Skip to main content

Last night, Stephen Colbert looked at how a doctor is medicating children who haven't been diagnosed with any disorder yet, just to help their grades.

Nation, if we want to help poor students excel, we need to invest in more teachers, better resources, and newer facilities.  In other words, they're screwed.  But there may be a way to help underprivileged kids reach their full potential without wasting taxpayer money to do it.  And it brings us to tonight's Wørd: Meducation.

Folks, we have tried everything to improve our public schools: No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top.  (Teachers Dating Students)  But one thing we've overlooked is the most obvious answer of all — wonder drugs.  (Side Effects May Include: Hooray!)

But one doctor out there is trying.  Dr. Michael Anderson of Canton, Georgia, has begun prescribing kids Adderall who have not been diagnosed with ADHD.  He's doing it just to treat their "poor academic performance in inadequate schools".

Shocking.  There are children in America who haven't been diagnosed with ADHD.

Now, for those out there who say this is prescribing a powerful drug for kids who do not have the condition it treats, Dr. Anderson has a reassuring answer: "I don't have a whole lot of choice. ... We've decided as a society that it's too expensive to modify the kid's environment.  So we have to modify the kid."

(audience grumbles)

....

Now, of course, eventually it may turn out that drugging poor students creates more problems than it solves.  In which case, we'll have to stop trying to change our children, and think about changing ourselves.

I feel better about failing our kids already.

Video and full transcript below the fold.

Nation, it's no secret that America's schools are falling behind.  They rank 31st in math behind South Korea, Estonia, and Luxembourg.  Which would really hurt their feelings if they weren't also behind in geography.

And it is particularly hard for children in poor communities.  According to a recent study, "black children living in disadvantaged neighborhoods fall behind the equivalent of one year ... of schooling simply because of where they live."  I can relate.  I had to repeat sophomore year at Dartmouth just because I lived in East Wheelock with Matty Matt B, Choda, and the Nacho King.  I mean, there were times when we could barely afford to put Schlitz on the foosball table.

The problem is, our public schools lack the resources to help children succeed.  Thanks to funding cuts, many classrooms' alphabets only go up to R.

A rue ragedy.

Nation, if we want to help poor students excel, we need to invest in more teachers, better resources, and newer facilities.  In other words, they're screwed.  But there may be a way to help underprivileged kids reach their full potential without wasting taxpayer money to do it.  And it brings us to tonight's Wørd: Meducation.

Folks, we have tried everything to improve our public schools: No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top.  (Teachers Dating Students)  But one thing we've overlooked is the most obvious answer of all — wonder drugs.  (Side Effects May Include: Hooray!)

But one doctor out there is trying.  Dr. Michael Anderson of Canton, Georgia, has begun prescribing kids Adderall who have not been diagnosed with ADHD.  He's doing it just to treat their "poor academic performance in inadequate schools".

Shocking.  There are children in America who haven't been diagnosed with ADHD.

Now, for those out there who say this is prescribing a powerful drug for kids who do not have the condition it treats, Dr. Anderson has a reassuring answer: "I don't have a whole lot of choice. ... We've decided as a society that it's too expensive to modify the kid's environment.  So we have to modify the kid."

(audience grumbles)

Now I have always been in favor of fixing society's problems by modifying children.  (Island Of Pediatrician Moreau)  I mean, for one thing, we would not have so much crime if we just gave kids legal immunity and replaced their arms with plasma cannons.  (Might Stop Them From Texting)

The point is, students thrive when they get personal attention.  And since we can't afford all the teachers it would take to give them that attention, we'll give them a pill that helps them pay attention.  I just hope they don't pay attention to how little attention we're giving them.  ("Take Two Of These And Don't Call, Ever")

And don't worry, folks.  Adderall helps kids focus.  Not because it's some amphetamine — because it's a combination of four amphetamines.  It's like the Colonel's secret recipe for speed.  ("It's Finger-Chewing Good!")

Folks, I believe this is a great fiscally responsible answer, but we can do more.  I mean, we might be cutting arts programs, but one tab of acid, and your kid will be seeing colors you can't find in a Crayola box.  (Bad Field Trip)

(audience applause)

Of course, with anything having to do with school, the real problem starts at home.  Many children feel unwanted and unloved.  But once they're on ecstasy, they'll get all the nurturing they could ever want just by nuzzling the doormat.  (Makes Them feel "Welcome")

Now, of course, eventually it may turn out that drugging poor students creates more problems than it solves.  In which case, we'll have to stop trying to change our children, and think about changing ourselves.

I feel better about failing our kids already.  (Meducation)  And that's the Wørd, we'll be right back.

Stephen also looked at Pizza Hut's debate promise, and had another ThreatDown on bears.
Meanwhile, Jon criticized Obama for his "October Surprise" of giving up in the first debate, and then got frustrated at his campaign for continuing to bring up Sesame Street.
He then talked with Jason Jones about all the contradictory polling going on recently.
Stephen talked with author Naomi Wolf, and Jon talked with NBA legend Magic Johnson.

Originally posted to BruinKid on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 05:04 AM PDT.

Also republished by Electronic America: Progressives Film, music & Arts Group.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site