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Category Archives: child abuse

Do High Stakes Tests Cause Children to Commit Suicide to Escape the Stress?

> July 24, 2017 UPDATE <

“Middle School Suicides Double As Common Core Testing Intensifies”

“The suicide rate among 10-to 14-year-olds doubled between 2007 and 2014 – the same period in which states have increasingly adopted Common Core standards and new, more rigorous high stakes tests.”

My original post continues from here:

First from FairTest – November 2013:

  • Laela Gray, an eight-year-old Florida girl, became a poster child for high-stakes testing trauma after she was told she could not advance to fourth grade because she scored 181 instead of 182 on the third grade state reading test
  • Many teachers say pressure to prepare students for more rigorous Common Core tests means the youngest children are now required to do work that is wildly age-inappropriate.:
  • Common Core tests are meant to be harder to pass. In New York State, scores from the first administration of Common Core-based exams dropped dramatically from the previous year’s test results. Drops were particularly enormous in districts serving large numbers of English language learners and students with special needs.
  • Even kindergarten is no longer a refuge from the test preparation craze. New York kindergartners are bubbling in standardized exams based on Common Core math standards so there is test data to use for their teachers’ evaluations. Their teachers report that many of these young children don’t even know how to hold pencils yet and don’t understand how to fill in bubbles on test answer sheets.

And from rethinking schools.org we discover, “Under threat of losing federal funds, all 50 states adopted or revised their standards and began testing every student, every year in every grade from 3 – 8 and again in high school.”

Then there is this from The Washington Post: For the last year a revolt against high-stakes standardized testing has been growing around the country, with teachers, principals, superintendents, parents and students speaking out about the negative impact on education of this obsession.

Now, let’s look closer at child suicide rates:

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention says, Younger groups have had consistently lower suicide rates than middle-aged and older adults. In 2013, adolescents and young adults aged 15 to 24 had a suicide rate of 10.9 per every 100,000 in that age bracket.

But if you click on the previous link and scroll down to Suicide Rates by Age from 2000 to 2013, you will discover that the suicide rate of children aged 15 to 24 were not always 10.9. In fact, in 2000, the suicide rate for ages 15 to 24 was 10.2 and for the next three years, the suicide rate declined to 9.9; then 9.8 for 2002, and a low of 9.5 for 2003 before it leaped to 10.3 for 2004 and started to climb right along with the corporate education reform agenda and the high stakes tests linked to the No Child Left Behind (2001) and then the Common Core Standards (2010).

After the Common Core appeared in 2010 followed by its high stakes tests, the childhood suicide rate climbed to 10.5 and then to 10.9 where it held steady for three years in a row: 2011, 2012, and 2013.

The suicide rates for children that were less than age 14 has also climbed since 2000 when the rate was 0.5—a rate that held steady or dropped until 2013 when the rate shot up to 0.7 per 100,000 children for the first time.

In this post, I want to demonstrate the dramatic increase in child suicide rates to discover how many children are committing suicide due to the alleged stress caused by No Child Left Behind (NCLB – 2001) and Race To The Top (RTTP -2009) in addition to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS – 2010) and the PARCC tests that followed.

In 2000, the U.S. Census reported there were about 41 million children ages 5 to 14, and 39.1 million children ages 15 to 24. In 2000, 205 children ages 5 to 14, and 3,988 young adults ages 14 to 24 committed suicide.

Thirteen years later, in 2013, the U.S. Census reported that there were 40.9 million children ages 5 to 14 and 43.5 million young adults ages 15 to 24. In 2013, 286 children ages 5 to 14—a dramatic increase of 39.5 percent since 2000—and 4,741.5 young adults ages 15 to 24—another dramatic increase of 18.9 percent since 2000—committed suicide.

If we look at the numbers starting with 2011 when the child suicide rate hit 0.7 and/or 10.9 per 100,000, an additional 243 children ages 5 – 14 and 2,260.5 young adults ages 15 to 24 committed suicide possibly because of the added stress caused by NCLB, CCSS and PARCC.

What else can possible explain the DRAMATIC increase in child suicide rates? Could it be the divorce rate that leads to broken families? Let’s find out. In 1980, the annual divorce rate was 5.2 per 1,000, but in 2000 it was 4.2, and by 2009, the annual divorce rate was down to 3.5. With these dramatic drops in the divorce rate, how can we blame the increase in childhood suicides on divorce, and in 2012, the CDC reported that the divorce rate was down to 3.4 per 1,000 total population? Infoplease.com and CDC.gov

Darn, if we can’t blame it on the divorce rate, what do we blame it on—the increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere?

The answer is simple: Children, starting in kindergarten—where these high stakes testing are also appearing in some states—to 12th grade, spend most of their time second to the time spent at home where they sleep about a third of the day in addition to spending several hours of their free time daily outside of school having fun texting their friends, social networking, playing video games and watching TV—while they are stressing about those tests that might cause their favorite teachers to be fired and their local public schools closed.

Let’s look closely at what was happening to the public schools starting in the 1980s to 2013 to learn how this happened.

First—there was the fraud behind A Nation at Risk, a report released in 1983 during the Reagan years in the White House (Have you ever read The Enduring Lies of Ronald Reagan?). This was the beginning of the alleged claims that the public schools were failing our children and the nation was at risk. But in 1990, the often ignored Sandia Report offered proof that A Nation at Risk was misleading and that the public schools were actually improving.

