Nosy exam question asks 3rd graders to reveal a "secret". Parents outraged.

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posted on May, 11 2012 @ 09:28 PM
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It doesn't get any creepier than this; a standardized exam asks 3rd graders to reveal a secret to their teachers and write about why it is hard to keep. Talk about using the kids to report on their families and parents!



NJ school exam's "secret" question angers parents

Some New Jersey parents are upset about a standardized test question that asked third-graders to reveal a secret and write about why it was hard to keep.

The question appeared on the writing portion of some versions of the New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge given to third-graders this week.

Parents were especially outraged because children may have revealed information that should have stayed private.

"I guarantee you some children will be writing things family members and parents would have rather not revealed to the state," Goldberg said to the Asbury Park Press. He added that if his twin 9-year-old boys, who told him about the question on the test, would have answered "it's none of your darn business" he would have been perfectly fine with their response.

CBS News

You know the kids would feel compelled to answer the question so as not to lose points on the exam. Imagine if one of the students didn't have any secrets to report and had to make something up to get credit on the question. This could cause parents all kinds of problems.

It seems the schools are always looking for excuses to pry into the private lives of families and report them to the authorities. My youngest daughter has told me that her teachers ask her how her parents discipline her and her siblings. It seems like they are digging for dirt on the parents and seeking excuses to take them away.

I would hate to imaging how they will use the answers to that question against families.



+5 more 
posted on May, 11 2012 @ 09:36 PM
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Geeze! I'm feeling the need to teach my son to distrust the school and most authority in his life if anything doesn't feel right in his own gut. He's at the ripe old age of 12! I felt a little tin foil hat like in even discussing this with him at this age.

3rd grade, it never occurred to me as even a passing thought, I may actually have been lax by waiting years too long.
edit on 11-5-2012 by Wrabbit2000 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 11 2012 @ 09:38 PM
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The question would have been fine if it had asked, "Why are secrets hard to keep?" They could have easily included the question without being nosy and prying like that with small children.

At the very least, it was a bad move and a bad judgment call to have such a question on a test.



posted on May, 11 2012 @ 09:39 PM
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We live in different times. Back when I was in school, we use to tell our teachers how badly our parents whooped our asses the day before, and our teachers would tell us to walk it off.

I went to Catholic schools, if it wasn't our parents beating us, it was our teachers when we acted up in class.



posted on May, 11 2012 @ 09:55 PM
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Leading questions that pull information about families and the child's personal life are not uncommon from what I've been told for years. Someone suggested teaching their children not to trust teachers and school officials. Though I would not do that exactly, I would teach them that any questions like that are not appropriate and just not to answer it. That actually could have some ramifications, too, I suppose. It seems like schools consider children their own instead of the parents'.



posted on May, 11 2012 @ 10:02 PM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 


I don't want to turn my kids into tinfoil hat wearing nut-jobs like me either but, it seems the time has come when we will have to sit them down and talk to them about what it appropriate to tell their teachers about their home lives.

A teacher's job is to teach the kids, not to serve as an investigator digging for dirt against the parents. They certainly shouldn't be digging for dirt unless they have evidence that something is going on.

You can bet I'm going to teach my kids to say "None of your Goddamn business!" when their teachers ask them about things outside of school.



posted on May, 11 2012 @ 10:05 PM
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This is quite scary, as though many parents try to keep their kids away from "adult" conversations, they are quite intuitive. This could break up homes and families all together, and if a kid lies, or at least stretches the truth, then again this is a horrible thing.

But then again.... there was a time in the 80's when I was in school and they were promoting, "No, Go, Tell" and I remember quite a few classmates that were no longer afraid to talk about sexual abuse at home.

This should do only ONE thing., and that is remind parents that they should raise their kids, and no one else. Its a horrible thing to think that if we teach our kids to be afraid to come forward that they could be harmed, if its something serious, but if not it could destroy a happy home... sad days these are.. sad days these are.

