, 2016 by Lauren Saunders
Executive Director's Letter
February 16, 2016
The Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance (GBCA) board of directors announced today the election of seven new members, as well as the appointment of Julia Marciari-Alexander (Executive Director of the Walters Art Museum) as President, and the appointment of Sheri Parks (Associate Dean for Research, Interdisciplinary Scholarship and Programming, University of Maryland) as Vice President.
The 2016 GBCA new board members are:
Chuck Adkins, Chief Financial Officer, Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts
Chuck Adkins serves as Chief Financial Officer at the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts, the official arts council of Baltimore. He has worked in nonprofit finance for over 15 years, first at Maryland Nonprofits and in subsequent positions including Chief Operating Officer and Director of Finance at Episcopal Community Services of Maryland. Adkins holds an M.A. from the University of Maryland, where he is an adjunct professor teaching graduate courses in nonprofit management.
Kevin Apperson, Chief Information Officer, Maxim Healthcare Services
Kevin Apperson serves as Chief Information Officer at Maxim Health Care, where he supports Maxim's strategic initiatives and manages business risks from an information technology standpoint. A thiry year veteran in the information technology field, Apperson’s previous leadership roles include ten years as chief information officer at Allegis Group. Apperson has also been recognized by Career Communications Group’s as one of the “most important blacks in technology” during the annual Black Engineer of the Year Awards for four consecutive years. He serves on the Board of Trustees at Baltimore Clayworks and Board of Directors for the St. Francis Neighborhood Center.
Randi Benesch, Senior Managing Director, Gordon Center for Performing Arts
Since 2012, Randi Benesch has served as the Senior Managing Director of the Gordon Center for Performing Arts at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore. A graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, Randi has worked as a programmer and fundraiser at theaters and performing arts organizations including the Edison Theater in St. Louis, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Columbia Festival of the Arts (Maryland), and Center Stage in Baltimore.
Navasha Daya, performing artist, Co-Founder/Director, Youth Resiliency Institute
Navasha Daya is a singer, songwriter, producer, performing arts curator, certified holistic wellness practitioner, and spiritual and cultural arts activist. As a singer, Daya has performed all over the globe sharing the stage with artists such as South African jazz trumpeter Hugh Masekela, Beninese singer Angelique Kidjo, Japanese pianist Hajime Yoshizawa, and American artists such as Joan Baez, India Arie, Michael Franti, and Roberta Flack. In 2010, with educator/musician/organizer Fanon Hill and two youth mentees, Daya co-founded the Youth Resiliency Institute (YRI), a social benefit organization that provides arts and cultural-based training, workshops, services, and mentorship to children, youth and young adults in Baltimore. Daya is a member of the Baltimore Arts Education Coalition Steering Committee.
Hana S. Sharif, Associate Artistic Director, Center Stage
Hana S. Sharif is has worked as a director, playwright, and producer for over fifteen years and is currently the Associate Artistic Director at Center Stage. Previously, Sharif was part of the artistic staff of Hartford Stage for nine seasons, holding positions such as Associate Artistic Director, Director of New Play Development, and Artistic Producer. Sharif served as Program Manager of the ArtsEmerson Ambassador Program, as well as Producer and Tour Manager for Progress Theatre. Her regional and international directing credits include: Pride and Prejudice (DCArts: Best Director/ Best New Play);Gem of the Ocean (six Connecticut Critics Circle nominations); and Gee’s Bend(Connecticut Critics Circle Award for Best Ensemble). Sharif is the recipient of the 2009-10 Aetna New Voices Fellowship for her work as a playwright and director as well as the Theatre Communications Group (TCG) New Generations fellowship.
Lee Kappelman, Principal, m/Oppenheim Associates
Lee Kappelman has a 30-year career focused on nonprofit management, executive search, fundraising and organizational consulting with a strong emphasis on art, media and culture. She currently is a Principal with m/Oppenheim Associates, a national executive search firm. She previously headed the search and fundraising practice at Arts Consulting Group and led fundraising efforts at the Baltimore Symphony, held executive positions at CBS Television and King World Entertainment, and was a literary agent with Agency for the Performing Arts and Renaissance Literary Agency in Los Angeles and New York. In 2012, Kappelman formed a healthcare non-profit, CaringOn, selected by Points of Light Foundation as an incubator project for capacity-building investment.