Second—on May 19, 1999, President Bill Clinton said the government has to do a “far, far better job” with the $15 billion it sends to schools every year, and Clinton announced he was sending Congress his blueprint for how to spend those funds. “We know fundamentally that if we are going to change the way our schools work, we must change the way we invest federal aid in our schools,” Clinton said, and the pressure on children, teachers and the public schools increased even though NAEP Reading and Math tests that first started in 1969 revealed steady annual improvements in the test scoresDiane Ravitch says, “The point here is that NAEP scores show steady and very impressive improvement over the past twenty years.” – For the details, read Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools by Diane Ravitch

Third—the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) mandated the impossible: All children must be college and career ready on time by high school graduation even though no country on the earth had ever achieved this goal and has never tried. In fact, the United States is one of the top-five countries in the world for the ratio of college graduates, and there are almost three qualified applicants who are college graduates for every job that requires a college degree. Why do 100% of 17/18 year olds have to be ready for college?

Fourth—President Obama’s Race to the Top made the demands on the public schools worse.

Fifth—adopting standards and assessments that prepare students to succeed in college and the workplace and to compete in the global economy;

Sixth—building data systems that measure student growth and success, and inform teachers and principals about how they can improve instruction;

The results:

High Stakes Tests Make Kids Sick – UFT

The Alliance for Childhood revealed that parents, teachers, school nurses, psychologists, and child psychiatrists reported that the stress of high-stakes testing was literally making children sick. – EdWeek.org

TeacherBiz.com says, High-stakes tests: bad for students, teachers, and education in general.

The Alliance for Childhood reports that “There is growing evidence that the pressure and anxiety associated with high-stakes testing is unhealthy for children–especially young children–and may undermine the development of positive social relationships and attitudes towards school and learning. … Parents, teachers, school nurses and psychologists, and child psychiatrists report that the stress of high-stakes testing is literally making children sick.”

Who do we hold responsible for the deaths of thousands of children pressured to take their own lives? If you want to discover who these monsters are, I suggest you read Common Core Dilemma and A Chronicle of Echoes by Mercedes K. Schneider.

Then there is the testing industry. Learn about The Testing Industry’s Big Four from KQED’s Frontline.

PBS says, “Even without the impetus of the No Child Left Behind Act, testing is a burgeoning industry. The National Board on Educational Testing and Public Policy at Boston College compiled data from The Bowker Annual, a compendium of the dollar-volume in test sales each year, and reported that while test sales in 1955 were $7 million (adjusted to 1998 dollars), that figure was $263 million in 1997, an increase of more than 3,000 percent. Today, press reports put the value of the testing market anywhere from $400 million to $700 million.”

In addition, The Washington Post reports Big education firms spend millions lobbying for pro-testing policies.

Are high stakes tests that rank and punish public school teachers and close public schools really about improving education or are they about increasing profits for big corporations in this age of legalized avarice and greed?

“It’s probably safe to say that statewide assessment will not produce any startling revelations about what can be done by teachers with pupils to help children learn more effectively.”  – Beers and Campbell (1973)

What was true in 1973 is still true today!

To learn more about the problems of using student test scores to evaluate teachers, click on this link that will take you to an Economic Policy Institute report on this issue.

“Because education is both a cumulative and a complex process, it is impossible fully to distinguish the influences of students’ other teachers as well as school conditions on their apparent learning, let alone their out-of-school learning experiences at home, with peers, at museums and libraries, in summer programs, on-line, and in the community.

“No single teacher accounts for all of a student’s achievement.”

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

Crazy is Normal FREE Promotion July 2016

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

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A cultural war in the United States is being financed by billionaire oligarchs and corporations

In 1965, China’s Mao Zedong launched a cultural war against the excesses of capitalism, and this was led by the people, the workers and their children, and the capitalists in China and anyone who was accused of supporting the lifestyle of the rich and famous was targeted leading to millions of suicides.

For the last few decades, millions of people in the United States have been victims of its own cultural war, but this one is the reverse of the one that was led by Mao in China. America’s cultural war is being led by a handful of billionaire oligarchs who are transforming American into a money making paradise for those who have the most wealth and power.

This morning I read a piece in the Huffington Post that reported Kansas welfare recipients will be unable to get more than $25 per day in benefits under a new law sent this week to Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s desk by the state legislature. To make life worse for people who live in poverty, the state also issues that welfare in the form of a government-issued debit card and required that they take the money out of debit machines that charge 85 cents for each withdrawal after the first one in a month—a windfall for banks and whoever owns those ATM machines but less money to buy food. The number of Kansans receiving benefits has also declined from 38,000 in 2011 to 15,000 last year, state data show.

It is no secret that Republicans (GOP) have waged war on people who live in poverty for decades—and recently GOP representatives have blamed poverty on the poor. Many in the GOP hate Social Security, Medicare, Obamacare, unemployment insurance, food stamps, abortion, marijuana, women, and even sexual orientation.