Peace, NRE.



posted on May, 11 2012 @ 10:13 PM
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I think this was deliberately done to get a better picture of the psychology of a young child and see if they are living some kind of lie. Children are so innocent and malleable, a child is so easy to convince.

They can see based on the response of the child how this secret can affect their life now and maybe even correlate that with who they become in the future.

I am telling yah.....They are really trying to understand which side the hamster wheel is turning and how fast all the time.....Scary.



posted on May, 11 2012 @ 10:28 PM
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I remember my Mom always teaching us that certain things such as politics, religion and financial matters were "family business" and that we should respect our families privacy in those matters.

While I would hope that an at risk child being abused would have the "safety net" of reaching out to adults at school if thier in trouble, I think it's really envasive to try and extract "secrets" from children......" Mommy and Daddy like to "wrestle"....oh my....lol....



posted on May, 11 2012 @ 10:29 PM
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Creepy and totally invasive. None of the school's GD business! Kids inherently want to "please" adults, and in some cases, as mentioned previously, might make "secrets" up to gain "approval". I understand the concern about possible child abuse, but this is a totally skewed means of "trolling" for information that may not be accurate.



posted on May, 11 2012 @ 10:46 PM
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I don't know. In a way, for the good parents who don't participate in illegal activities, it shouldn't be a big deal, but I can see how it may be interpreted as a really, REALLY big invasion of privacy. On the other hand, for the kids that are abused on a regular basis, sexually abused, emotionally abused, physically abused, and I'm not talking about a spanking, I'm talking about real abuse that does happen every day out in the world, it may be a good way for the extremely scared kid to speak up.
I don't like it being a "test question" at all, that's taking it way too far, but at the same time, I want the kids out there in the world to be able to trust their teachers enough to let them know when something really horrible is going on in their lives and stop the parents who should never be parents to begin with.
I'd be willing to bet that the teachers at your school had NO IDEA that question was even on the test and most administrators didn't either. Chances are, a small group of people who were responsible for making the test were aware of it and it may have had something to do with some government division. Teachers aren't allowed to see the tests ahead of time, to prevent "teaching to the test" and usually have no idea what kind of questions will be one it, only the core content they need to cover to prepare the kids for the test.
I just want to think that they didn't have devious plans for it, but see how it could be used by people who see a devious use for it. The people who created the test were either oblivious with good intentions or they were devious manipulators trying to set people up and gather information. I don't trust standardized tests anyway, but that's an entirely different conversation. :/

I guess what I'm trying to say is, Don't blame the teachers, they didn't make the tests. 95% of them have the best interest of the kids and the parents at heart, it's that other 5% who screw up everything. ...there was a time when I would have said 99%, but I've grown old and cynicle now



posted on May, 11 2012 @ 10:48 PM
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reply to post by QueSeraSera
 


Yeah, no doubt...very innocent things can be taken out of context.....LOL....remember the 1st time you noticed Daddy had umm..."morning wood" when he first woke up and you happened to see him walking around in his underware in the morning....lol...probably cause us kids "crashed" our parents room and woke him up....



posted on May, 11 2012 @ 10:54 PM
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For those who read this thread on ATS, it may be a great opportunity to talk to your kids about the difference between "secrets" and "privacy" and that just because something is private doesn't mean it's a "secret", it means it's something that not everyone needs to know, not something that nobody else should be allowed to know. When we have issues that arise, we can say "This is a family matter and it's private to our family" instead of saying "let's just keep this a secret' and it may help to nurture more well rounded adults some day.

If you want to do something about the test question, you can go to school board meetings and throw a fit and the school administration won't like that and they'll then complain to the creators of the test and maybe by working together, things like this can be stopped from happening again.
Optimistic? Maybe, but I do believe that the majority of people are basically good, it's that bad minority of people out there that mess it up for the rest of the world. It's just that the overall population is so large, that minority percentage now has a much larger magnitude than it did years ago when the overall population was much smaller


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posted on May, 11 2012 @ 10:56 PM
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Maybe parents should start telling their children that their 3rd grade teacher is retarded but that it is a secret. Or, maybe parents should start homeschooling their children and telling them it is because their teachers are retarded and it is no secret.



posted on May, 11 2012 @ 10:59 PM
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reply to post by PurpleChiten
 


The "if you aren't doing anything illegal, you have nothing to worry about" argument is pure BS.

