This article is geared to parents who have children in special education. I have worked at the school district in San Diego for over 13 years. I happen to also be gifted with children, extremely intuitive, and a person who receives messages; an inner knowing.
Unfortunately everything in life has been geared about money. First, I don’t believe the district is as broke as it says but most importantly, parents need to be more involved with their children’s education. You are the advocates for your children so you have every right to make sure your child is being properly educated.
I have worked in all three grade levels; high school, middle school, and elementary school. More children are in need of special education yet the district cuts back on those services. What I have noticed is that the school district focuses more on high school as they want those children to graduate. Unfortunately, the children most needing help lie in the elementary schools where assistants have been drastically cut back. Most children are not noted to have any special needs until they enter into elementary school. Quite a few tests need be done in order for them to even qualify. Besides newly enrolled children needing services, the children already in special education are not being serviced due to lack of help. Teachers have 30 students in their classrooms, teach combo classes, and have children with reading or math issues with no help whatsoever. Numerous I.E.P.’s are out of compliance.
The public thinks that teachers have it easy and it is far from that. This whole problem stemmed from President Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act. This created a mess with all schools all over the United States. He created rules which required all schools to follow, including major amounts of testing. If children did not fare well on their tests then the school lost their funding. Jobs became eliminated. All of a sudden, special education is not important. Why is it that each person is an individual yet when it comes to schools all of a sudden children are all the same?
This created a domino affect among all schools. Problems were hidden and not taken care of so each school didn’t look bad. Their education became about teaching them how to take a test instead of learning. Most of the tests were way above their heads. Some too hard for me to pass. The joke around the school was President Bush most likely would fail those tests too. The rules were outrageous. One time a new student entered school on a test date. She was from another country and spoke no english, yet was required to take the test.. Of course she failed as she couldn’t read any English or speak the language.
Teachers are not allowed to teach children what they need because they have to follow all guide lines from the school district. The children become stressed because lessons are crammed into their heads in four days and then tested on day five. They are now teaching first graders about the legislation and algebraic concepts. Children are not cognitively ready to learn those subjects. High school science is being taught in fourth grade.
The school I just left had lost two special ed. assistants and didn’t replace them because they didn’t have enough money, yet more and more children were entering school with special needs and not getting any services.
It’s time to change the way schools do their business. Parents need to be aware of their children’s educational needs and advocate for them. If it was up to me, I would completely change the educational system as it’s antiquated and unrealistic with the changing times.