You know, I’ve been thinking long and hard about this issue. I really believe that if we want kids to be college and career ready when they leave high school, then we really need to have children be academic and school ready when they leave babyhood. How do we do that? Why, we raise standards and begin giving babies annual standardized assessments of course! And in order to be sure that parents buy into these standards and assessments, we need to begin rating parents based on those assessments, combined with triannual home visits. If the baby’s parent fails those performance reviews one year, we will devise an improvement plan for them. If they fail two years in a row, they will lose custody of their child. Sounds fair, doesn’t it?
Now, for just a small sampling of the new Standards I am proposing:
Babies will be able to smile in response to human interaction by the age of 4 weeks. Spontaneous smiling due to gas or other bodily functions will not count.
Babies will be able to use basic signs and utterances to get adult attention by the age of three months. Crying is not allowed as it is a crutch form of communication that must be discouraged.
Babies will be able to sit unsupported for 30 minutes by the age of four months. They must not use hands to prop themselves because that would be cheating.
Babies must be able to stand independently, without interference from any well-meaning adult by the age of nine months.
Babies must be able to verbally produce three word sentences by the age of ten months. Goo-goo-gaa-gaa does not count as a word. Only those found in Webster’s Dictionary will be deemed acceptable.
Babies must be able to walk unassisted, without wobble, by the age of 10 1/2 months.
There will be no allowances given for children born with disabilities or medical frailties. They must be held to the same high standards if we are to succeed in the global economy.
The assessment given annually will be in written form and will consist of ten multiple choice questions.
Sample Question taken from my proposed NYS Assessment for Baby School and Academic Readiness:
1) Can you walk?
b. Not always
d. Kind of
These Standards and Assessments will ensure that children will be prepared to enter pre-school by the age of three, ready to be successful. We are losing precious time allowing babies to develop at their own rates. That is an idea of the past which must give way for the future. With all the technological advances available to us today, our babies should be developing at a much faster rate than our global competitors’ babies. We must offer families support in helping their children reach these more rigorous standards, such as specially designed lesson plans and videos that will teach all the necessary skills. Specialists could even be brought into the home if the local municipalities can figure out a way to fund them within their already overstretched budgets.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and if we work together, our babies can be the global leaders of the future, one developmentally inappropriate step at a time!
*This message is a personal spewing of frustration and shall not reflect upon those with whom I serve. If you cannot understand that this entire post is dripping with sarcasm, then there is no help for you.