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Stunned! Is this going on where you live? - Page 3

post #41 of 110
My mom is a PS sp. ed teacher. It hasn't gotten to where they mainstream all the sp. ed kids yet, in her district. But instead, they put all the sp. ed kiddos in one class, based on age, not needs. So she's got, I forget, 8-10 kids, and they all have different problems. Some have autism, some are severely MR, some are pretty normal intelligence, but physically disabled. How the heck is she supposed to come up with lessons to reach all those kids? What happened to having one class for autism, one for MR, one for LD, etc???

Luckily, in the district we live in, they still seperate them out that way. If they stop, we'll either do private school, or maybe homeschool. Even though my son has autism, his intelligence seems to be WELL above average. How could they possibly teach him, and a child with MR the same way in the same room, and have both learn??

I'm all for mainstreaming, *when it's the appropriate thing for the child*. Right now, if you put my son in a regular classroom, he certainly would be no danger to the other kids, but he would be a distraction, and there's no way he'd learn. I imagine though, that at some point, it will be the right thing for him. That's when I want him mainstreamed. Not when the government says it's time.
post #42 of 110
This whole thing just makes me sick...I'd better finally register to vote (: I know, I know...I should have done it long ago!). And I'd better start saving for dc to go to waldorf/montissori schools...

Sometimes this country just makes me so sick.
post #43 of 110
Luckily, we live in an area that is known for it's outstanding public schools (very high test scores, and the schools are so clean and beautiful). That is why we chose to live here.

We get such great services for our kids! My daughter has dyslexia, and she gets 2 1/2 hours of one on one with an aide each day, and has made amazing progress (fully reading and writing now--she was not not even close to this at the beginning of the year). She is in the first grade.

I have nothing but great things to say about our elementary school. My son has Tourette Syndrome and they have been so helpful with that as well. I thought he would benefit from seeing the school therapist to cope with some of this issues, and they arranged it so that he goes once a week to see her. He has been seeing the school therapist (no cost--during school hours) since 2nd grade once a week...she is fantastic.

I know moving to a better school district is not always an option. We paid an outrageous amount to buy a house in our little bay area town--and it is all about the schools here. But I wanted you all to know that the picture of public schools is not always a bleak one! I am grateful everyday for ours.

I know some charter schools are doing good work, too--but I have heard more horror stories than positives around here. I was a teacher in the city (S.F.) before I became a SAHM, so I have seen it all there!

Hugs,
Lisa
post #44 of 110
Well, just add me to the list of people whose kids aren't old enough for school, but who is disgusted with what's happening to schools.

School wasn't like that when I was a kid. True, there was plenty wrong with it, but we had music, art, drama, wood shop, home ec, many different PE classes, recess, and all kinds of other classes that aren't offered now.

My dh is getting his teaching license in 3 months. He's studying to be a high school choir director. He thinks ps is great, because when he went there he liked it. He's almost 42 years old; it's been a long time since he's been in school! I'm 25. It was more recent for me.

He doesn't really support NCLB, but doesn't complain too much about it either. Same with testing in general - agrees that it's not everything, but doesn't see the harm. Thinks that test scores "prove" things about the students. :

He is also frustrated that he has to learn how to be something of a sp-ed teacher too. He wanted to learn how to teach music, not how to control severely retarded students.

NCLB is only one of the reasons I won't do ps. Dh thinks I'm bluffing, that I will change my mind. I guess we'll see. I think he is just worried about what all his colleagues will think; him being a ps teacher and having a kid not in ps. He doesn't support hsing. I hadn't planned to hs, but I will if we can't afford a decent school by the time the kids are old enough. There are times when the mother knows better than the father and has to stand up for her children, and this is one of those times - no ps, unless it happens to magically improve. From what I can see, it just gets worse.

I'm leaning toward no preschool or k at all, unless the kids request it and I can find one that is completely nonacademic. The Montessori program looks good; it's the only one in town I would consider, but again, only if the kids want to go.

We live in a small town right now and I would like to move to a bigger city for the schools alone. (More choices of private and charter schools.) I like where we live, but the only school here that sounds good is the Montessori and if the kids don't want to go there or the school won't reduce the tuition for us, then we will have nothing.