There are some things people do that they want to keep secret to avoid embarrassment or even perfectly legal things people do that the school could twist and use against the parents.

What if the secret is that the family is on food stamps or they may lose their home because daddy lost his job? I'm sure most parents wouldn't want that type of info getting out. What if the secret is that their family owns several guns? Its perfectly legal for people to own guns and keep them in the house but, the school could use this as an excuse to say the child is living in a dangerous environment.

Any time the school or one of our doctors asks us if we have guns in the house, we lie to them every time. It is none of their business what kind of weapons I have in my home and you never know what is their agenda when asking such questions.

There are plenty of other perfectly legal but, embarrassing secrets families may want to keep that could be used against them to take away the children. Just think if a child revealed that there was a history of mental illness in the family or that "mommy sees a head shrink". The schools could use any number of things against the parents and have no business digging for dirt if they have no evidence of wrongdoing.



posted on May, 11 2012 @ 11:02 PM
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reply to post by PurpleChiten
 


You make a good point and remind me once more why absolutes aren't a great idea. It doesn't change my personal situation because it's only us and our Son. One size fits all isn't needed here... However.......

I hadn't given much thought to what you say and now that I do, well, you may have as good as suggestion as I offered for how to handle it, depending on the kid.

Privacy = Doctor or School inquiring about Mommy or Daddy owning guns at home (which is happening, as many know)

Secret = Daddy is molesting me when no one is home

In that... Yeah, I'd hate to think someone would unknowingly teach their kids a blanket 'Don't trust the cops and don't trust schools' ....then something like that develops and they don't feel they can bring it to the parent who taught them to trust no one, either. Hmmm... Here I thought I finally found a thread I could toss an opinion on with clarity and no buts... (snaps fingers) It's ATS. I should have known better.



posted on May, 11 2012 @ 11:06 PM
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Originally posted by FortAnthem
reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 


I don't want to turn my kids into tinfoil hat wearing nut-jobs like me either but, it seems the time has come when we will have to sit them down and talk to them about what it appropriate to tell their teachers about their home lives.

A teacher's job is to teach the kids, not to serve as an investigator digging for dirt against the parents. They certainly shouldn't be digging for dirt unless they have evidence that something is going on.

You can bet I'm going to teach my kids to say "None of your Goddamn business!" when their teachers ask them about things outside of school.

At the same time, even though you a probably a good parent who would never dream of hurting your children, not all parents are. It does sound like a good idea for sitting down and talking about what's appropriate to tell others about their home life and what isn't, but at the same time, it's not so good for those who are abusive to have a conversation like that because they're already not being the parent they're supposed to be and I doubt that their conversation would be the same as yours. Where you might tell your kids they shouldn't discuss family income, boyfriend/girlfriends of parents who may no longer be married, what websites their parents visit, what passwords are used for emails, things of a personal nature... the other parent (who shouldn't be a parent) may tell them they shouldn't tell other grownups about the special "play time" daddy has with them or about the strange bruises that show up each week or that they know what sex is because they've participated. It's just a fine line.
The teachers, 95% of them, really aren't out to get anyone and really don't want to break up families or make lives difficult. Having a good parent/teacher relationship helps a whole lot and the schools are always looking for ways to try to improve those but usually, the only parents who do come in on a regular basis are either A) the parents who have awesome children anyway and there's never anything negative to say or B) the helicopter parents who want special treatment for their kid but nobody else's. The parents who shouldn't be parents to start with are never the ones who come in for meetings or take an interest in their child's education



posted on May, 11 2012 @ 11:08 PM
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Originally posted by Wrabbit2000
reply to post by PurpleChiten
 


You make a good point and remind me once more why absolutes aren't a great idea. It doesn't change my personal situation because it's only us and our Son. One size fits all isn't needed here... However.......

