Friday, September 20, 2013

Special Educators With Self Serving Interests

 

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.

7 comments:

Lisa Blair said...

I understand your point, but as a special education teacher of high school math, I have to say that this sounds like a generalization that is a bit unfair. We teach these students what we teach because the state mandates it. Every state follows the CCCS or their own standards that we are required to teach, even if in modified form. We do our very best to remediate these students to the best of our abilities and theirs. But the state sets the standards, and the ARD committees, including parents, and advocates if they so choose, make the education decisions for these students, based on evaluations and testing done by professionals. Don't blame the teachers for just trying to do their jobs.

Pissed Off said...

Sending these kids to college is wrong. Giving kids answers to exams to get them to pass is wrong. The curriculum is wrong. I am not criticizing teachers. I am blaming counselors and administrators who only care about stats.

Ms. Tsouris said...

The underlying problem is the lack of alternatives for these students who definitely shouldn't be routed toward a college education. The administrators and counselors are from a new breed that is soulless and shockingly mindless in spite of degrees and job titles. There used to be vocational education but that is now apparently archaic and expensive. School to work programs? Well how are you going to keep these kids in the school building for all that test prep that makes sure they are "college-ready"? The amoral and unethical behavior of these counselors and administrators is a symptom of a society-wide problem. The problem started with government control of education, and it just shows how morally bankrupt that type of control is.

burntoutteacher said...

I'm not sure this is on topic but here goes; the year before I transferred to my last school, almost all of the self-contained classroom kids had their IEP's changed so they were suddenly in team-taught classrooms. (Yes, the principal was reported to both the DoE and the UFT and as far as I know the investigation is still going on.) These kids who for most of their academic careers were in small environments with measured goals were suddenly placed in classrooms with 4 students, and expected to do the same work as students with no learning or behavior issues. Since most could not even function (one student in particular, one of my favorites, actually, could not even sit very long and spent most of his days wandering the hall), the failure rate rocketed and who was to blame? Not the school psychologist who illegally arranged and signed-off on the IEP changes, not the principal who ordered the changes to save money, not the guidance counselor who helped engineer the changes, not the system that encouraged this immoral lack of concern for those students, not the parents who were not sufficiently informed to insist on what was best for their children. No, the blame went to the teachers who could not keep those students in their classes of 34, who could not get them to focus long enough to pass any tests. And all were placed in college-track programs. WTF?????

burntoutteacher said...

I meant 34 students were in each classroom.

Anonymous said...

This IS the dilemma!!! There really is NO special ed anymore. The truth is everybody DOESN'T need to be "college and career ready" some kids need to have a basic job and some life skills. Instead, they endure years of being given work and tests they can't cognitively do and never learn anything. AND most importantly, they FEEL like failures and have zero confidence.

Anonymous said...

There is no deference left in the world for OUR kids! We have allowed this to happen.