What is out there for the kids who have already been “left behind” by the school systems?
My biggest concern regarding the public, and in some cases, private, school systems is the tendency to hold all students to the same reference frame. I did not stay standard for a specific reason. I’m not sure if “reference frame” says it right or not, but “standard” definitely does not fit. Boys and girls having differing learning curves, and differing ages of maturation, and this means that the school system is bound to fail either one or the other at some point, when they are all put together in the same place, at the same age, and expected to learn the same things at the same pace. Add to this situation the shortage of teachers nationally, the other students who are either ahead of their gender’s peer group, or behind that group, limitations placed on administrators who are doing their best to both deal with R, R, and R, and to help Joe, Bill, Mary, and Sue to see that firearms, drugs and exploring parenthood just don’t fit in the school setting.
I know that your comment list is lengthy, so I will keep it short, but I didn’t want to just pass by the opportunity to say that I care. The heart and soul and mind of the child will, in the long run be decided by those who care about him or her the most. Just try to make sure that in the eyes of your child, that this person is you.
I would look into an “alternative ” school within the system. We have one, and when some kids just need to learn a different way, they go there. However, our material is presented many different ways in the classroom, so attending the alternative school is not necessary too often.
Have you thought of home schooling? I know it is very good for some students.
No Child Left Behind is President Bush’s attempt to give every child a chance to live the American dream by leveling the playing field. If everyone could read, then at least everyone would have a good chance to succeed.
However, there are holes. There are some children who will NEVER read. They were born with what I call a brain mix-up. The wiring is just not connected correctly. It is sad, but realistic.
As every diagnostic test comes and goes, it is tweaked yearly. Eventually they all get to be the same type of test. That is when someone decides that we need a new test because the old one is just not right for whatever their goal is at the time. It’s a vicious cycle.
As far as your son goes, is there any possibility of sending him to a private school? It sounds like the school system is not too commendable.
I guess I have five solutions.
2. Different school system
3. Private School
4. Get a copy of the textbooks and work with your child daily, weekends, and summers.
5. Alternative school
It is a tough road. No one knew what they were signing up for when they became parents, but I believe that you were given all the tools that you need to do the best that you can for your child.
You were chosen to be the parent of a child with special needs. Work one-on-one as much and as often as possible. Sometimes just knowing that the material is important and interesting to you, along with spending lots of special time with your child means so much more than any tutor or resource teacher can provide.
I don’t know if this helped at all. You are in between a rock and a hard place. Let me know if I can help at all.
I think the parents bear some responsibility for their kids. Not only being their advocates, but making sure they get tutors and special help. It should not ALL fall on the school system.
OK, maybe there are not a lot out there who like those answers, but these are questions that school boards face all the time. Somewhere, some time, something will have to give.
EDIT: Actually, I’m not totally ignorant of the system. I know the feds give money (but who’s money? still taxpayer). I also know that the federal funds do NOT cover the entire cost of many special education students. I also know that those dollars HAVE to be spent on special ed kids. If they are not in your district, and you can prove that, then you have a huge case against your district. My questions were designed at large; they are not confined to you and your child. They affect each and every child in the school system.
Finally, how are questions a problem? Do they make you uncomfortable? I know our three area districts ALL do very well by our special ed & IEP kids. Your question was general, I answered generally. These are legitimate questions about a very tough topic.
1) There are advocates who are free, through some county agencies, I think. I have seen some come to IEP’s in the past.
2) You can file an appeal with the Office of Civil Rights, that your child’s IEP has been violated, and pursue it that way. I think it’s free to you.
3) You can contact your state’s Dept. of Education, section on Special Education & file a complaint. It can’t be anonymous, but in the emotional state you are in, I don’t think you’ll mind. That will get you concrete results.
4) You can ask for a Fair Hearing on anything violated in the IEP.
5) You can sue the district, but you have to pay for that. I’d recommend that as a last resort, only.
Anyway, even the community colleges have “Enabling Centers” or “Disability Centers” to help students who had IEP’s in school. Your child can go to community college at age 18, even without a high school diploma, and get help that way. If your child qualifies for Regional Center services, ask for their help, too.
There was one group (they were friends that had the same problem with the same school) that lasted about seven years and I have not heard nor seen of any others. It was a group of parents who took turns every night to teach each others kids. They all knew and loved these kids and it was hard on all of them, but they gave the kids a better education than the schools did. (The kids went to school in the day time and they were in the “slow” class, I don’t mean this is a bad way). They received no funding, help, etc. and they did it on their own. The kids got through school with C’s and a few B’s and they all hold jobs now. As janitors, busboys, one works in and electrial parts assembly plant, one is a guard at a meat plant. One stocks a grocery store at night. They are not fantastic jobs, but they all do them well. All but one still live at home with their parents.
I don’t know what to tell you. My heart aches for the hard work these kids put in and get no respect for.
A co-worker of mine’s son has missed some school for a mental handicap, and all the teachers say, and the guidance counsellors say, is that he needs to be on medication. He already is, and it’s not helping, but until he gets the medication and mental help he needs, they’re not going to stay or help him at all. This time it’s “the parent’s fault.”
My future MIL says that she hurts a LOT of kids with this No Child Left Behind rule because the students in her class that struggle are holding the kids back that aren’t struggling, and they don’t have the resources to put them in Learning Disabilities classes, so they have to intermingle with the kids that are up to date, and possibly even advanced.
“Would you like paper or plastic?”
“Is this order for here or to go?”
I would love to be able to play professional baseball. I love the game of baseball. Unfortunately, I do not have the skills that would allow me to play baseball for a living. Athletic talent is no different than intelligence. There is no shame in realizing you are a little slower than average. Personally, I have needed more garbage men and grocery store clerks than I have need brain surgeons.
I think having a learning disability is tough, but at what point are we going to stop trying to equalize the playing field. I do not ask major league baseball for an IEP that allows me to get 10 strike instead of 3…or the pitcher has to throw to me underhanded. I just live with the fact that I am not good enough to play baseball for a living. Guess what? I am totally fine with that.
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