I hadn't given much thought to what you say and now that I do, well, you may have as good as suggestion as I offered for how to handle it, depending on the kid.

Privacy = Doctor or School inquiring about Mommy or Daddy owning guns at home (which is happening, as many know)

Secret = Daddy is molesting me when no one is home

In that... Yeah, I'd hate to think someone would unknowingly teach their kids a blanket 'Don't trust the cops and don't trust schools' ....then something like that develops and they don't feel they can bring it to the parent who taught them to trust no one, either. Hmmm... Here I thought I finally found a thread I could toss an opinion on with clarity and no buts... (snaps fingers) It's ATS. I should have known better.


See, Rabbits and Chitens know a lot! If only those "people" would listen to us barnyard animals more ....



posted on May, 11 2012 @ 11:13 PM
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Originally posted by FortAnthem
reply to post by PurpleChiten
 


The "if you aren't doing anything illegal, you have nothing to worry about" argument is pure BS.

There are some things people do that they want to keep secret to avoid embarrassment or even perfectly legal things people do that the school could twist and use against the parents.

What if the secret is that the family is on food stamps or they may lose their home because daddy lost his job? I'm sure most parents wouldn't want that type of info getting out. What if the secret is that their family owns several guns? Its perfectly legal for people to own guns and keep them in the house but, the school could use this as an excuse to say the child is living in a dangerous environment.

Any time the school or one of our doctors asks us if we have guns in the house, we lie to them every time. It is none of their business what kind of weapons I have in my home and you never know what is their agenda when asking such questions.

There are plenty of other perfectly legal but, embarrassing secrets families may want to keep that could be used against them to take away the children. Just think if a child revealed that there was a history of mental illness in the family or that "mommy sees a head shrink". The schools could use any number of things against the parents and have no business digging for dirt if they have no evidence of wrongdoing.


But you see, those aren't "secrets", those are "private family matters". There really is a difference. A "secret" would be "my daddy has sex with me" or "mom has a meth-lab" or "dad robbed a bank and shot a guy last month". Those are "secrets". "Dad has lots of guns" or "Mom likes to drink wine at night on the weekends and it makes her relax" are family privacy issues. There's a big difference. I think WRabbit had the right idea in discussing with your kids what is appropriate to share and what isn't.
...I also think the people whose kids took that test need to throw an absolute FIT with the school administrators and ask them to contact the people who made the test and throw a FIT with them. It's not the school that's digging for information if anyone is, it's the state who commissioned the test. Schools have no input on the standardized tests.



posted on May, 11 2012 @ 11:17 PM
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Originally posted by FortAnthem
reply to post by PurpleChiten
 


The "if you aren't doing anything illegal, you have nothing to worry about" argument is pure BS.

There are some things people do that they want to keep secret to avoid embarrassment or even perfectly legal things people do that the school could twist and use against the parents.

What if the secret is that the family is on food stamps or they may lose their home because daddy lost his job? I'm sure most parents wouldn't want that type of info getting out. What if the secret is that their family owns several guns? Its perfectly legal for people to own guns and keep them in the house but, the school could use this as an excuse to say the child is living in a dangerous environment.

Any time the school or one of our doctors asks us if we have guns in the house, we lie to them every time. It is none of their business what kind of weapons I have in my home and you never know what is their agenda when asking such questions.

There are plenty of other perfectly legal but, embarrassing secrets families may want to keep that could be used against them to take away the children. Just think if a child revealed that there was a history of mental illness in the family or that "mommy sees a head shrink". The schools could use any number of things against the parents and have no business digging for dirt if they have no evidence of wrongdoing.

I just noticed your location, so I have a better understanding where you're coming from. I lived just west of Philly for 8 years and taught up there. Those schools in South-eastern PA are REALLY MESSED UP!!! The larger the population, the larger the corruption





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