Ron M. Melton, Chief Operating Officer, Visit Baltimore
Ronald M. Melton has served as Chief Operating Officer at Visit Baltimore since September 2012, where he oversees administrative, information technology, research, human resources, accounting, finance and hospitality operations. An established leader in the hospitality industry, Melton has 25 years of experience, including previous leadership roles such as: Executive Vice President of Services and Operations for Travel Portland; Director of Finance for the Conference Meeting & Assistance Corp. (CMAC) in Dallas, Texas; Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau; and Director of Finance and Administration for the Denver Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau. Melton has served as the chairman of the Host Committee for the National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners.
'Prescriptions of Ritalin for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder have quadrupled in a decade, prompting fears it is being pushed on children at the expense of alternative treatments and without appreciation of long-term effects'.
Another great question asked recently during a call-in show for Marc Steiner was this------'will you as mayor stop the use of PHARMA in addressing behavioral problems in black citizens and students? Baltimore has made prescription drug treatment so prevalent in the black community that a super-majority of citizens are placed on some kind of prescription drug-----more drug use than black market drug dealing'.
Now, you would not hear this question asked in a mayoral forum and the limits of 1 minute in many forums for responses does not allow candidates to broach all these educations deeply. Indeed, Baltimore uses PHARMA far too much ----and may be the #1 in the nation drug pusher in all of its health approaches. When you have no public health or mental health structures in communities----you dose people.
This is a vital issue in regards to rebuilding our public education in Baltimore. Students need to be clear headed and free from feeling labelled for what is often behavior that is outside of a very narrow description of NORMAL. I am not saying that PHARMA is not at times necessary---because it is. We do not need to dose our children to make it easier and cheaper to move them through our K-12 education system.
This is what the public structures inside our public schools supplied---that network of support for students having many personalities and physical and mental abilities. Baltimore may never have had that public school structure but all across the nation our K-12 public schools were filled with staff for just this support. This is what Cindy Walsh means when she says she will rebuild the public structure in all of our public schools.
Ritalin use for ADHD children soars fourfoldPupils as young as three are at risk from untested drug cocktails, warn experts as prescriptions soar
More youngsters are being prescribed Ritalin for ADHD despite clinical guidelines to the contrary, say child psychologists Photograph: Murdo Macleod for the ObserverJamie Doward and Emma Craig
Saturday 5 May 2012 19.07 EDT Last modified on Friday 15 January 2016 11.22 EST
Prescriptions of Ritalin for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder have quadrupled in a decade, prompting fears it is being pushed on children at the expense of alternative treatments and without appreciation of long-term effects.
Figures released by the NHS business services authority to the Liberal Democrat MP Tessa Munt reveal the number of prescriptions of methylphenidate hydrochloride, the generic name for Ritalin, rose in England from 158,000 in 1999 to 661,463 in 2010.
Ritalin is a psychostimulant drug most commonly approved for treatment of ADHD in children. It is also used to treat conditions such as narcolepsy and in certain cases may also be prescribed for lethargy, depression and obesity.
The Association of Educational Psychologists said its members were reporting an increase in children with behavioural difficulties being prescribed the drug in conjunction with antidepressants, despite the fact there was "little to no evidence about the effect which these cocktails of drugs are having on the development of children's brains".
Read moreThe association claims clinical studies show the "beneficial effects of psychostimulant medication are not sustained over the long term, necessitating stronger and stronger dosages to be prescribed over time" and that it is "becoming a common practice for children to be prescribed stronger dosages than recommended in the morning as a 'top-up' or 'kickstart' dose so that medication lasts the full school day".
Munt, who until recently sat on the education select committee, said there were natural alternatives that could help combat ADHD. She highlighted a report commissioned by the RSPB that suggested activities in a natural environment appear to improve children's symptoms by 30% compared with urban outdoor activities, and threefold compared to playing indoors. But Munt said many young people were prevented from enjoying the outdoors because of reasons such as lack of school playing fields and the distractions posed by video games, smartphones and social networking.
"It is extremely alarming that in the decade up to 2010, prescriptions for Ritalin quadrupled," she said. "Statistics show that 90% of prescriptions for this powerful drug in 2004 were used to combat behavioural problems in school-age children. I am shocked that there has been such a huge explosion in use."