ETA: Why do people think that high test scores are a sign of a "good" school? I'd say it's one of the warning signs to watch for - the students spend too much time on tests, and too much time with people who think tests matter that much!
post #45 of 110
Quote:
For example, a child with severe Mental Retardation is expected to take the same yearly tests as a child with a 90 average.
That makes no sense at all. Who the heck wrote this law, anyway?

I'm a parent of high-acheiving children and I am absolutely biting my nails over this. My two younger children will be homeschooled next year, and if necessary, I'll pull out my older children as well.

What I see in our elementary school is a giant pull to make everyone be mediocre.
post #46 of 110
Everyone here is planning on voting come November, right? Even those of you who can homeschool or do private school, right? Because this impacts all of us and all the kids in the country. And the kids that are being educated now are the ones who will be our doctors, nurses, and staff our retirement homes. Vent, rage, pull your kids from schools, do whatever makes you feel better right now. But remember that we (in general) voted for the people that are making this happen and we can vote for others to undo it!
post #47 of 110
Yes, I still vote in ways that support ps. I want ps kids to have the best educational opportunities they can. And there is a chance that someday my kids will be in ps, like in high school.
post #48 of 110
No, they can't legally get rid of all inclusive special ed classes. By federal law they are required to place special ed kids in the least restrictive environment, but parents are a part of the team that makes the decision what that means. All it will take is one court case of parents who know their rights and the laws to get that changed, IMHO I can't believe they are getting away with no recesses. Our workers legally have to be provided with breaks, but our children don't??
post #49 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by daylily
What I see in our elementary school is a giant pull to make everyone be mediocre.
That pull probably extends to the U.S.'s entire educational system.

Number 1 job in U.S.? Wal-Mart clerk.
Numbers 2 and 3? Fast food employee*

This is precisely what our schools are training our kids for.


*From John Taylor Gatto's Dumbing Us Down
Don't have a link to Dept. of Labor--sorry
post #50 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1xmom
Boy am I confused. My dd is only 4 and her b-day if early so she won't start K until Fall 2005. I really don't know what to think or expect at this point. Also, what exactly is a charter school?
Depending on where you live in MD, charter schools may or may not be "legal".
post #51 of 110
Another thing to keep in mind is your own language. We often refer to our schools as "bad" or "good" based on their TEST SCORES. We are perpetuating our own problems.

Just as a concrete example, we have about three weeks of school left. TWO of those weeks will be spent on standardized tests. And guess what the other week will be spent doing? Preparing for standardized tests. I kid you not. We, as teachers, have been informed that we MUST spend X number of days doing "exam review."

Several other things to consider:
1) Children learn nothing from taking a standardized test. There is no immediate feedback to help the child do better next time. In my state, children get the results of last year's test three weeks before they take the test in the next grade.

2) Children hate taking tests, especially at the end of the year. I teach high school, adn the level of apathy this time of year is astronomical. Yet our school -- our district -- our country -- is being judged by how these unmotivated kids perform on an arbitrary test on a given day.

3) We have had to extend our school year (we start in August and end the third week of June) because days spent doing testing do not count toward minimum instructional days.

People actually have to do something about it. Homeschooling, while certainly an option for many families, is not an option for many others. Even if you can do what you think is best for your kids, what about the millions of others with no voice whose parents have no idea this is going on?
post #52 of 110
I am a new public educator this year and still learning about NCLB, but I don't know a single educator who supports this act. It has done nothing good for our schools. One person pointed out earlier that NCLB compares all children against each other. That is correct. It doesn't track a particular group of students and measure their progress and improvement, it compares test scores of all student in x grade from one year to test scores of students in the same grade from another year.

It also compares all schools equally. For example, I teach in a fairly wealthy, white collar neighborhood. But my school gets ALL of the districts' ESL (English as Second Language) students, ALL of them. Also, our district gets lots of special ed transfers because of the quality of the program. Our schools are all measured against each other equally, with no consideration for these factors. So all we do it seems is try to improve the scores of the ESL and SPED kids, and its just a nice thing if the average and high achieving students do well.

