A mother writes:

Environments of chronic stress are not exclusive to Title I schools in Texas. My daughter attends 3rd grade an Exemplary school in a university area of highly educated and involved parents. We are beginning to observe the over emphasis on rewarding performance, fear of making mistakes, perfectionism, and a lack of nurturing social and emotional development. Work is mostly independent and repetitive rote memorization of math facts and vocabulary. In fact, there is very little social interaction among students and little attachment to teacher, who is very businesslike and impatient. My daughter has developed chronic anxiety and sleep problems, chronic stomach aches and constipation. Her teacher uses statements like, “Whoever does best on this practice test I will take it to show the principal?” If she doesn’t make perfect scores she worries. The principal’s STAAR goal this year is 100% on math, as if 98% last year wasn’t good enough. Would you like to be the student who causes this school to miss the mark?
We will not have healthy school environments in elementary school until we get rid of the statewide testing and measure children by healthy developmental standards.