ADHD is believed to affect between 5% and 10% of schoolchildren in the UK. Symptoms include overactive and impulsive behaviour and difficulty paying attention. The increase in Ritalin prescriptions appears to mirror the US where there was an 83% increase in sales of the drug between 2006 and 2010.
How many children are being prescribed the drug is difficult to quantify from official data. Munt said: "Unless the Department of Health collects vital statistical data about prescribing habits, no one will know what is happening.
"We hear teachers tell of their students' lack of ability to concentrate, from police about increasingly disruptive and antisocial behaviour, and from parents unable to control the actions of young family members. We need to show young people how to deal with the normal stresses and strains of growing up. Resorting to powerful drugs only stores up trouble for the future."
The Association of Educational Psychologists said it believed guidelines were not being followed. The guidelines recommend that ADHD medication should not be prescribed to pre-school children for the long term.nor in isolation from other therapeutic interventions, without consultation But the association said it was aware of a substantial increase in the number of children aged under six, and in some cases as young as three, being prescribed ADHD drugs. It said an informal survey of educational psychology practitioners across the West Midlands had revealed there were more than 100 children under six on the medication in the area. "This is reaffirmed across the country by our members," the association said.
If you have black citizens as children with a high prevalence of prescription drug use----then it is easy to see where all of this will lead to abuse of some sort for at-risk children----whether in their own abuse and addiction or in wanting to earn money in a black market situation. We all know this has been an epidemic for a decade and we know we need to stop this heavy reliance on PHARMA especially with our children.
Baltimore has what is called ADHD for many socio-economic reasons. Lead and asbestos exposure-----problems from pre-natal exposures----or simply eating lots of that fast food and food in plastic and metal can containers all known today to have adverse affects on our health including mental/behavioral health. Of course underserved communities have this higher exposure ergo the higher incidence of behavior swings.
First, for all of the cost of Ritalin prescription over a decade we could have addressed all of the environmental cleanup needed in Baltimore as a public health crisis ensued. So, the first step to prevention and treatment is doing just that. If you are rebuilding all communities that would be the focus in development.
Second, just as all our Federal agencies having been taken by corporate leadership----so too is our agencies tasked with creating public health policy around these kinds of treatment. The definition of DEPRESSION was lowered in the Affordable Care Act setting the stage for the same kinds of over-use that occurred with our other PHARMA----who has patented lots of new DEPRESSION PHARMA? Bill Gates and his new global PHARMA corporation. We simply need to recognize that government controlled by corporations are going to place corporate profit over public interest in all public health policy.
I WILL LOOK CAREFULLY AT HOW DECISIONS ARE MADE IN PRESCRIBING PHARMA TO CHILDREN ESPECIALLY AND CREATE THAT STRUCTURE IN SCHOOLS FOR HANDLING BEHAVIOR WITH LITTLE PHARMA WHEN APPROPRIATE.
HOW RITALIN ABUSE STARTS
It seems so simple at first. A student gets a little behind in his studies. An exam comes up and he needs to prepare. He’ll have to stay up late to have even a chance of making the grade. Coffee gives him the jitters, but many of his friends use these pills to give the extra energy they need. Why not? A couple of bucks; one pill; an entire night of study; a feeling of “focus.”
That may be where it starts, but it is very often not where it ends.
Some students are chopping up Ritalin and snorting it like cocaine for faster absorption. “It keeps you awake for hours,” said one.
And just like cocaine or any other stimulant, that nice “up feeling” is inevitably followed by a “crash,” a feeling of fatigue, depression and decreased alertness. One student on Adderall, another stimulant widely abused on college campuses, recounted that a feeling of “utmost clarity” turned into a state of being “crashed out and overdone” the next day. As one user put it, “I usually go into a crash coma afterwards.”
And, of course, the user soon comes to know that this “crashed out” feeling can be relieved with the “help” of another pill that gets him back up again. And so it goes.
Next may be larger doses, or snorting it for a bigger rush. Tolerance increases, so one has to use more. In these larger doses, Ritalin can lead to convulsions, headaches and hallucinations. The powerful amphetamine-like substance can even lead to death, as in the many tragic cases of children who have died of heart attacks caused by damage linked to the drug.
