I recently ran across an article on Education Week entitled, Have We Got Special Education All Wrong?
It called for putting even more money into schools while we do nothing to address what’s really happening to kids.
The blame game
Education expert Marc Tucker thinks he’s figured out why the U.S. has such a high percentage of children who are in special education compared to other developed countries.
It has to be SOMETHING SCHOOLS ARE DOING WRONG. According to Tucker, special ed should only be for the kids with a specific mental or physical disability. The child whose behavior gets them consigned to sped shouldn’t be there.
TUCKER’S SOLUTION: More $$ for support services, better teacher/student ratio, more $$ for schools with minority students, more work with social services, more time on students who need extra help, and better monitoring of students.
Those things might help if children didn’t have to live in the 21st century. Our schools are filled with disabled kids who weren’t here 25 years ago. Look at the accommodations on IEPs for kids just in regular ed. I’ve had students who are allowed to pace in the back of the classroom or walk out and sit in the hall if they feel overwhelmed. Large numbers of students couldn’t function in school if they weren’t medicated. We modify tests and assignments for kids who can’t deal with regular work. And that’s just what’s happening in the mainstream classroom.
More money for services and monitoring for the child with out-of-control behavior without asking why so many children today do things that makes them a danger to themselves and to others is pointless. In Tucker’s world the only problem is how we’re dealing with these kids; there is really nothing wrong with the children themselves.