In addition, the GOP and the Democrats also have no problem handing out money to private sector corporations. For instance, the U.S. auto industry, banks, and Wall Street firms. In fact, there are elements in both parties who are handing our children to corporate Charters supported by hedge fund billionaires, the Walton family and the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation so those few individuals grow wealthier off taxes that were originally intended to support the transparent, nonprofit, democratic public schools.

How much does the state and federal government give away to corporations? The answer is more than the country spends on food stamps for people living in poverty, who are far from being lazy, because Recent studies show that 49% of all food stamp participants are children (age 18 or younger), and about 50% of the adults have jobs that pay mostly poverty wages, and, in 2013, for instance, the average SNAP client received a monthly benefit of $133.07, and the average household received $274.98 monthly—compare that number with the money corporations are getting from their state and federal welfare programs.

The New York Times spent 10 months investigating business incentives awarded by hundreds of cities, counties and states. Since there is no nationwide accounting of these incentives, The Times put together a database and found that local governments give up $80.4 billion in incentives each year compared to about $75 billion in food stamps to people who live in poverty, so they have enough money to eat and not starve.

Don’t forget, when the GOP blames the poor for their poverty and cuts food stamps to families, as Arkansas is doing, the GOP is waging a war against almost 20 million children living in poverty who can’t work to feed themselves.

However, according to The Times, the number of corporate welfare programs is 1,874. Have you heard Republicans or Democrats call for cuts to corporate welfare?

You might want to click on this link from the New York Times that leads to an interactive map and discover how much corporations are earning off federal and state welfare programs that tax payers are financing.

The New York Times identified 48 companies that have received more than $100 million in state grants since 2007. Some 5,000 other companies have received more than $1 million in recent years.

In fact, Politifact.com reports that it’s mostly true that 9 of the 10 poorest states are ruled by the GOP. PolitiFact.com also reports that it is mostly true that 97 of the country’s 100 poorest counties are in GOP ruled states.

The Washington Post reports, “Republican states have pursued economic and fiscal strategies built around lower taxes, deeper spending cuts and less regulation. They have declined to set up state health-insurance exchanges to implement President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. They have clashed with labor unions. On social issues, they have moved to restrict abortion rights or to enact voter-identification laws, in the name of ballot integrity, that critics say hamper access to voting for the poor and minorities.”

The cultural revolution in China that took place between 1965–1976, and the one being waged in the United States today have one thing in come: the public schools and the teachers who taught in them were attacked in China back then (but not today—after Mao died in 1976, China, under new leadership, started rebuilding its public schools and supporting its teachers), because a transparent, non-profit, public education system where teachers have the freedom to express, without fear, what they think about current issues to the children they teach, who then talk to their parents, is a threat to the few who want to control the destructive cultural changes taking place in America, and it doesn’t matter if the cultural war is being led, for instance, by America’s Bill Gates, the Walton family, the Koch brothers or Mao Zedong in China. To drastically alter a culture, the few in power, who are behind the changes, must silence their critics and create an environment of punishment and fear, and this means silencing the teachers.

“The reasons for the deconstruction of the teaching profession is simple: teachers are too active in politics; they vote, they advocate, they are a potent political force if properly motivated. Three million teachers and their families, residing in every political precinct in the nation can elect representatives and senators and presidents.” – Ed In The Apple

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

Crazy is Normal promotional image with blurbs

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

 

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A Tweet about the greed based insanity of Standardized Testing I Want to see go Viral

Watch the video and read the Op-Ed in The Washington Post.

Here’s the lead paragraph of The Washington Post piece by Valerie Strauss:

“Imagine that you are a doctor and your evaluation is based on patients you didn’t have. Or a car dealer, and you are assessed by how many cars your colleagues — not you — sell. It sounds preposterous, right? Well, that’s just what is happening to public school teachers.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2015/04/01/teacher-how-my-highest-scoring-students-actually-hurt-my-evaluation/?postshare=2631427899398887

>The Tweet<

How students with top test scores hurt a teacher’s evaluation
http://wpo.st/PJGB0
#WashingtonPost
#EDBlogNet

My father was a fan of thoroughbred horse racing. He went as often as possible, and he stayed up late every night handicapping to discover the horses he thought might win. He won more races than he lost, but what would happen in that sport if the VAM being used to rank and then fire teachers or close public schools were used on those horses, and all horses that did not win every race were to be euthanized, their jockeys fired for life, their owners driven into bankruptcy—all because every horse in a horse race didn’t win.

That is what the corporate driven education reform movement is doing to public schools, public school teachers and children—treating them like horses and demanding that they all win every race—or else they must suffer brutal consequences.

In 2001, when President G. W. Bush signed into law the No Child Left Behind Act, that legislation mandated that by 2014 every (100%) 17/18 year old in the nation had to graduate from high school on time and be college and career ready. President Obama made this situation worse with his Race to the Top.  But Bill Gates and the Walton family, for instance, upped the anti with there massive financial support for the Common Core State Standards linked to high stakes testing in addition to promoting corporate Charter schools and vouchers/tax credits that legally steal money from the public schools. A bad law is still a bad law.

This is legalized crime!

This is child abuse!

This is teacher abuse!

This is stripping parents of their responsibility as parents!

This is stealing from tax payers!

This is WRONG on so many levels!

Education is not a horse race!

