Can someone explain "No Child Left Behind" and the Special Needs Child? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 17 Old 09-22-2008, 10:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
KatWrangler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Affton, MO
Posts: 11,097
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
So I don't have kids in school yet. Conner will start kindergarten next year. Gabrielle, who has SN will start preschool. Which I am going to try and get her into the peer model program with the school district.

I am unclear as to what exactly No Child Left Behind is. How does it affect a child with special needs? Or is this a PIA for SN kids?

:

Anne, Mama to Conner 2/27/04 blahblah.gif  Gabrielle 2/6/06 W/LMC-TCS, Neurogenic Bladder, AFO & KAFO wearer, Neurogenic Bowel energy.gif & Delaney 5/12/08 mischievous.gif &  Beethoven cat.gif& Gizmo cat.gif

KatWrangler is offline  
#2 of 17 Old 09-22-2008, 10:36 AM
 
HarperRose's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: In my own little world
Posts: 10,819
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Here, a friend of mine is over -- she's a SpEd teacher. I will let her tell you...


Well basically the belief for special needs kids is that if the child is capable of functioning in a general education classroom with some resource support that is the ideal situation. NCLB requires that special education children regardless of the level the child functions at the time of testing is required to take the state mandated tests at the grade level the child is currently enrolled. For example if even if the child is a third grader and reads on a first grade level or is at a first grade math level the child is still required to take the taks test for third grade.
Hope this helps-(and yes I think NCLB is a little unrealistic)

* TAKS test is Texas Assessment of knowledge and skills

 upsidedown.gif  Please see my Community Profile! energy.gif blogging.jpg about Asperger's Syndrome!

HarperRose is offline  
#3 of 17 Old 09-22-2008, 11:04 AM
crl
 
crl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 3,567
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have limited knowledge, but our experience is that it is a PITA. The schools around here are quite focused on the testing, to the extreme that when DS was in pre-K last year the explanation I received for unrealistic expectations regarding sitting still, etc for 4 year olds in Pre-K was that they have to get ready for the 3rd grade tests.

I believe that special ed students generally still take the tests but that a certain percentage of a school's test scores can be thrown out on the basis of special education status or esl status.

Catherine
crl is offline  
#4 of 17 Old 09-22-2008, 11:21 AM
 
sbgrace's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 9,213
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm a former high school teacher. From my perspective NCLB is not good for special needs kids or any child really. The issue is that everyone (or very nearly everyone...meaning all but the most affected special needs kids) has to pass the standardized tests. So at the high school level, for instance, what that means now is every child needs algebra and most need Algebra, Algebra II, and Geometry. Just to graduate. Really? For what in terms of their basic good/life?

I personally wish that what we could do is focus on two things: helping every child reach his or her potential through quality teachers using the best instructional methods and giving every child some type of job skill. Now everything else is put aside to focus on things tested. This is especially true and the elementary and middle school levels. There simply isn't time for anything else. And if a child is struggling there is even less time for anything else. So they can't pass the test...and they haven't been given any life skills or job training either because there wasn't time for that. What happens is kids who aren't ready at certain points (say 5 years old for reading and writing) are left behind. And then I get them at the high school level hopelessly behind and believing they "can't do school". Worse, they are unprepared for life after school.

Edited to add an NEA article on NCLB impact on special needs kids. It's what I observed. Special needs kids who couldn't pass that test despite taking all the classes and remediation and tutoring. After all, they didn't understand Algebra.
http://www.nea.org/lac/esea/080206testi.html

Rachelle, mommy to 8 year old boys! 

My Blog-free homeschooling finds and my lesson plans and link to the new User Agreement

sbgrace is offline  
#5 of 17 Old 09-22-2008, 11:42 AM
 
mamaverdi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 12,872
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
There is a whole section on NCLB on wrightslaw as well.
mamaverdi is offline  
#6 of 17 Old 09-22-2008, 01:25 PM
 
sbgrace's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 9,213
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The tests aren't the basics. That's what I have a problem with.

What I see is kids graduating with Algebra but they can't balance a checkbook, don't understand the basics of using credit cards, can't figure out if they are being cheated on a car loan, etc. That concerns me. That's a failure of the education system.

