One of the side effects …

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I just spotted an article about Robin Williams that suggested a Parkinson’s drug led to his suicide. One of the listed side effects for the drug is apparently suicide. My first thought was that doctors have been far too cavalier about prescribing many of their new miracle treatments. I’ve taken those drugs, the ones where the side effect proved worse than the original condition. I’d rather have a migraine than find myself lost in a closet with no memory how I got there. Doctors in pursuit of a cure frequently ignore side effects, prescribing with little or no discussion. Maybe they think the pharmacist will fill in the holes.

Eduhonesty: It occurred to me that I am describing an excellent analogy for education today. Educational administrators prescribe fixes for problems without regard to side effects and almost without discussion. They decide to make grades based 98% on tests, for example, ignoring the effect on motivation where daily work is concerned. They go to an all-year school year (which I like), sometimes without adequately providing for the childcare problem they are creating. Often I think they expect the teachers and parents to fill the holes. News flash: Teachers and parents frequently can’t motivate a child to do homework that “does not count” in the child’s eyes. Sometimes parents don’t have the funds for the nonexistent childcare.

Too many “solutions” lead to people scrambling to solve the problems created by the solutions.

Robin William’s death is tragic. We can’t know his story, but the world has become a darker place. I hope no one takes offense at this post; I recognize I have used the saddest of events as a springboard.