Timeline for Crony Capitalist's War Against Public Education

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

Crazy is Normal promotional image with blurbs

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

 

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Ignored by the Common Core agenda—Making the link between poverty, nutrition and poor performance in school

At a Glance:

Twelve weeks of supplementation with vitamins and minerals was found to boost the attention scores of children, according to results published in the British Journal of Nutrition.

“It is well known that adequate levels of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients are essential for optimal neural functioning. A significant percentage of individuals, including children, suffer from deficiencies in one or more vitamins or minerals. This study investigated whether daily supplementation with a multivitamin could alter cognitive performance and mood in healthy children.

“The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study included 81 healthy children aged 8-14. The children were reportedly all healthy and free from food allergies. None of the children used other dietary supplements during the three months prior to the study. Participants were randomly assigned to daily multivitamin and mineral supplements or placebo for 12 weeks

“The children underwent laboratory assessments of their cognitive performance and mood pre-dose and at 1 and 3 h post-dose on the first and last days of the trial.  Assessments were also completed at home after 4 and 8 weeks at 3 hours post-dose. Cognitive performance was measured using a battery of laboratory assessments, which included tasks assessing mood and the speed and accuracy of attention and aspects of memory. The children in the vitamin/mineral group performed more accurately on two tests of attention. No effects were observed on measures of the children’s mood

“Although the results of this study require further investigation, it suggests that vitamin/mineral supplementation has the potential to improve brain function in healthy children.”

  • Haskell CF et al. Cognitive and mood effects in healthy children during 12 weeks’ supplementation with multi-vitamin/minerals. Br J Nutr 2008 Nov;100(5):1086-96.

But what if the children are not healthy?


children taking tests with Bill Gates cracking the whip

There’s this from the University of Wisconsin – Madison that makes the connection between poverty and early childhood brain development that causes poor performance in school—proving that the one size Common Core testing rank, fire and close public schools agenda promoted HEAVILY by the Bill and Melinda Gates and Walton family Foundations is even more flawed than we thought.

“Poverty may have direct implications for important, early steps in the development of the brain, saddling children of low-income families with slower rates of growth in two key brain structures, according to researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

“By age 4, children in families living with incomes under 200 percent of the federal poverty line have less gray matter—brain tissue critical for processing of information and execution of actions—than kids growing up in families with higher incomes.”

Someone please shout in President Obama’s ear that the one-size fits all Common Core agenda being forced on the country by Arne Duncan, Bill Gates, the Walton family and a few other billionaires and hedge fund managers, who want to profit off of are our children, is a total fraud. After you’re done shouting, give them a standardized bubble test to see what they learned.

There are more than 72 million children under 18 years old in the United States. 45 percent – 32.4 million – live in low-income families. 22 percent –16.1 million – live in poor families. National Center for Children in Poverty

 _______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

Runner Up in Biography/Autobiogrpahy
2015 Florida Book Festival

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5

Honorable Mention in Biography/Autobiography
2014 Southern California Book Festival
2014 New England Book Festival
2014 London Book Festival

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

 

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Science Proves School Reform EQUALS Prejudice, Inequality, Workplace Discrimination and Child Neglect

The reason education reform in the United States is a fraud is because of G. W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act that demanded public school teachers achieve the impossible and educate 100% of America’s children to be college and career ready by age 17 or 18. Never mind that about half of today’s college graduates are underpaid and/or can’t find a job that requires a college degree.

This crime was made worse with President Obama’s Race To The Top, in addition to Bill Gates’s funding the Common Core agenda to use student test scores to rank and then fire teachers soon followed by closing public schools when that 100% mandate isn’t met.

The rank and yank testing mentality has become so Orwellian that some cities and states are now testing kindergarteners to see if they are college and career ready at age 5/6, with talk of doing the same with preschool children.

To insure that this national crime against children and teachers continues, Bill Gates has dedicated $5 – $7 billion dollars in grants—a fancy name for bribes—to influence state and federal leaders.

Why is it impossible to educate 100% of U.S. children to be college and career ready by age 17/18?

Because it is a proven fact that both poverty and lack of proper sleep play a major role in how a child performs in school—two major factors that teachers have no power over.

Late last night it all came together after I read a piece in the January 2015 National Geographic Magazine (NGM) that provided the evidence that the school reform movement leads to prejudice, inequality, workplace discrimination and child neglect. I also think that if Bill Gates and the other fake reformers had known that NGM was going to publish this piece, they would have done all they could to stop it from being printed.

The title was A baby’s brain needs love to develop. What happens in THE FIRST YEAR is profound. The link should take you to this heavily research-based story that proves without-doubt that poverty damages children’s brains (and more than 16-million children in America live in poverty—22% of all children). The story also points out how this damage can be avoided—something that teachers have known for decades, but the fake education reformers ignore, while they rake in profits from taxes meant to support education.

The researchers used magnetoencephalography (EEG) to scan the brains of children as the brain developed and discovered that for a child’s brain to develop to its potential, the child needs to be nurtured in a stable home environment with supportive parents.

“The amount of brain activity in the earliest years affects how much (brain activity) there is later in life. EEG scans of eight-year-olds show that institutionalized children who were not moved to a nurturing foster care environment before they were two-years old have less (brain) activity than those who were.”

In addition, “Children in well-off families—where the parents were typically college-educated professionals—heard an average of 2,153 words an hour spoken to them, whereas children in families on welfare heard an average of 616 words. By the age of four this difference translated to a cumulative gap of some 30 million words.”