The vast majority of kids (75% perhaps) won't graduate college. That includes those who intially enroll. I see those kids who I had in school now...working at jobs that require no training and struggling to make ends meet. I've listened to their stories. It upsets me a lot because I feel our educational system failed them. Would they have been better served by job training? You bet. I've seen special needs student in tears because despite taking advantage of all remedial options they still couldn't pass that test and so were in danger of not getting a diploma. I think the test ought to be basic. That doesn't mean we still don't offer tons of opportunities for advanced things. I mean calculus isn't on the test but many kids take calculus in school. The test isn't a limit to the options and opportunities.

My school no longer even teaches keyboarding beyond a 6 week course that includes other things in middle school. You can't learn to keyboard in 6 weeks. But there simply isn't time for anything else because we are teaching for those tests.

What I would rather see is, as I said, an emphasis on helping each child reach his or her potential and having quality teachers using quality, research based methods. You want your daughter to reach her best potential. I do too. Not every kid's best potential, though, is what is tested and required. And we don't have to set the bar at "college level" to provide college level opportunities for kids.

If you saw the tests and the impact on education and the kids 5 years down the road who passed those tests and received those diplomas you might have a different perspective. For the record, not every child and family can even afford technical training/college/junior college. Others don't go for various other reasons. Many don't finish a degree and the majority don't return after their first year of college. Free public education should prepare those kids for life too.

Last thing. I've talked to employers. They aren't fans of the skills kids have coming out of high school.

Rachelle, mommy to 8 year old boys! 

My Blog-free homeschooling finds and my lesson plans and link to the new User Agreement

sbgrace is offline  
#7 of 17 Old 09-22-2008, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
KatWrangler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Affton, MO
Posts: 11,097
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by sbgrace View Post
The tests aren't the basics. That's what I have a problem with.

What I see is kids graduating with Algebra but they can't balance a checkbook, don't understand the basics of using credit cards, can't figure out if they are being cheated on a car loan, etc. That concerns me. That's a failure of the education system.

The vast majority of kids (75% perhaps) won't graduate college. That includes those who intially enroll. I see those kids who I had in school now...working at jobs that require no training and struggling to make ends meet. I've listened to their stories. It upsets me a lot because I feel our educational system failed them. Would they have been better served by job training? You bet.

My school no longer even teaches keyboarding beyond a 6 week course that includes other things in middle school. You can't learn to keyboard in 6 weeks. But there simply isn't time for anything else because we are teaching for those tests.

What I would rather see is, as I said, an emphasis on helping each child reach his or her potential and having quality teachers using quality, research based methods. You want your daughter to reach her best potential. I do too. Not every kid's best potential, though, is what is tested and required.

If you saw the tests and the impact on education you might have a different perspective.
I agree, especially what I bolded.

Gabrielle will have physical limitations as well as possible learning difficulties (we don't know for sure on this, so far she does really well but kids with SB can have learning issues).

ETA - Because you edited your original post.

Anne, Mama to Conner 2/27/04 blahblah.gif  Gabrielle 2/6/06 W/LMC-TCS, Neurogenic Bladder, AFO & KAFO wearer, Neurogenic Bowel energy.gif & Delaney 5/12/08 mischievous.gif &  Beethoven cat.gif& Gizmo cat.gif

KatWrangler is offline  
#8 of 17 Old 09-22-2008, 02:15 PM
crl
 
crl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 3,567
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I agree that not all kids are going to college/want to go to college/can go to college. And that's okay. So, high school ought to prepare them for their world after high school, not for college.

I don't know if my kid is going to college or not. He's only 5. He's pretty smart, but he's not really wired for success in the traditional classroom at this point. Whether that changes as he gets older or he manages to get by on being kind of smart or not, who knows? If college isn't in the cards, I'd much rather he get some basic knowledge, like balancing a checkbook, and some skills out of high school, as opposed to flunking algebra a bunch of times and potentially learning to see himself as stupid/lazy/etc. I don't think higher math skills, etc should be a requirement for graduating from high school. (Heck, I have a law degree and the farthest I ever went in math was my college trig class--in high school I only finished up to Alegbra II.) I so wish that high schools still had shop and other vo-tech training.

