Saturday, October 06, 2007

A Child Left Behind


I know a bright seventh grader whose math class is an inclusion class. half of this class had IEP's and is way below grade level in math. His teacher wants everyone to succeed. She is spending quite a bit of time reteaching long division. This bright seventh grader mastered long division a long time ago. He should be learning seventh grade math and even some of the topics from eight grade math. This bright seventh grader is being left behind. He is not receiving an education now and because of this he may not be able to start high school math in the eighth grade. He will never have enough time in his high school career to study pre-calculus or calculus. Once again, the NCLB law is leaving behind children.

13 comments:

Mamacita (Mamacita) said...

I'm with YOU.

JUSTICE not "just us" said...

There should be two teachers in an inclusion class--the regular ed teacher and the special education teacher. Students should be getting individualized attention.

Now in a perfect world both teachers should have knowledge of the content area and how to tailor lessons for the class but that involves planning and true collaboration but in schools that are in crisis that's impossible to do.

In my school they have regular education teachers teaching special education students without any knowledge of their academic and emotional needs. My skunk of a principal belives that Special Education should be abolish and he is on a mission to do so.

17 (really 15) more years said...

That's why I detest the entire concept of CTT classes- somebody is missing out, regardless of the fact that there are 2 teachers in the room. There's no way that 27 kids can possibly have their individual needs met.

As far as regular ed teachers teaching special ed classes- we have the same situation in my school. The general ed teachers do a lot better job with the kids than the special ed teachers- especially the right out of college teachers. They seem to think that relating to the kids on their level (translation: since they're closer in age to the kids than they are to most of the staff, they have things in common) is a good intervention.

Pissed Off said...

I for one do not want two teachers in my classroom. It is bad enough when the kids talk when I do. I don't want another teacher talking too.

In my school, a wonderful spec ed teacher, with a strong background in teaching math, is teaching Math B to a small group of main stream special ed kids. I am willing to bet that her kids will succeed at a much higher rate than they would if they were in a class of 34--even if she was in the room with them.

care020 said...

Our district frowns on anything that resembles a "pull out" program, even if it includes regular educations students. When they hear of or find out about such strategies being used, they retort that the regular ed. teacher is not doing his/her job -- they should be differentiating instruction.

They do not realize how difficult differentiation is in a room of 36 students which include the following:

special ed. students with various learning disablilities

ELL students who range from level 1 - 4 (They say I am so good that they trust me to include the needs of the 1's and 2's in my lessons. The real answer, I do not complain as loudly.)

high acheiving students

students who do not like school and do the minimum to get by or nothing

regular students who want to do well but need to be taught.

JUSTICE not "just us" said...

Wow, conversations like this are not allowed in my school. Think I will devote some blog enteries on the mess that is Special Education at the DOE.

I agree individualization in a class of 34 is impossible and I would add in a class of 15 in 42 minutes of instruction time. The fact is that most teachers are not trained in methods to meet the academic needs of learning disabled children much less have training to deal with emotionally based behavoir problems. Everything I have learned in teaching special needs children I have learned through experience. Suffice it to say that I am still learning no thanks to the adminstration. Adminstrations usually view special needs students as a burden and steer away from them and their teachers.

I agree with you pissed in having a another teacher in the room. I co-taught for 5 years with a wonderful Spanish teacher from the regular ed and it was great because we both were able to make it work and that aint easy!

17 (really 15) more years said...

justice- these conversations aren't allowed in my school either-when we try, we are told we are being "difficult".

If I hear the word "differentiation" one more time, I will scream. It has become a tremendous bone of contention in my school, because the AP and coaches simply tell us "we better do it" and when we protest (not because we don't want to do it, but because we just don't know how to make it work in classes of 30) we are threatened and berated. And G-d help you if you're "caught" doing a whole group lesson- we were told that we can't do that either.

Ms. Tsouris said...

I am going to scream not because I'm a special educator and this is a kid we both know, but that the parent was not informed that this class has kids with IEP's and actually has less kids than the usual 33 for a middle school. I hear this boy's class has 25 kids in it. Nonetheless, the parent had no clue until she had a phone conversation with her kid's math teacher. This parent also has a long background as a special educator, and she plans to speak personally to the principal about the secrecy of class arrangements. Unfortunately for this principal, his gig will be up since she will be speaking to him primarily as a very informed parent. It's the usual DOE smoke and mirrors routine. Fortunately for the kids, some parents are just as informed and are just as knowledgeable as the principal. What about the kids whose parents are still clueless as to what really is going on in their kid's classroom?

proofoflife said...

I have a case where the one "regular" teacher is doing all the teaching and the "special" one is taking naps. The "regular" teacher feels as if she and the kids are in hell. This is why she(reg.) takes the lead and is overworked! As for differentiation, that is what the stepford teachers of the future are expected to do. Give a test, view results via ARIS and then adjust the instruction depending on who mastered what.I agree with 17 really 15. How the hell is one expected to have so many mini groups targeting on specific skills in one very over crowded class room? Reality is that there are many "special" children in "regular" education classes waiting for services. Or worse, parents in denial, who won't allow their child to be tested.No teacher left without anger for NCLB. P.S. The AFT and the UFT want to establish merit pay on a building to building basis. Who will teach all the special education kids? What principal would want to have special education classes or ELL classes ? Not many teachers would want to teach them. Some teachers would only want to teach in buildings that would earn the bonus bucks!Hey, it's Sunday and i'm worrying about the state of education. No wonder I get so depressed.

Pissed Off said...

In HS we are supposedly teaching with the goal of regents prep, and college prep. There is no way to differentiate this learning, no matter what anyone outside of education thinks. Not everyone can learn everything and certainly not at the same pace.

mathnerd said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mathnerd said...

I totally agree, especially being a 7th grade teacher. What I hate is the fact that while I am having to leave kids behind, it is really a whole mix of things to why. (One main one in our district is there are elementary teachers not getting enough covered in 5th/6th grade for these kids to be prepared for 7th). It is hard, I know in our school if a student is placed wrong we can move them. Thankfully our school is small enough and classes are able to be switched. It doesn't sound like that is possible in most other places. My inclusion class is a horrible situation. My “SpEd” teacher to be in there to work with the kids is a SpEd major with an endorsement in English Lit. Why is she a math “specialist” you ask? Because our district is so screwed up with having 10 extra administrators that they couldn’t afford to hire a real math specialist. What a waste. We pull a few IEP kids out and a few Regular Ed kids to go to small group with her. The IEP kids hate going with her because they can never understand what she is explaining because apparently all she does is read the book. So it has become two SpEd kids who need definite one-on-one help and the four successful kids in the class. I just wish our Superintendent would come out and see what a waste class time is in our school.

Pissed Off said...

Sup's only see what they want to see. They would see a wonderful program including small group instruction. It does not matter that the kids are learning nothing.