This scientific evidence is the reason why teachers who are fired based on the results of student test scores are victims of workplace discrimination, because teachers are being punished for children who don’t have the same nurturing and supportive home environment as children from well-off families.

Another important factor in the development and health of a child’s brain is sleep. The same day that I read the piece in NGM, I also read a short piece in the December 2014 issue of AARP Magazine: Why Sleep Is Precious for Staying Sharp. “New research indicates chronic sleep deprivation can lead to irreversible brain damage … extended wakefulness can injure neurons essential for alertness and cognition—and that the damage might be permanent.”

Children in the United States aren’t getting enough sleep, and many parents do not identify their children’s sleep problems as an issue that should be addressed.  Add to the mix that doctors often aren’t asking enough questions about their young patients’ sleep. These are some of the major findings in the 2004 Sleep in America poll, the first nationwide survey on the sleep habits of children and their parents.

In addition, adolescents are notorious for not getting enough sleep. The average amount of sleep that teenagers get is between 7 and 7 ¼ hours. However, studies show that most teenagers need exactly 9 ¼ hours of sleep. – Nationwide Childrens.org

But when 100% of the children are not college and career ready according to the results of Common Core standardized tests, teachers are losing their jobs, and public schools are being closed and replaced with corporate Charters that—according to several Stanford studies—are often worse or no better than the public school that they replaced. Dr. Margaret Raymond, Stanford’s CREDO Director, says that after decades of looking at the nation’s charter school sector, she has come to the conclusion that the “market mechanism just doesn’t work” in education.

In the last decade—thanks to the fake education reformers—thousands of public schools have been closed, tens of thousands of teachers have been heartlessly fired and hundreds of thousands of children have been forced—in some cases—to attend corporate Charter schools that often kick out the students who are the most difficult to teach, the same children that caused those standardized test scores to suffer—-children who don’t get enough sleep and/or live in poverty.

Tell President Obama, Arne Duncan and Bill Gates we are going to hold them accountable for their crimes against children and teachers.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

Honorable Mention in Biography/Autobiography at 2014 Southern California Book Festival

Crazy-is-Normal-a-classroom-expose-200x300

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

 

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Discover what the media doesn’t report about the U.S. public schools

Warning! If you have high blood pressure or anger issues, don’t read this!

There is a vast difference between teaching and learning. A Teacher can teach a great lesson and the students who participate and pay attention will learn, while the students who don’t pay attention and participate don’t learn.

Do we shoot the teacher because of those children who did not cooperate and did not pay attention?  And when we test 100% of the students to judge teachers and discover what they learned, there is no way to know what students cooperated with the teacher.

The reason why children who live in poverty do poorly in every country on the PISA, for instance, is because it is in this socioeconomic group where we find the most students who do not participate and cooperate with what a teacher struggles to teach them.

And this hold true in every country where the PISA tests 15-year old students. There is no exception. In fact, in January 2013, a study out of Stanford that broke down the PISA results by socioeconomic level proves this FACT. The same study was validated by the Economic Policy Institute. Here are a few key points from that study that emphasize this FACT that is being totally ignored by the corporate supported fake education reformers and the media they own and/or control, as they chase tax dollars and don’t give a fart about what children learn.

  • Because in every country, students at the bottom of the social class distribution perform worse than students higher in that distribution, U.S. average performance appears to be relatively low partly because we have so many more test takers from the bottom of the social class distribution.
  • A sampling error in the U.S. administration of the most recent international (PISA) test resulted in students from the most disadvantaged schools being over-represented in the overall U.S. test-taker sample. This error further depressed the reported average U.S. test score.
  • If U.S. adolescents had a social class distribution that was similar to the distribution in countries to which the United States is frequently compared, average reading scores in the United States would be higher than average reading scores in the similar post-industrial countries we examined (France, Germany, and the United Kingdom), and average math scores in the United States would be about the same as average math scores in similar post-industrial countries.
  • This re-estimate would also improve the U.S. place in the international ranking of all OECD countries, bringing the U.S. average score to sixth in reading and 13th in math. Conventional ranking reports based on PISA, which make no adjustments for social class composition or for sampling errors, and which rank countries irrespective of whether score differences are large enough to be meaningful, report that the U.S. average score is 14th in reading and 25th in math.
  • Disadvantaged and lower-middle-class U.S. students perform better (and in most cases, substantially better) than comparable students in similar post-industrial countries in reading. In math, disadvantaged and lower-middle-class U.S. students perform about the same as comparable students in similar post-industrial countries.
  • U.S. students from disadvantaged social class backgrounds perform better relative to their social class peers in the three similar post-industrial countries than advantaged U.S. students perform relative to their social class peers. But U.S. students from advantaged social class backgrounds perform better relative to their social class peers in the top-scoring countries of Finland and Canada than disadvantaged U.S. students perform relative to their social class peers.
  • On average, and for almost every social class group, U.S. students do relatively better in reading than in math, compared to students in both the top-scoring and the similar post-industrial countries.