“I first tried Ritalin when I was in seventh grade. It was prescribed to me—they thought I had slight ADD [attention deficit disorder], because I pretended to so I could have an excuse for not doing well in school (I was just lazy). I never realized that I was getting myself addicted, and then I was no different than any other habitual drug user.
“I took about 40 mg a day and I felt it put me at the top of my game. I would stay up for days in a row, to the point I suffered a severe psychotic episode. It was terrifying! Everything seemed to be melting and morphing and I was terrified.” —Andrea
Because Baltimore City Hall allowed Johns Hopkins to grow a global corporation by re-appropriating all Federal, state, and local funds that would have rebuilt and maintained our communities and infrastructure-----we have another public health crisis-----lead poisoning. Baltimore's pols in Maryland Assembly and Baltimore City Hall are passing laws as fast as they can to make it harder for citizens damaged to seek help and to protect landlords who are well-known to ignore lead inspection laws on the books for decades.
As such we indeed have a generation of citizens with learning disabilities created by environmental exposures. Baltimore City Hall under a Wall Street Baltimore Development is addressing these problems by installing TIERED EDUCATION SYSTEMS----claiming the damage is done and we do not want to expend revenue on people with little possibility of increased learning skills. This is what these several years of education reform in Baltimore have been about----slowly pushing and warehousing children with special needs and learning challenges. That is very right-wing to do----cost over public interest.
What makes this even worse is this global corporate education reform that pushes for more and more improvement in students and makes hyper-competition and winners and losers of our children in public schools. None of this is wanted by most parents, teachers, and students--but it is doubly bad for these large numbers of Baltimore citizens coming through our education system victim from a government failure to protect public health.
WE ACKNOWLEDGE THIS SITUATION AND ACCEPT STUDENTS WHERE THEY ARE AND BUILD THE STRUCTURES THAT WILL ALLOW THEM TO INTEGRATE AND EXCEL TO THE BEST OF THEIR ABILITY.
Baltimore City Hall is building the most hyper-competitive winner and loser education system while knowing large sectors of citizens will be left behind----AND THEY DO NOT CARE.
The link between lead poisoning and underperforming students With mounting evidence that lead poisoning results in lower test scores, more children repeating grades, and worse, why has so little been done in Chicago to reverse the damage?
By Megan Cottrell 1 in 12: The odds that a Chicago child will have enough lead in his or her blood to be considered lead-poisoned
Worried about lead poisoning?
Here's what to know if you think your home is at risk.Patricia Robinson recalls a time when she fondly watched her son, Michael, then a toddler, sit in the windowsill of her Englewood home, completely engrossed. Matchbox car in hand, he would run the toy back and forth over the brown painted surface, making little vrooms and beep-beeps as he played.
Ten years later, Robinson's warmth for that moment has long faded. That was where it started—where she believes Michael ingested the lead-filled dust that poisoned him, leaving him with lifelong learning disabilities. "There isn't a day I don't think about it," Robinson says. "It's taken over my life."
Doctors, organic food, costly tutors, special ed teachers—Robinson has tried whatever she can to help her son get ahead, despite the difficulties he's faced because of lead poisoning. But Michael's struggles to learn, to pay attention in school, and to get along with other children continue.
While there's no doubt that the number of children affected by lead poisoning has dropped precipitously since the 70s (when lead was taken out of paint and gasoline), Chicago has the distinction of being home to more cases of lead toxicity than any large city in the U.S.
A recent study out of the University of Illinois at Chicago examined the blood lead levels of third graders between 2003 and 2006—students now likely to be roaming the halls at CPS high schools. It turns out that at three-quarters of Chicago's 464 elementary schools, the students' average blood lead level was high enough to be considered poisoned, according to standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And although lead poisoning is rarely mentioned in the debate on how to improve schools, the UIC research shows just how much it may be damaging kids' ability to succeed. According to the study, lead-poisoned students in Chicago Public Schools are more likely to fail the third grade and score notably lower on their yearly standardized tests.
Lead paint, which was banned in 1978, is still present in thousands of older homes and apartment buildings across Chicago, particularly on the south and west sides, where the housing stock is older. And though lead hazards are clearly identifiable and inexpensive to eradicate, the city's budget for lead-poisoning prevention has plummeted in recent years.
