September 18, 2005

Education, round two

A reader had some concerns about a post I wrote on Education. Often this commenter has some far-left ideas that merit no response at all. In this case I want to respond to him, not to fisk, but to open a dialog without name calling, etc. Feel free to add your two cents.

His first concern:

I got this from the constitution website. It says:

"For children with disabilities special education is available. To qualify for special education a child's disability must adversely affect the child's educational performance. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. §§ 1400 et seq) establishes a process for evaluating a child's special needs and for providing an individualized education program. The Federal Act is binding on all states. In addition, most states have their own laws which parallel the Act. Under the Act, parents and families of special education children have specific rights such as the right to inspect the child's school records."

First, nowhere is interference on local education by the Federal Government allowed in the Constitution. The department of Education should by abolished immediately along with all laws etc. that deal with Federal education mandates, especially the NCLB act.

And your boy Bushy is all about the NCLB act, which is ineffective and costs the school system a crapload of extra money.

I could not agree more, and that is one of many disappointing decisions by the President.
Every child has the right to eqeducationtion. Its our duty as PEOPLE, human beings, to educate ALL children. And those who need extra help should get it. Not just those who YOU deem worthy. Thats bullshit.

I agree. If you read the post carefully I had two concerns. When we mainstream children with disruptive behaviors, we cheat the other students in the classroom. If the teacher is having to constantly take time to discipline and cater to the problem student's needs, the remaining kids miss out on their instruction. If we hire an aide to spend all of their time with one student, to make sure they behave, we are in essence hiring a one-on-one babysitter, again this is a waste of tax money.

I firmly believe everyone is entitled to an education. The money we spend on the remedial, the behavioral, and the special needs students significantly outweighs what we spend on the gifted student. So many decry the state of education in this country. We spend an inordinate amount of money bringing the lower students to average. The net result, if barely acceptable is our goal, is barely educated students. In Indiana you have to pass the ISTEP, a standardized test, in order to graduate. The test measures to 10th grade competencies. If our expectations are for students to have tenth grade skills, that is what we will get. Why should a student with a tenth grade education be given a dipolma that says he has completed the coarsework for a senior in high school?

Second, sadly, there will always be those students who are less intelligent, or have learning disabilities. By mainstreaming those students you have the same issue as with the behavior problem students. The teacher has to spend so much time with that one student, that the balance are cheated. We promote children whether they can do the work or not, because we are concerned more about the child's self esteem than his education. If Billy cannot do long division, he should not exit the third grade. For me it is that simple.

Finally, the section that I believe enraged my reader the most is where I pointed out that it was our brightest students who have the best chance to be successful in life. That is just a cold hard fact. Of course there are exceptions to the rule, but I am convinced that our future doctors and scientist will not come out of the group of students still trying to pass the ISTEP in May of their Senior year. I stand behind that position 100%


Anonymous said...

Well I'll throw my 2 cents in: The Disabilities Act does nothing to help students. I graduated from the Blind school where people who I know are brilliant struggled with the GQE. Because of the standards put in place by the NCLB they weren't allowed to have the test read to them, reading a 10 page story in Braille takes a long time. 10 pages in print, is 30ish pages in Braille. THAT is my problem with Federal education standards, they are results oriented but too rigid, (and unconstitutional) to take my friends into account.

Re: mainstreaming. I disagree sorta. There are many students with disabilities who are more than capable of being in the mainstream class, I was eligible for the G&T program but they (my school district) refused to put me in it because they'd lose state funding.

We can't play politics with education. It should be as localized as possible IMHO. Localization allows for competition and best adaptation. Parents should be able to choose where or if their kid attends school. They should not be punished for homeschooling. For all their talk about "choice" something seems broken.

*puts soapbox away* Sorry

GUYK said...

The Feds and the courts got envolved with education because of the 14th Aendment of the constitution which required equal opportunity under the law. However, a court could very well rule that mainstreaming students who disabilities or such that they cannot keep up with the work at their age level is preventing the others from learning.

Bane said...

My wife and I home school, and we have to fight off the public schools constantly because of the money that having my crippled kid in their Idiot Development Chambers (classrooms) would engender.

Fukkem. He learns more from a dang See-N-Say than he'd ever get from being stuffed into a classroom full of Mexican kids and retards.

They can have my kid when they can pry him from my cold, dead fingers.

GUYK said...

More and more people are homeschooling. My daughter is homeschooling her two kids and they are doing well. I hand it to parents who have the patience to home school as well as the kids that have learned the discipline to home school. Florida of course fights it for the same reason that every state and school district does-loss of funds. But, they never consider that if they were doing abetter job they wouldn't have the problems.

The Conservative UAW Guy said...

Homeschooling is the way to go...

Joe said...

Alli I was especially interested t osee your comment. As a future educator and one who has experienced both sides of the issue.

I am not concerned with the mainstreaming of those students who can d othe work, even with a little help. I am more concerned with the behavior problems and the students passed on just because the yhave already been held back once.

Anonymous said...

I agree that children should have a choice about their educational setting. I agree that some kids need to be separated into a smaller, possibly self-contained classroom because it can distract from the other kids. I think thats the whole point of special ed. Why would you want to take that away?

And to whoever said "mexicans and retards" you are an asshole. Grow up.

And I agree with Alli, as I stated on the earlier post, about NCLB. Garbage. We need to stop the huge separation between district funding so that all schools have the same priveledges to educate. Its not gonna help anyone just to create some stupid tests and standards (that are created by one set of people and dont take into consideration cultural or learning differences or disabilities.)

Homeschooling can be done right, but most of the time, people forget what is the most important task of this stage of development. Socialization. Learning who one is in relation to others, making friends, etc. if you are going to homeschool your kid, you better make sure they have a ton of outside activities and places to make friends. No matter how smart you are you can get a job if you cant talk to people!

Joe said...

I have no problem with Special Education, my concern is there is a growing movement to put those kids into regular classrooms. The result is the balance of children are cheated.

I still have a grave concern over the imbalance of funding for remedial and special education compared to gifted and talented programs.

Galt-in-Da-Box said...

Public education (read that last word BRAIN-FILTHYING) is a dismal, and self-evident failure.
Anyone who would advocate more of it is a moron, produced by same.
Has anyone noticed the extreme LACK of Thomas Edisons, Abraham Lincolns and Henry Fords the union-labor-controlled, mass-non-production approach to education has produced? This is because coercion and touchy-feely agendas are antagonistic to learning. It's good for producing dependents upon government, which it is all it was ever meant to.

amber said...

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