Further, I think it is a darn shame to lose PE and art and music over the test scores. And that seems to be happening.

Catherine
crl is offline  
#9 of 17 Old 09-22-2008, 05:11 PM
 
heatherdeg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Everywhere... thanks, technology!
Posts: 4,888
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Quote:
helping each child reach his or her potential and having quality teachers using quality, research based methods.


Okay... there's your problem: there are not ENOUGH quality teachers and/or teachers with good training to teach the kids.

At the heart, NCLB was supposed to make sure that we did not short-change the kids that didn't perform well and "guarantee" that they got the same level of education. It backfired in how it played out. Now, administration won't ALLOW you to get too creative to teach the kids lest you "waste" time and not cover all the tested materials. They don't get it. Heck, I got crap from my administration teaching a high school ELECTIVE (read: no testing attached WHATSOEVER) because my kids appeared to be having too much fun and "goofing off" because they were required to act out scenes, color, etc. But those kids will, to this day (and have written me to attest to this) spit back that information clearly and correctly.

ALL the kids are tested to see if the districts are dumping their resources into ensuring that the kids who are not great learners (for whatever reason--SN, poverty, whatever) are getting educated appropriately.

How that has manifested in the public education system is another story. And frankly, the result has driven plenty of parents to homeschooling. Who can blame them? If the teachers are not given the freedom to teach them and the kids are struggling, why WOULDN'T a parent (who is in a position to do so) try to homeschool the child themselves? If the kid is failing anyway--there's really nothing left to lose (and all the more to gain in that kids emotional state).

I think the goal behind NCLB is one that is valid and required. There are too many kids blown of to "they'll never learn it anyway" and therefore they're not given a chance to learn. That's disgusting. And for those of you on this board who are teachers (as I have been) don't you tell me you don't know at LEAST one of "those" teachers.

Heather - Wife , Mommy  & Health & Wellness Educator, Speaker & Consultant 
 
Dairy, soy & corn free with limited gluten... yes, really. And journeying towards peace.  Blogging about both.
 
Let me guide you to find the food and lifestyle choices...
heatherdeg is offline  
#10 of 17 Old 09-23-2008, 01:43 AM
 
williamsmommy2002's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: the microwaves did it
Posts: 1,963
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My ds is already being trained to be able to pass these tests even though he really doesn't understand the material or reason behind it. My ds barely knowss the sounds of letters but is being taught capatilization and other grammar. To me it is nuts, his teacher will pretty much admit that her sudents really don't work at these levels but she is made to teach it. And she pushes her students or being sp ed.

This also makes it to where one of the few things that keeps my ds in a special day class is because he can't handle group settings. Otherwise he might be in reg ed with an aide even though he is pretty delayed.

Misty, mama to my nurslings William(11/4/02) and Parker(7/13/04).
williamsmommy2002 is offline  
#11 of 17 Old 09-23-2008, 09:58 AM
 
QueenOfTheMeadow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: with the wildlife
Posts: 18,218
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
It hasn't seemed to affect ds1 in this school. I always say that I wish every child could recieve the type of education he is recieving. It really does play to his stregnth and it is very indiviualized. We've been lucky though.

My sis is a special ed teacher and she talks about the frustration of having to have her children pass these tests that they aren't ready for. She said it's hard enough for children with no special needs to sit through these tests, but add a child who has special needs to that and their stress goes up 10 fold. And many of her children simply can't perform under this type of stress. Personally, I think it's cruel to expect any child to perform under that type of pressure. It makes me really sad.

 
QueenOfTheMeadow is offline  
#12 of 17 Old 09-23-2008, 10:50 PM
 
williamsmommy2002's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: the microwaves did it
Posts: 1,963
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Truthfully I don't know if the sress will register with my ds but I don't see him sitting through the test. My ds has a great teacher, I just think it's funny that for 30 minutes a day they work in these workbooks doing stuff they don't quite get. I do see a little positive in that he will know that stuff once he gets there.