"Lead poisoning is one of the few causes of social and learning problems that we know how to solve," said Anita Weinberg, director of Lead Safe Housing Initiatives at Civitas ChildLaw Center at Loyola University. "We can resolve this problem within a generation, but it's not a priority for the city."
As money has dried up, the burden to get the word out has fallen on parents like Robinson. She tells parents about the dangers of lead poisoning every day as she helps Englewood residents obtain health care access and child care through her work at Children's Home and Aid.
"I try to warn them," says Robinson, who figured out what happened to her son through bloodwork and environmental tests of their home. "I want to let them know so they won't have to go through what I have gone through."
How do kids become lead poisoned? It's not usually from eating paint chips. Instead, lead is typically ingested as dust—dust that's created when old windows and doors are opened and closed, scattering a fine layer of the invisible stuff on a home's floors and walls. As is presumed to be the case with Michael, children get this dust on their hands, then put their hands in their mouths. It doesn't take much: a sugar packet's worth of lead dust scattered over an area the size of a football field is enough to poison a child.
Once lead is in the body, it crosses the blood-brain barrier and can settle in the bones. It disrupts normal brain function, making a child more likely to suffer from learning disabilities, antisocial tendencies, and even violent behavior.
It's a problem Anne Evens first became aware of when she was working on improving housing on Chicago's west side in the 80s.
"I was sort of struck by the fact that so many low-income families and building owners were stuck with this situation of having so much lead in the environment—this huge burden that caused children to get sick and building owners to be stuck with the cost of removing the lead," Evens says.
The problem bothered her so much that she joined the Chicago Department of Public Health and started working as an epidemiologist in the department's lead-poisoning-prevention program. A few years later, she became the program's director. In her ten years with the department, she revolutionized the city's efforts to combat lead, turning the program from a slow-going effort that only helped children after they had already been poisoned to a proactive movement that aimed to prevent poisoning in the first place. Evens helped file a class action lawsuit in 2002 against the paint industry—an effort that later failed—to get more money to remove lead from Chicago's homes.
Evens felt that to attract the money and attention necessary to rid Chicago of lead hazards, someone needed to quantify how much damage was being done. So she left the health department and got her PhD in environmental health. Her dissertation project? The largest study ever done on how lead poisoning affects schoolchildren.
If you know Baltimore has a right-leaning approach to education policy with no history of equal protection as regards poverty or disability----you know the current stance on MAINSTREAMING SPECIAL NEEDS AND BEHAVIORALLY CHALLENGED STUDENTS will not be done in public interest.
The current system is staged to move families with students so challenged into underserved public schools already dealing with all that comes from impoverished households with no revenue and resources to add to yet more teacher challenges in classrooms. The teachers in public schools where all of this centralization of behaviorally challenged and special needs children are being pooled are overwhelmed ------are stressed by the inability for them to help all students in their classrooms------and on top of that---they are subjected to these useless student/teacher evaluation and testing results.
THIS ENTIRE BALTIMORE PUBLIC EDUCATION REFORM IS THE WORST IN THE NATION WITH NO OBJECTIVE OTHER THAN TO TIER SCHOOLS ACCORDING TO ABILITY AND THEN TIE THEM TO VOCATIONAL TRAINING.
New families to Baltimore are rightly concerned with such a high population of citizens with learning and behavior challenges in each school. They worry the teachers' ability to provide quality education will be affected----they worry students are more prone to violence and disturbance and they are right. There is a difference between allowing all students attend a public school in their community with no resources or funding to address these issues----and allowing them to attend their community schools WITH THE RESOURCES AND FUNDING to do so. The idea of separate or equal inside one school is measured not by outcomes but by resources available to provide all students with choices and opportunity. Disruptive students do not have to be mainstreamed----moving challenged children towards mainstreaming has always been the goal.
Having professional in our public schools knowing how to deal with students with behavioral challenges along with security staff trained to prevent, having facilities in schools where students can have time outs and counseling, spot activity before it occurs, and then address behavioral lapses----are far better than creating tiered schools and opportunity.
