All work and no play make Jack a depressed boy

A few years ago some school districts were curtailing recess for elementary school children so they could study harder and pass tests.

Why does this not surprise me?

It’s not just that we’re seeing disorders that we overlooked before. Clinical questionnaires aimed at assessing anxiety and depression, for example, have been given in unchanged form to normative groups of schoolchildren in the US ever since the 1950’s. Analyses of the results reveal a continuous, essentially linear, increase in anxiety and depression in young people over the decades, such that the rates of what today would be diagnosed as generalized anxiety disorder and major depression are five to eight times what they were in the 1950s. Over the same period, the suicide rate for young people aged 15 to 24 has more than doubled, and that for children under age 15 has quadrupled.

Oh yeah, and there have been a truck load of school districts that have been scandalized by teachers and administrators doctoring the tests of their children to make them look better. It started in Texas under Governor Bush’s push for statewide testing and most recently popped up in Georgia.

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