Thursday, March 05, 2009

I Did It

I know I said I never would, but curiosity got the better of me and I looked at one of the IEPs that I received in an e-mail. I have to say I was not surprised at what I found.

The first thing I looked for was a date. Since the document is supposed to be renewed annually I thought it was important to know when it was last updated. Maybe the date was there, but I couldn't find it and I have no clue as to whether the document is actually up to date or not.

I then looked for special accommodations. This particular girl has trouble deciphering material and always does much better when someone sits with her and makes sure she is reading the questions correctly and answering what is being asked. After a long search, I discovered she was not entitled to this help. I don't know who evaluated her, but it is hard to believe anyone missed this modification.

I did find lots of goals for her. Patti will learn to decipher words. Patti will master geometric concepts. Patti will graduate high school with a regents diploma. Patti will go on to college. Patti will live independently. Patti will earn a living. All interesting, all totally irrelevant to Patti's daily academic needs. One of the regular IEP writers sat at our last faculty conference bragging about her (and her department's) ability to write goals and how the department can help the rest of the staff learn to write goals for our students. I think I could write better goals on my own.

I have IEPs for many other students in that same e-mail. I think I'll pass on reading those. I'll spend my time working with the kids, doing what I know needs to be done to get them to pass.


appple said...

i completely relate. i attended my first iep meeting last week, only to find that the student, who has missed two years of school being shuffled back and forth between florida, and knowledge-wise should be in the 5th grade, does not qualify for resource room support, and the only accommodation made for him will be a collaborative team teaching environment. which he's been in since september. huge faith renewal in our special education services evaluators after that meeting. huge.

JUSTICE not "just us" said...

Special Education which has never really worked for many special needs children in this city is in complete choas. You can take a guess as to who we owe that to.

I am not sure that sending IEPs via e-mail it totally kosher. IEPs
are suppose to be kept in a safe and secure place for the reasons of confidentiality. The teacher can have copies but they must be kept in a secure place.

Humm I live for the day I savvy parent sues the DOE for all the violations going on. IEPs via e-mail are not necessarily secure.
Just the opinion of a Spec. Ed. teacher.

Anonymous said...

IEPs sent via email are as secure as you checking your TRS online, online banking, online purchasing, checking your medical coverage.

Welcome to the 21st Century!

joycemocha said...

IEPs by e-mail are kosher. My sped department sends them to me that way.

However--those goals are horrible. I'm a sped person, and I do my best to focus on classroom accommodations that hopefully will work for students. I try to write general goals (don't have to do objectives if the student is not taking an alternative assessment) that can be ratcheted up as the student shows growth.

Sigh. I get too many IEPs from other people though who write goals that lack the basics:Condition, Behavior, Criteria.

You know--stuff like When given a multi-step math problem to solve, Karen will correctly identify what operations need to be performed, correctly identify the order of operations to be performed, then correctly solve the problem in four of five opportunities.

Why is writing stuff like that so hard? If I see another goal written in terms like "Karen will improve her math problem solving ability from a fourth to fifth grade level" I'll scream.

care020 said...

I am having the same problem! I find that my students have seriously unattainable goals and NO accomodations required. (I make the accomodations I think they need, but it would be nice if the things the child needs for success were indicated in the IEP)I was told by their case carrier that he had created addendums for all of the IEPs with this problem and would show them to me. I have been waiting months to see them. Last week, I had my fill of waiting and had the chair of the Special Ed. Department print copies of each IEP At A Glance for me. You guessed it!There have been no addendums attached.