Thursday, November 20, 2008
Well, after a spectacular parent teacher conference 2 weeks ago, I was informed this morning (before coffee) that my down syndrome daughter is making no progress in any of her 3 teachers opinions (a complete about face from 2 weeks ago btw). Shocked and surprised I asked for their suggestion as they have effectively said she is not performing in a classroom setting nor with one on one instruction with a special ed teacher. Then I got it, all of a sudden I was hearing about a wonderful program at another school, and that the teacher had already been by to observe her and felt she could help her learn to read. They had successfully found a way to pawn her off on another school and maintain their precious high test scores :bravo: I decided to roll with this and after commenting on the fact that they were effectively conceding defeat to my child, I went to see the new school. I was really impressed by the teacher, she seems fitting of that title, unlike the women I had previously met with . . . seriously they should consider a new profession or maybe take the extra classes and move to the gifted program. Teaching is not just about helping the average or above average kids, it is supposed to be about helping all kids learn. If you give up the second a kid throws a tantrum, then you are ensuring that that will continue every time you say something they don't like. I think I might need to go get me one of them diploma's, apparently they don't teach them what they used to. The sad/funny thing is that this is probably thanks to the "No Child Left Behind" Act (ironic name), they have taken a great idea and destroyed it. The point was for ALL children, regardless of ability, to get a quality education without the system leaving them behind. It seemed harsh but bad teachers kept passing kids without regard to if they were actually learning and there was a serious problem. Holding teachers accountable is a great idea but how? Testing is probably not the greatest but it's what we've got, it's what we know. The mistake made is that the special ed kids are tested with the reg ed and so test scores became skewed, this created problems as no one wants the low score. The special ed system doesn't retain students it promotes them regardless of their ability and so causes a severe strain on the schools scores. I think, if we are going to use reg ed testing on special ed then the special ed student must be able to do that level of work to move on to the next grade. This will maintain a healthy balance and produce a truer score. Anyway, I'll be getting off my soapbox now. But let me just say this, shame on you teachers, special ed directors, administrators for forgetting the children and only looking at your numbers.