Dr. Gary Thompson: This is Cognitive Child Abuse   9 comments

Guest Post by Dr. Gary Thompson

Our staff has been working on the best way to teach Common Core math to our kids with “learning differences”. Referencing the attachment below, in the high school section, PARCC tells teachers regarding the example listed that heavy “symbolic processing skills” will be needed to find the deeper, varied answers to the problem.

After two weeks, we simply gave up….along with the math genius among us, who scored a perfect score on the ACT, and has been teaching/tutoring kids with dyscalculia (Math Disorder) and anxiety disorders for years.

There are kids/teens (as well as adults like myself) who will never master “symbolic processing” of numbers and math concepts…..just like I will never be able to hit a 90 mile per hour fastball 385 feet over the left field wall in Dodger Stadium.


We have high functioning, genius IQ autistic/Aspergers kids who, despite demonstrated giftedness in math, will never be able to answer this question due to their brains’ inability to process anything symbolically….let alone stuck at a desk in front of a computer screen.

Tens of thousands of Utah public school children will never be able to process math in this manner over the course of their public school education.

This is cognitive child abuse.

As such, we are not even going to attempt to provide supplemental teaching/tutoring services in Common Core Math to children and teens with certain cognitive and emotional assessment profiles.

We are simply going to provide data to the parents supporting our recommendation that they pull their children out of the public school system.

Nor can we ethically take money from parents to utilize our special education attorney to rectify this mess.

There is no solution. Even if they “win,” the kid will still lose.

This is what happens when tests are designed and implemented without (published) pilot studies by arrogant Ivy Leaguers in “secret” without ANY input and design suggestions from local developmental psychologists and ground level teachers.

This will not end well for Utah’s children.



Thank you, Dr. Thompson, for sharing your experience and insight.

9 responses to “Dr. Gary Thompson: This is Cognitive Child Abuse

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  1. I just had a conversation the other day with an adult that struggled with reading and comprehension as a child. It stayed with him until his was in his 30’s and had to learn to master some basics in these areas as they related to his work. I asked him what made the difference from his childhood up to his 30’s. He said life experience, maturity, and a desire to support my family in a meaningful way. He is now very successful and in his 40’s. He reads fiction and non-fiction regularly and even though he still feels he is a slow reader, he does it with confidence now. I shudder to think of what he would have become had he been forced to learn under the common core, computer adaptive testing system facing us today. Would he have been told he just wasn’t smart enough and sent in a meaningless direction that would fail to help him realize the potential he has earned as a adult?
    I agree wholeheartedly with Dr. Thompson’s conclusion of computer adaptive testing and the common core standards. They are inferior and eliminate entire groups of children because those children exist outside the traditional educational box. It is most definitely child abuse and my children will not be made to suffer this system. Thank you for all you are doing to bring to light the damage this education reform will inflict on our children.

    • Thank you Ms. Valentine. I will be the first to admit that due to my own personal and intense struggles with my unique cognitive profile in high school, and three years of flunking out of community college, I sometimes get to emotional to be an effective, objective advocate on this subject. It is a comfort to know during times of emotional frustration regarding Common Core testing issues that scores of the most intelligent scholars in the fields of developmental and clinical psychology have provided years of peer reviewed research and clinical experience to support my sometimes unprofessional, emotional outburst.

      Two of my four children shared my genetic cognitive disposition. For the most part, they obtained their high school diplomas without going through the emotional hell that I went through as a African American teen and young adult. That said, they also had two Doctor’s of Psychology to “gently” guide schools and Districts to “see the light” whenever they attempted to implement methods of learning and assessment that simply were not appropriate for these two beautiful, smart (now) young adults.

      Rather than admit the distinct statistical probability that the Common Core test being designed for Utah’s children’s by AIR may be inappropriate and not valid for scores of kids, the Utah State Office of Education leadership chose to resort to name calling, out right lies/distortions, and political maneuverings to support their ill fated decision to pay $39 million bucks to a private testing company to design and implement this type of high stakes academic test.

      During their presentation to Utah lawmakers, they flat out distorted the truth by stating that pilot studies on the test “were promising.”

      1. How in the name of God can USOE stand in front of Utah lawmakers and state that a pilot study is promising for a test…..that is STILL BEING DEVELOPED AS WE SPEAK.

      2. Lastly, if this “pilot” study is so “promising”, why has the USOE not provided parents and professionals in the field such a myself, published findings of the study?

      After 6 months of hounding these people relentlessly, I finally gave up and turned my focus back to my family and our clinic’s practice.

      At no time have I ever publicly stated on national television, on social media, or in the news for Common Core to be abandoned. All I ever asked was for some documentation of it’s efficacy in terms of the testing being proposed.

      None is forthcoming Utah.


  2. Why can’t we call for Common Core to be abandoned in Utah? After spending nearly three hours speaking with a staff member from USOE, who was conducting a four-day Core Assembly (I believe that’s what they called it) here in Moab, I knew less about the standards than I knew going in. During those four days, teachers from Monticello, Moab, and Blanding gathered in the high school classrooms to learn strategies for implementing the standards. They were provided lunch, and maybe more, during their conference. I came home with a small book containing the ELA standards and two larger, amended versions of ELA and Math standards, which include recommended literary sources for teachers of the ELA core. I believe the woman I spoke with was sincere in her vision of what education should look like in Utah but misguided about how to go about it. After viewing her profile on the USOE website, I found she came here from CA where she wrote grants and is now doing the same thing in Utah. One of her concerns is that we must now cater to all groups of students – but, for me, that means what its always meant: solid students are neglected because of poor-performing ones. She couldn’t answer questions about data mining but gave me a number to call. Also, she didn’t know much about the math standards. She did, however, cede that the standards are written for teachers to use to measure grade level expectations, not student performance, and that teachers who are tired, distracted, or otherwise disengaged will most likely teach to the standards and not above them. I am now trying to plow my way through all the info in these large books I’ve brought home and am totally discouraged that I, a mother, high school valedictorian, and recipient of numerous collegiate scholarships, am having a difficult time navigating them. So. Per my original question – why can’t we call for this expensive, confusing, questionable program to be abandoned in Utah?

    P.S..Do you know where I can access the 400 data points referred to by Atty. Emmett McGroarty referenced in his video?

  3. Oops……it was called a Core Academy. I am wondering who paid for the four days of instruction, materials, and food brought in during this academy. Was it state funded? I know our school district professes poverty, while maintaining a fleet of cars for administrative use and building all types of campus structures. I hope we didn’t have to foot the bill for this four-day group session!

  4. The four hundred points can be found by googling the National Education Data Model. Frightening.

    stephanie phillips
  5. Dr. Thompson,
    Thank you for your contribution of knowledge and insight into the child abuse testing measures which will be done on our children. I plan to quote you in an upcoming informational meeting I am having in Florida to help inform parents and others about Common Core, testing measures, and the data tracking. We appreciate all that you are doing and pray you continue to shed light on subjects you think will be of benefit to the nation.

    Debbie Higginbotham
  6. I learn more reading the comments here that I’ve learned anywhere else on this! You all are awesome. BTW, on the 400 data points, I found this…

    Barbara Haney stopalaskacommoncore.com

  7. Pingback: Dr. Gary Thompson to Deseret News: Let Readers Know the Truth about Common Core | COMMON CORE

  8. Pingback: Why Progressives Shouldn’t Support Ohio’s Anti-Common Core Bill

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