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TOPIC: Are Schools Asking to Drug Kids for Better Scores?

Are Schools Asking to Drug Kids for Better Scores? 21 Feb 2014 22:17 #307

Are Schools Asking to Drug Kids for Better Test Scores?
Posted February 21, 2014 by Alison Gopnik


In the past two decades, the number of children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder has nearly doubled. One in five American boys receives a diagnosis by age 17. More than 70% of those who are diagnosed—millions of children—are prescribed drugs.

A new book, "The ADHD Explosion" by Stephen Hinshaw and Richard Scheffler, looks at this extraordinary increase. What's the explanation? Some rise in environmental toxins? Worse parenting? Better detection?

Drs. Hinshaw and Scheffler—both of them at the University of California, Berkeley, my university—present some striking evidence that the answer lies, at least partly, in changes in educational policy.

Many people have suspected that there is a relationship between the explosion in ADHD diagnoses and the push by many states, over this same period, to evaluate schools and teachers based on test scores. But how could you tell? It could just be a coincidence that ADHD diagnoses and high-stakes testing have both increased so dramatically.

Drs. Hinshaw and Scheffler used a kind of "natural experiment." Different parts of the country introduced new educational policies at different times. The researchers looked at the relationship between when a state introduced the policies and the rate of ADHD diagnoses. They found that right after the policies were introduced, the diagnoses increased dramatically. Moreover, the rise was particularly sharp for poor children in public schools.

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Continue reading: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304275304579392932032900744?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB1000142405
Last Edit: 20 Jul 2015 15:16 by michael.bailey.
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The mission of the Coalition Against Overmedicating Our Youth is to help children and adults determine underlying cause of neuro-behavioral conditions by ruling out nutritional, physiological, and environmental risk factors prior to premature drug therapy.

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