Examining the Pros and Cons of Mainstreaming
written by: Kathy Foust • edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom • updated: 10/15/2012When we make a decision, what we are actually doing is comparing the pros and cons in order to achieve the best outcome. Mainstreaming, placing special education students into a regular education setting, is no different. Let's take a look at some advantages and disadvantages to mainstreaming.
- Many students with special needs are placed into a self-contained classroom or multi-classroom program in which they learn alongside peers who have disabilities as well. This is sometimes referred to by the number of student to teaching staff ratio, such as a 12:1:1 classroom environment; 12 students, 1 teaching assistant, 1 teacher. Placing students with special needs into the regular education classroom is known as mainstreaming.
Placing students into either of these classroom environments may or may not be the right decision for that particular student. Each student's abilities and deficits must be examined against the pros and cons of mainstreaming to come up with an optimal choice on a case by case basis.
Although the law is currently pushing for more students to be mainstreamed, it does sometimes come with resistance. There are regular education teachers that do not want students with special needs placed into their classrooms. Conversely, there are special education teachers who feel the best environment for a student is one in which all teaching staff have specialized training specific to a student's special needs.
We all know that mainstreaming has to happen and is an increasingly common practice, especially as school budgets shrink, but when resistance is met, it can make the students' classroom environment that much harder to deal with.
- Pros of MainstreamingSocial Advantages:
Students get to receive their education with their non-disabled peers who are the same age as them. By doing so, students get to interact with their peers in ways that the special education classroom wouldn’t do. Many students with special needs often have an identified need to improve their social skills. Placing them into classes with a diverse group of students can certainly help increase those skills.
It also helps self-esteem as well, because the students know that they are in "regular" education classes with their peers. No matter how hard we work to break down walls and build acceptance, the social stigma of being different still exists. By blending students of differing abilities into one classroom, not only does it help the students with special needs, but it also helps the regular education students as well, by teaching them how to work with others who are different from them. It teaches all students compassion, acceptance, collaboration and patience, life-long skills that will better prepare them for the future.
Another advantage of mainstreaming is that the students are receiving the same curricula material as their non-disabled peers. Although they may receive accommodations and modifications to the curriculum, they are still learning what everyone else is learning. It gives these students a chance to learn something that they may not have had a chance to learn in a special education classroom.
If classrooms aren't mainstreamed, then a great majority of the student population will not be exposed to students with special needs. This means that they will never get to learn or promote the kind of tolerance that will carry with them through adulthood.
Mainstreaming special needs students with the rest of the population exposes all students to all types of people, whether they have disorders or not. As the other students learn tolerance, the students with special needs will learn what behaviors are acceptable and which ones aren't.
- Cons of MainstreamingSocial Disadvantages:
Some students with special needs have behavioral issues that will need to be addressed in the classroom. These issues are not only disruptive to the rest of the class, but can also be embarrassing to the student, causing more damage to their self-esteem and social world than would happen if the student was not mainstreamed.
While the students with special needs are able to use the same curricula as students without special needs, they may not be able to keep up with the work. This can result in them feeling like the odd man out. The extra effort that teachers have to put into ensuring everyone understands the work may also take away from the rest of the classroom. This can impact the pace of the classroom as a whole. While some mainstreamed students with special needs will have pull-outs into a resource room or some other means of individualized tutoring, any slowdown in the classroom pace that can impact reaching specific goals is a concern.
Tolerance is a wonderful thing to learn, but it can also backfire. Students who do not have special needs may be under the impression that the student with special needs "gets away" with more than the rest of the class because of his or her disability. This can lead to resentment and it can also lead to the other students acting out.
- Weighing the Pros and ConsYou've looked at the pros and cons. Mainstreaming offers enough of both for those involved to be able to form a clear and informed opinion on what is the right path for a particular student.
As stated before, more and more students with special needs are being placed into regular education classes because of a general belief that it is the best placement for them, based on their needs.As with anything, this placement omes with a lot of work for the students, parents, and teachers involved in the process.
The IEP team needs to make the decision based on what is best for the student. The decision needs to be carefully thought out, and if the student is mainstreamed, they need to be carefully monitored and also need to make sure that they have all they need to be successful in the regular education setting. The pros and cons need to continue to be weighed so that the plan works to the benefit of the student and does not cause a decrease in achieving the academic goals of either the individual or of the other students in the class.