Misty, mama to my nurslings William(11/4/02) and Parker(7/13/04).
williamsmommy2002 is offline  
#13 of 17 Old 09-24-2008, 09:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
KatWrangler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Affton, MO
Posts: 11,097
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We will be getting an IEP or 504 I forget which it will be. She turns 3 in February and we will be having a meeting set up in November. I have the paperwork but haven't looked at it yet.

Anne, Mama to Conner 2/27/04 blahblah.gif  Gabrielle 2/6/06 W/LMC-TCS, Neurogenic Bladder, AFO & KAFO wearer, Neurogenic Bowel energy.gif & Delaney 5/12/08 mischievous.gif &  Beethoven cat.gif& Gizmo cat.gif

KatWrangler is offline  
#14 of 17 Old 09-24-2008, 05:49 PM
 
LynnS6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pacific NW longing for the Midwest
Posts: 12,565
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It's important to note that only schools that receive federal money are required to follow NCLB. Some schools in richer districts don't, and so don't bother with the whole testing thing.

In schools that are covered, a limited number of children are allowed to be 'exempt' from the tests, but darn few.

The other major problem is that if the school fails to either (a) test enough children in each of it's "groups" (high poverty, ESL, SN) or (b) the students in these groups don't perform up to grade level, then the school will be sanctioned and have to spend part of their federal money on. BUT the schools aren't receiving enough federal money to adequately address the educational needs of these children to begin with. How many of you have had to fight tooth and nail to get minimally adequate services?

Lynnteapot2.GIF, academicreading.gif,geek.gif wife, WOHM  to T jog.gif(4/01) and M whistling.gif (5/04)
LynnS6 is offline  
#15 of 17 Old 09-24-2008, 05:55 PM
 
heatherdeg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Everywhere... thanks, technology!
Posts: 4,888
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
I don't think I've ever seen a school without some level of fed funds attached to it. I taught in an affluent district in Somerset Co., NJ which was rated the "wealthiest county" in the country 2-4 years ago.

I've had to fight tooth and nail more because I have my son at home and refuse to put him in a classroom--so the district tried to tell me they didn't have to provide speech & OT. It was a "you're taking jobs from teachers" battle--not a funding battle. Actually, they were giving us more than I thought was necessary (this is not the district I taught in, I live in a FAR less affluent district! ) but they wanted him IN the classroom. Once I disagreed to the classroom setting, it was a whole other ballgame. I offered to bring him TO the school for services vs. them paying a therapist for home instruction. So there was no additional cost burden to them for this.

So in our case, it wasn't a money thing.

Heather - Wife , Mommy  & Health & Wellness Educator, Speaker & Consultant 
 
Dairy, soy & corn free with limited gluten... yes, really. And journeying towards peace.  Blogging about both.
 
Let me guide you to find the food and lifestyle choices...
heatherdeg is offline  
#16 of 17 Old 09-24-2008, 09:28 PM
 
Kristine233's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Way Northern MN
Posts: 4,154
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I JUST had a discussion with DS's teacher about this. She basically said the government doesn't recognize SN when it comes to these tests. While the kids have altered cirriculumn, the tests are the same. Its bogus. And a school with "fail" because the SN kids don't do well on the tests. (test that I think are stupid to begin with). And we can't opt out, which is stupid as well. They have tests for "severly SN" (as she explained it) but our kids who bounce back and forth between Spec Ed and the mainstream classroom have absolutely no options.

Whats sad is, the kids HAVE to pass the test in 8th grade to graduate. (At least in MN)

Mom to Joscelyne 14, Andrew 12, and Mackenzie 10 and wife to Nate.
Kristine233 is offline  
#17 of 17 Old 09-24-2008, 09:47 PM
 
williamsmommy2002's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: the microwaves did it
Posts: 1,963
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
That actually explains why our district carefully divides it's special day classes between schools. At William's current school(our home school) there are two learning handicapped sdc's and the hard of hearing classes(2). At his last school, there were two lh classes and two severely handicapped sdc's. So they have different levels of classes at different schoold to keep an even mix of levels. We don't ha major testing until second grade and I might try to get him out of it due to his stress and anxiety levels. I was told we will address that at his yearly iep meeting this spring.

Misty, mama to my nurslings William(11/4/02) and Parker(7/13/04).
williamsmommy2002 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off