Sunday, November 24, 2013

Mental Health Professional Denied Speaking Slot at Common Core Hearing; CSW's Main Testimony Online

*CSW Mary Calamia testifies   *Dr. Gary Thompson testifies

We have been seeing a veritable prairie fire of resistance across New York State rural and suburban communities over the past month. Parents, students and teachers recoiled at the alienating curriculum that has stemmed from implementation of the Common Core State Standards. Initially, Education Commissioner John King was so frustrated by the nearly universal oppositional response to the Common Core that he cut short his tour on the new standards.

Fortunately, he restarted the tour. This time he has Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch as his accompanying partner, possibly to deflect the focus on him alone. Interestingly, he has spent less time responding directly to the audiences. The fact that he is merely uttering the same stock phrases over and over further highlights how out of tune he is with the people.

We have heard of the curricular and the democratic process concerns, and the concerns over the CCSS's connection with high stakes tests. Now we have reports from professionals that children subjected to the Common Core curriculum and tests are becoming clinically depressed. This was first widely reported by a teacher and union local president, Beth Dimino, from Port Jefferson, Long Island.

Now we have direct testimony by a clinical social worker from Suffolk County, Long Island. Apparently, she has an extensive practice with school-aged children and teachers. She attempted to speak at a Comm. King appearance in Manorville but she was denied the opportunity. The Sayville Patch posted this report:
 The only Mental Health professional in New York State who is publicly speaking out on the subject of the Common Core, Mary Calamia respectfully requested the opportunity to speak and present statement on record regarding the mental health ramifications of the Common Core State Standards before Dr. King.
 Ms. Calamia was denied the opportunity to present this important statement to Dr. King.  The reason was she does not reside in Senator LaValle’s district.

The following is the statement Ms. Calamia wanted to present at the Community Forum:
Statement for NYS Education Commissioner John King:

My name is Mary Calamia and I am a licensed clinical social worker.  I want to thank you for bringing us the Common Core. Business has never been better.
If not for the Common Core, I would never have met the 8 year old who is so afraid of the Spring exams, she has to be medicated just to go to school.
Or the 4th grader who vomits every morning, certain that he is "the stupidest kid in the class."
 Or the lady who has to leave work early, her job in jeopardy, because her 7th grader becomes so hysterical over his homework, she fears for his safety.
Or the 6 year old boy who is scratching the skin off of his face, drawing blood every time he does his homework.
Or the 8 year old who picks his skin obsessively and has to go to school with band aids all over his face.
Or the honor student who carved the word "stupid" into her wrist with a razor blade after last year's math assessment scores came out.
Without the Common Core, I would not be working 10 to 12 hours days without a break just to treat all of the young people streaming into my practice with anxiety, depression, self mutilation, panic attacks, insomnia, school refusal, and a host of other maladies.
I thank you for the emergency phone calls at all hours of the night and the countless interrupted meals, leisure activities, and family occasions when I have had to address a "homework meltdown" that could not be resolved without professional intervention.
How many more children will you send my way? How far do you plan to go with this disaster that you call "education" but more closely resembles child endangerment? How desperate are you to be right? What will it take for you to do the right thing?
Ror further information Contact: Mary Calamia (631) 675-0080,
 Copyright 2013 - Mary Calamia, LCSW, CASAC
Calamia sent this press release:
Mary Calamia, LCSW, CASAC 1239 Route 25A, Suite 6B Stony Brook, New York 11790 (631) 835-1824
For Immediate Release
October 24, 2013
Contact: Mary Calamia (631) 835-1824,
Testimony at New York State Assembly Education Forum Mental Health Ramifications of Common Core
On October 10th, 2013 I testified at the New York State Assembly Education Forum on the mental health ramifications of the Common Core. The full text of my testimony can be viewed at:
My oral testimony may be viewed at: My testimony begins at 5:30.
I am a licensed clinical social worker in private practice on Long Island. I work with students, parents and teachers representing more than 20 different school districts.
Last year, the New York State Education Department fully implemented the Common Core State Standards in our schools. Since its implementation, I have observed:
· a [200]-300% increase in new referrals of adolescents who are self-mutilating. The majority of these newly referred youngsters are honors students with no prior history of self-mutilation. They cite the pressures of the increased workload, standardized testing, and feelings of failure as the top reasons for this behavior,
· a [200]-300% increase in new referrals of elementary school children due to school refusal and anxiety. The majority of these children say they feel "stupid" and "hate school." These are children with no prior history of anxiety or school refusal. They are throwing tantrums, begging to stay home, and are upset even to the point of vomiting,
· a marked increase in self-mutilating behaviors, insomnia, panic attacks, depressed mood, school refusal, and suicidal thoughts during the state exam cycle last spring,
· children are being exposed to age-inappropriate lessons geared to adult learning patterns, not childhood ones. Children are not capable of engaging in the critical thinking the Common Core requires. Critical thinking requires achieving a developmental milestone that does not occur until early adulthood,
· parents complaining that the educational system is driving a wedge between them and their children. They are the ones who have to enforce homework completion and make their distressed children go to school. Also, there are no textbooks to clarify what their children are learning. They cannot help their struggling children with their studies,
· a strain on the teachers that is causing a palpable level of distress in the schools.
I will be happy to answer any questions or interview on this issue.
Mary Calamia, LCSW, CASAC
In the past month Utah based child psychologist Dr. Gary Thompson testified at the Wisconsin state legislature, on the occasion of that state's Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) hearings, that the Common Core implementation amounted to child abuse. He cited the implementation of Common Core as a grand experiment upon 500,000 children, in violation of the standard procedure of providing "informed consent" to parents.

Visit this YouTube site for the audio, when listening on limited speed systems. At better connection speeds visit this Vimeo address for the video of the hearing proceedings.