This revealing study out of Stanford has been out there for almost two years, but Arne Duncan and his master, Bill Gates—and the rest of the pack of vampires leading the charge to destroy the democratically run public schools haven’t hesitated in their relentless assault to dismantle the public schools and replace them with corporate Charters that several other Stanford studies reported are mostly worse or equal to the public schools they are replacing, and these Stanford studies were funded by the Gates foundation, so Bill Gates can’t be ignorant of the facts. Gates has to know what he is doing is perpetrating and supporting a fraud against the Citizens of the United States, and that is a federal crime that comes with a maximum penalty of ten years in prison and a $10-million dollar fine.

Who is guilty without a doubt of this fraud? For sure, Bill Gates and Arne Duncan are aware that they are contributing to this fraud. Maybe Obama is just another ignorant fool, because it might be difficult to prove he’s read or heard of the results of the Stanford studies and even the Sandia report of 1990 that proved, without a doubt, that President Reagan’s A Nation at Risk was also misleading and where this fraud started.

Here’s a summary of what the Sandia Report discovered about A Nation at Risk, a fraud that has been supported by every President starting with Reagan.

“A Nation at Risk” (1983) – What the report claimed

  • American students are never first and frequently last academically compared to students in other industrialized nations.
  • American student achievement declined dramatically after Russia launched Sputnik, and hit bottom in the early 1980s.
  • SAT scores fell markedly between 1960 and 1980.
  • Student achievement levels in science were declining steadily.
  • Business and the military were spending millions on remedial education for new hires and recruits.

The Sandia Report (1990) – What was actually happening

  • Between 1975 and 1988, average SAT scores went up or held steady for every student subgroup.
  • Between 1977 and 1988, math proficiency among seventeen-year-olds improved slightly for whites, notably for minorities.
  • Between 1971 and 1988, reading skills among all student subgroups held steady or improved.
  • Between 1977 and 1988, in science, the number of seventeen-year-olds at or above basic competency levels stayed the same or improved slightly.
  • Between 1970 and 1988, the number of twenty-two-year-old Americans with bachelor degrees increased every year; the United States led all developed nations in 1988.

If this makes you angry, then Tweet it repeatidly, and share it with all of your social networking connections. Here’s a Tweet you are free to copy and paste.

 Discover what the media doesn’t report about the U.S. public schools

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

Crazy-is-Normal-a-classroom-expose-200x300

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

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What are you going to lose, New York, if you let Governor Cuomo have his way with the Public Schools, and who will gain?

What’s interesting about Cuomo’s use of the word monopoly, when he recently described the public schools in New York State, is that it will be the for-profit, corporate Charter schools he supports that will become the real monopoly when there are no public schools left to compete with.

In fact, Cuomo may help elevate a corporate Charter school CEO in New York City to be one of the top-ten highest paid CEO’s in the United States.

A monopoly, by definition, is an industry that controls everything about the products it produces and sells—there is no competition. In comparison, there are 697 public school districts in New York State and each one is run by a democratically elected school board that answers to the public, and public school districts must be transparent about everything that that they do or else.

How about the corporate Charters that Governor Cuomo has been paid to love?

According to NYSED.gov, “As of the 2014-15 school year, New York has 248 operating charter schools serving approximately 92,132 students.”

And here’s a list of the Charter schools in New York State. If you look at the list carefully, you will discover that several of these Charter schools belong to growth corporations. For instance: Achievement First (9); Icahn (7); KIPP (6); New Visions (8), and Success Academy (24).

These Charters are private-sector corporations managed by CEO’s, regardless of the title they give themselves. Most, if not all of these CEO’s, pay themselves very well from the taxes that flow their way, and they run organizations that are all but opaque—meaning, it is difficult to discover what they are actually doing with the tax payers money they get, and the truth about student outcomes is often distorted and misleading—and they don’t have to answer to the voters or the public about anything they do.

If you want a perfect example of how one of these corporate, profit-driven CEO’s operates, look no further than Eva Moskowitz (a former media celebrity and  non-educator), who pays herself more than a half-million dollars annually (more than the President of the United States who represents 316 million Americans, and the Chancellor of New York City’s public schools that teache1.1-million students), and Moskowitz uses hundreds of thousands of tax dollars that once went to teaching children in the public schools to run a well-oiled PR campaign to recruit more students and shut down more public schools, while the public schools are, by law, not allowed to use tax money for the same purpose.

Moskowitz runs the corporate, for profit Success Academy Charters, and her site says that private-sector corporation now operates 32 schools serving 9,000 students.

And Moskowtiz pays herself more than $500-thousand annually to serve 9,000 students while the Chancellor of New York City’s public schools annual salary is $212,614.

If we break that down by student, Moskowitz pays herself almost $56 for each student she recruits/serves.  I find it interesting that she uses the word “serves” instead of “teaches”, don’t you?  Who is she going to serve these children to—the vultures on Wall Street, who profit off her Charters?

What does it cost the tax payers to pay the salary of the Chancellor of the New York City public schools?

The answer: $5.17 a student, while Moskowitz payers herself more than 1,083-percent more per student.

How much will Moskowtiz earn if her so-called Success Academies (which are actually failures when you strip away the lies and look at the real numbers that she does all she can to hide) taught all of New York City’s children?

Moskowitz’s salary, with help from Governor Cuomo, who wants to fire public school teachers and close public schools, could eventually swell to more than $61-million annually.

