As I waited to start my class, I saw Bill approach his teacher with a question about what she had put on the board. It was a remedial class, the topic was dividing decimals and the question was 4/.08.
Bill was concerned. He repeatedly told his teacher he had never seen an example like that, a big number being divided into a small one. He said he was never taught that and did not even think it was possible. He was obviously concerned about learning and upset about this question. The teacher did not have time to discuss it at the moment and told him they would get back to it next class.
I had a sick reaction to the whole thing. Bill is severely learning disabled. He does not belong in an academic environment. His speech, his handwriting and his mannerisms give him away. Some high school special education guidance counselor, or special education supervisor must have thought college was a good idea for him. Having him enrolled in college makes them and their statistics look good. A frustrated young man is not their problem. The blows to his self esteem will not hurt them. The money his parents spend is not hurting their wallets.
Don't get me wrong, there are lots of students currently in special education classes that can go on to an academic college and have wonderful careers, but many cannot. No college can help a student with an IQ of 70. The adults in charge of special educating these students should be ashamed of themselves. They care nothing for the students entrusted to them.