Tag Archives: DESSA

Public Schools Giving Psych Evals To Children Without Parental Consent

This is disturbing.

Dr. Aida Cerundolo, a New Hampshire physician, exposed public schools in his state for giving secret mental-health assessments to elementary children without the parents’ knowledge in a piece he wrote last month in The Wall Street Journal.

Some K-8 students are being subjected to blanket screening by untrained, unlicensed personnel, with serious questions about use or protection of the resulting records. And parents not only haven’t consented to this process, they haven’t even been told it’s happening…

This is all part of so-called social-emotional learning (SEL), which is pushed by the new fed-ed bill (the Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA). Not that ESSA has to push very hard — the mammoth and monolithic K-12 education establishment, both federal and state, is partnering with corporate education cronies to get all children on the psychiatric couch. From there, the kids can be more easily shaped to demonstrate the kinds of mindsets and attitudes the government wants.

The DESSA is used by teachers with no mental health training, with any assessment the person administering there are prejudgments, selective perceptions, …that can influence judgment. The test is “not clinically approved or licensed by any mental health institutions.”

The New Hampshire tests are called the Devereaux Student Strengths Assessment, or DESSA. It was designed to “assess children’s ‘competencies’ in eight domains: self-awareness, social awareness, self-management, goal-directed behavior, relationship skills, personal responsibility, decision-making, and optimistic thinking.”

Mind you, this evaluation is not clinically approved or licensed by any mental health institutions, but only by teachers not trained to handle the complex psychology of schoolchildren. According to Dr. Cerundolo, these teachers must answer 72 questions about each student in their class and assess if that student exhibits confidence, and how the child reacts to “insults and mean comments.”

No Confidential – test could be accessed by anybody and parents have no say.   The test are not done by medical professions which means the records are not kept confidential.

The goal with DESSA tests is to rate children on their behaviors and figure out which students need “intervention.” A teacher in New Hampshire concerned about the tests contacted Ann Marie Banfield, the education liaison for Cornerstone Action. Banfield warns:

“DESSA is there to rate students on their behaviors but then to offer intervention to improve their scores. Social awareness is one of the key competencies to ensure the students are aware and accepting of race and diversity. These software programs profit 3rd party vendors when they sell the program to your school district. The [vendor] then collects non-academic data on your child, rates your child’s behaviors and attitudes, then makes more money by selling products to correct them.” TruthRevolt