And even though we are in a fairly affluent area, our librarian is holding a book sale this week since her budget is getting slashed. We can't get anything laminated because that also comes out of her budget. And I bought so many classroom supplies out of my own pocket, it is ridiculous.

Sadly, the Bush administration pulled the wool over lots of eyes when NCLB was passed. If my memory serves me well, I believe that even Kerry voted in favor of it, although he is now against it.

Despite all of this, I just feel like I am going to have to just try harder to make public education work. I am deadset on my child attending public schools, even if it means I will supplement his education at home (heck, I would do this anyway.)
post #53 of 110
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan&Anna's_Mom
Everyone here is planning on voting come November, right? Even those of you who can homeschool or do private school, right? Because this impacts all of us and all the kids in the country. And the kids that are being educated now are the ones who will be our doctors, nurses, and staff our retirement homes. Vent, rage, pull your kids from schools, do whatever makes you feel better right now. But remember that we (in general) voted for the people that are making this happen and we can vote for others to undo it!
I did not vote for those who put NCLB in place and neither did my husband, who was a teacher at the time. :
post #54 of 110
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by khrisday
No, they can't legally get rid of all inclusive special ed classes. By federal law they are required to place special ed kids in the least restrictive environment, but parents are a part of the team that makes the decision what that means. All it will take is one court case of parents who know their rights and the laws to get that changed, IMHO I can't believe they are getting away with no recesses. Our workers legally have to be provided with breaks, but our children don't??
They are phasing out those classes. Go read the new law and the guidelines to get the federal funding. This is under the federal govt. The laws are changing and it was done in a sneaky way. 2006/2007 school year compliance by all schools that accept federal funds -- this will not matter if you are in the richest subdivision in the best school district in the country. If your school gets federal funds, be ready to see change. Moving is not going to let you escape NCLB.
post #55 of 110
Yuck! That is awful I hope the school I send my son to (and in 5 years my daughter) won't ever do that. I'm so sorry to hear that. :
post #56 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by OnTheFence
I did not vote for those who put NCLB in place and neither did my husband, who was a teacher at the time. :
Personally, neither did I. But clearly someone must have. Regardless of how we personally voted, the message still stands. We, as a society, voted for these people and we can do something about it. All the ranting in the world isn't going to help, but being very carefull about how we vote and local, state, and federal elections CAN make a difference. And if we really want to change it, then we should all go a step further and work to get like-minded people elected by telling friends, working in campaigns, whatever we can do.
post #57 of 110
Homeschooling might be possible for some, in a way they hadn't thought of - just pull your kid out of school and leave him at home all day, if he's over the legal age in your state. (In my state it's 10.) You'd be free to work, and the child could "unschool" himself. Homeschooling is legal in all states; some have more restrictions than others but all you have to do is submit documentation of what your child learns. The tests may still be required, but there will be a lot fewer and homeschooled/unschooled kids tend to do better on them, anyway.

I support ps with my taxes; I don't have to send a kid there to support them. We also support them by dh working there - true, they pay him, but not nearly what he is worth.
post #58 of 110
Thread Starter 
I wanted to say that when NCLB was up for vote that on the surface it looked good, but if you go through it with a fine tooth comb, you realize its nothing but a load of crap.

Kim
post #59 of 110
Quote:
Everyone here is planning on voting come November, right?
Absolutely! Throw the bum out!

And yes, Kerry did vote for NCLB.

I agree that, while homeschooling or private schooling are good, these are not options for everyone. This affects us all, no matter how/where you plan to educate your children. If you care about education, it's important to become active in your school system. Attend school board meetings. Speak out about issues that are important to you. Write to your superintendent. Write letters to the editor. Since NCLB is federal legislation, there isn't much that local administrations can do about it specifically, but there is much they can do to make individual school districts better.
post #60 of 110
Remember this was a Bush and Ted Kennedy thing. I think their intentions were good but the end result, oy-vey.

Does anyone else think there's a growing big divide between the well cared-for "privledged" and a growing underclass?

My children are well-educated but what about the poor? Being poorly educated is one good way to gaurantee remaining in poverty.

Debra Baker
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