Thursday, December 10, 2009

Now I Know Why They Don't Want Us Reading IEPs

On December 8th, I got an IEP for a student who has been in my class since the beginning of September. I've asked for it many times and I heard the parent has been coming down hard on the ISS department to do things right for this boy. So much for no excuses, plenty were given to explain this.

Today I got a chance to read my student's IEP. I found out that Joe needs medication to stay focused. His math fluency is ranked just below third grade and his reading fluency is just slightly higher. His annual goals for math include a basic knowledge of number facts and number concepts for problem solving. His short term goals include internalizing basic number facts, ability to estimate and self correct in computations and number problems and to be able to work with whole numbers, decimals and fractions.

Joe is in my algebra class. No wonder this poor kid is failing.

I usually hate going to IEP conferences, but Joe's conference is one I would like to attend. How can any school, in good conscious, subject a kid with third grade levels to high school material? If this kid can learn at a high school level, why not teach high school material to all third graders? We could graduate them by the time they are 10 or 12 years old. Think of the money the city will save.
There is no excuse for no IEPs or the level of education this child is being subjected to.


Ms. Take said...

A child with reading and math levels below or hovering around a 4th grade level should NEVER be in a general education class. Joe should have not been placed in your class; he should have been in a self contained (special ed) class all along. There is something very wrong with this picture!!

Pissedoffteacher said...

Maybe there is a reason no one gave me an IEP until I opened my mouth.

Kim Hughey said...

This kind of thing happens all the time. I fought against this all last year in our inclusion classes. I was just sick to to see these sweet little special ed kids in algebra I classes. Some were so frustrated they would just put their heads down and go to sleep but the really sad ones were the ones who were literally of such a low ability level that they had no idea that they were in a class way over their head. They just sat there and scribbled away on their paper trying their best to do what the teacher asked them to do. It broke my heart. I wanted to see them in a class where they would actually learn something, but instead they were in algebra trying to learn to factor quadratic trinomials! What a crock. I never won the battle either, because I talked to a friend from my old school who says they are still doing inclusion the same way they did it last year.

Anonymous said...

You are wrong on MANY levels. I am the special ed teacher of an Integrated co-Teaching algebra class. In going over our grades my team teacher remarked how it wasnt fair that all the ISS students were passing and students who failed this marking period were ALL gen ed students. There are many remarkable students with special needs who can produce quality work with the right supports. Dont let any student drown but give those kids a chance they can learn. Please look at them as the child they are first, then their disability. They deserve the same instruction as any other student.....dont write them off!

Pissedoffteacher said...

I'm not writing this kid off but you have to admit that a child with a third grade reading and math level cannot possibly be expected to do high school work.

I had a team teaching class and the kids in ISS were great, smarter than the gen ed kids. But, they all arent' like that and until people see that everyoneis created differently, there will be problems.

I would be wrong to right them off but you are wrong to think they can all accomplish the same thing.

joycemocha said...

My perspective as a sped teacher is slightly different from that of Anonymous's. I think that when you start reaching that level of discrepancy in skills, the kids benefit from intensive teaching.

I have a class of 11 middle school kids plus 5 fifth graders in an intensive remedial math (okay, the "official" term is "intervention" class. I have partial assistance from one aide. It's all self-paced with one-on-one help, ranging from beginning multiplication to long division to fractions.

The kids are learning, especially the older ones who have come into the class with crashing self-esteem. They're also comfortable with whining at me, and venting their frustrations verbally. It's one of my most intensely emotional classes--but learning is happening.