When that day comes, if Cuomo has his way, Moskowitz will join the ranks of the 100 Highest Paid CEOs in the United States. In fact, she will rank #8 on that list and the tax payers of New York City will be paying the bill for her salary while the education of their children will be drastically curtailed and shortchanged, and the tax payers won’t be able to do anything about it, because there will be no democratically elected public school boards and no transparent public schools left.

  • To learn more about Eva Moskowitz and her relentless and ruthless goal to take over teaching all 1.1 million children in New York City, I suggest you read what Mercedes Schneider has to say on her Blog.

http://deutsch29.wordpress.com/2014/11/09/cuomo-reelection-an-obvious-moskowitz-opportunity/

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

Crazy-is-Normal-a-classroom-expose-200x300

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

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The challenge of teaching At-Risk Kids reveals why Charter schools are abandoning them

The full post on this issue may be found at EdGator: Education Headlines from Everywhere and it’s a MUST READ piece—that is if you are interested in education, our children and the truth. What I offer in this post are a few pull quotes from that longer piece at EdGator, and two embedded videos you won’t find on that Blog.


This video should be required viewing for every American citizen.

First: KIPP is an acronym for “Knowledge is Power Program”, and Wiki tells us this about KIPP: “a nationwide network of free open-enrollment college-preparatory schools in under-resourced communities throughout the United States. KIPP schools are usually established under state charter school laws and KIPP is America’s largest network of charter schools. Its headquarters are in San Francisco”

But KIPP is not free, because the taxpayer pays for KIPP, and what are tax payers getting for their money?

EdGator says: 40% of KIPP’s African-American male students who enter in sixth grade disappear before graduation. Some teachers who leave KIPP also have serious concerns and criticism about the chain’s pedagogical practices. …

If every traditional school becomes KIPP, what happens to the kids who won’t work hard and be nice? If KIPP can’t send those kids away to a waiting public school system, then where will they go? Will they simply be denied an education? …

Because here’s the plain fact: KIPP’s motto has a third clause written in invisible ink that no one wants to talk about: “Work Hard, Be Nice, or Go Away.”

KIPP doesn’t seem to have an answer for those kids who won’t work hard or be nice. KIPP has the luxury of washing its hands of them.


This is a pitch but worth watching to get everyone thinking about teaching at-risk kids.

Note: Teachers today are challenged daily by the task of “Educating At-Risk Youth” who appear to be extremely apathetic at times. When teachers fail, the fake education reformers blame them, want to fire them and close their schools and then replace them with corporate operated schools that fail too—but we seldom if ever hear about those failures that are swept under the media rug. The truth is that the fake education reformers are doing worse than the public schools as they take over and steal from the taxpayer every penny they can get.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

 

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Who Crowned Bill Gates the Emperor of Education?

Over on Mercedes Schneider’s Blog, she tackles and criticizes Bill Gates view of the Common Core State Standards.

“Bill defines standards as a ‘list of what kids are supposed to know’ at each grade level.”

But Mercedes, Bill Gates is correct in his thinking—for computer programs stored on hard drives—not children. After all, in his Microsoft world where he’s the Emperor, if he pays programmers to write a computer program, the finished product better work or else, right? And the Emperor did pay more than $2 billion to create the Common Core standards and convince the states to accept them.

Bill Gates must honestly think that teachers are incompetent when the same process doesn’t work between teachers (the Emperor must see teachers as programmers) and children (as programmed computer hard drives) who don’t know the standards on the Common Core curriculum program that Gates paid for.

I wonder if Emperor Gates knows that a child’s brain doesn’t work like a computer program on a hard drive, because children don’t all live in the same environment with equal and supportive parents. In fact, teachers don’t teach the same way and every child’s DNA is different along with how they learn.

For the Gates’ list of Common Core Standards to work, every child would have to grow up in a similar common environment with parents who love reading, start reading to and with their child by at least age three and support teachers every step of the way from pre-school to graduation; from high school and beyond. Every child would also have to have an equally efficient short and long term memory (the same hard drive), and there could not be any learning disabilities to get in the way. This common environment would also include the same nutritious, brain food diet for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with no sugary sodas—only safe-to-drink water.

No parent could be abusive in any way—a drug addict, an alcoholic, a chronic gambler, illiterate and every family would have to earn a livable wage—meaning no poverty.

In addition, every parent would have to attend parent conferences with their children’s teachers and keep an eye on grades so if any grade fell below a C, the parent would call the same day and schedule an appointment with the teacher to find out why it happened and what they could do to fix the problem since failing grades are usually caused by children who—for instance—don’t pay attention, hate to read, don’t work in class, have lousy diets, don’t get enough sleep, watch too much TV, play too many video games, don’t cooperate, cause disruptions in class, don’t ask questions or seldom if ever read outside of class or do homework.


Learn from a 15-Year-Old how dangerous Emperor Bill Gates really is!

Emperor Gates, unlike a computer programmer, the greatest teacher can’t update a child’s memory with a patch to make sure the child learns your list of Common Core standards—that is if the child learned and remembered what the teacher taught in the first place.

For the Gates’ “Common Core list” to work, every child would have to arrive at school equally eager and willing to learn what teachers teach, and every parent would have to consider Amy Chua, the author of “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” as a role model and not an abusive, tiger parent—and that ain’t going to happen in the United States.

I have a question for Emperor Gates:

Since when did the electorate agree that you should use your great wealth to decide how this country should educate the 49 million+ children who attend public schools while ignoring the 7.4+ million who attend private schools?

I want to ask President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan the same question. I thought the Constitution—the law of the land—written by the Founding Fathers of the United States made this sort of thing a crime.

In conclusion: It seems that every week—this has been going on for years—a new update arrives from Microsoft to patch something wrong with Microsoft’s operating system. Considering these constant flaws that keep appearing in programs written by Microsoft programmers, Emperor Bill Gates should be the last person to advise the Obama White House how fix the unbroken public schools that really only need him and the other fake education reformers to butt out. The best people to patch anything in the public schools are teachers supported by everyone else, because that’s they were trained for, and that’s what Finland does.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

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The Walking Dead and their Whipping Boys

Thanks to the fake Ed reformers—for instance, Bill Gates, President Obama and his Secretary of Education Arne Duncan (there are many others)—teachers have become the 21st century’s whipping boys.

Are you familiar with the definition of “Whipping Boy”?

Merriam-Webster.com says, “Whipping boy: someone or something that often is blamed for problems caused by other people.”

In one of the internet forums I belong to, the following pull quote was posted in a discussion.

“Enrolling students of color in ‘rigorous’ academic programs that hold them to high academic standards is one way that educators attempt to close achievement gaps and disrupt the self-perpetuating nature of low expectations.”  This quote was pulled from a fake Ed reformer website.

When I read it the first time, I smiled wryly and wanted to laugh but there were too many painful memories from the thirty years I worked as a classroom teacher.

I taught mostly students of color who lived in poverty and/or belonged to violent street gangs and no matter how rigorous the academic program, too many of these kids didn’t give a rat’s ass about what some distant autocrat or billionaire expected teachers to teach.

In fact, I was often criticized by parents and kids for demanding too much of my students. Some of these kids who refused to learn called me “mean” and one or two would ask what I’d do if “they  jumped me.” Another excuse often used by some kids who did little to nothing was that I was “boring”, and because I was “boring”, they didn’t have to do the work.

However, that didn’t stop a “few” in every class from earning A’s and B’s and doing the quality of work I demanded of them.

It doesn’t matter how fantastic a teacher teaches, there is no way to force a kid to bring their book to class, pay attention, read anything, or do the work. For these kids, the results of standardized tests will always be dismal.

Those who don’t work, well, don’t—LEARN.  And the ones who don’t learn (because they didn’t do the work not because the teacher didn’t teach) are the ones who get the lower standardized test scores that will get teachers fired and schools closed.

There was a term that some veteran teachers at the high school where I taught used to describe these students who refused to learn: “the walking dead”. One teacher who had been teaching for more than forty years used this term in a staff meeting and administration criticized him severely. Every teacher at the high school signed a petition in his defense because we all knew what he said was true.

In reality, teachers are the whipping boys for the parents who didn’t support them and the kids, “the walking dead”, who refuse to cooperate, read and study. Teachers are also the whipping boys for the fake Ed reformers.

The only thing that happens to the kids who wouldn’t cooperate is that they might not earn a high school diploma by age 17/18. About twenty percent don’t but as they mature and go out into the work world and learn the value of that high school degree, the number of adults in American who have earned a high school degree or its equivalent by age 24 reaches more than 90%—we won’t hear that from the fake Ed Reformers. There’s an old saying, “Better late than never,” but that isn’t stopping the fake Ed reformers from demanding that so-called failing teachers be fired and failing schools be closed.

The failure rate in my class was based on the work and not on tests. About 5% (on average) earned A’s, because they did most or all of the work, and 30% to 50% earned F’s for not working. Instead, some warmed a seat and a few caused a lot of trouble making it challenging for me to teach the 50% to 70% (it varied from class to class) who were willing to do some, most or all of the work.

I was one of those “whipping boys” for most of the thirty years I taught, but today I’m retired and angry, because I worked 60 to 100 hour weeks on average challenging my students to close that “achievement gap”.

Why is this happening? Why are teachers being used as whipping boys?

One answer may be: In a stock market prospectus uncovered by education author Jonathan Kozol, the Montgomery Securities group explains to Corporate America the lure of privatizing education. Kozol writes: “The education industry,” according to these analysts, “represents, in our opinion, the final frontier of a number of sectors once under public control” that have either voluntarily opened or, they note in pointed terms, have “been forced” to open up to private enterprise. Indeed, they write, “the education industry represents the largest market opportunity” since health-care services were privatized during the 1970’s…. From the point of view of private profit, one of these analysts enthusiastically observes, “The K–12 market is the Big Enchilada.”  (IS Review.org)

How much money are we talking about? The annual appropriation for the entire Federal Department of Education in 2012 was $64.1 Billion and the total from the fifty states for public elementary and secondary schools amounted to $638 billion in 2009-10.

Imagine the profits to be gained by a parasitic Corporate America. All they have to do is sweep aside more than four million public school teachers, their retirement plans, and their labor unions. And the hell with those brats who won’t behave and do what the corporate stooges tell them. Maybe they’ll send those kids, “the walking dead”, to prisons or concentration camps to get them out of the way.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

 

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