How about if us sped parents stop getting offended when non-sped parents express legitimate concern? Geesh.

In Uncategorized on December 19, 2008 at 2:21 pm

have a mix of special needs and non-special needs in my family. The truth is that it’s more expensive to send sped kids out of district than to keep them in district.

Some sped kids really do need a special program, but just because they’re getting shipped a half hour away doesn’t mean we’re not still paying for it. Sped is paid for by the sending district, not the receiving district.

That’s true for all districts, not just Ridgewood. Special ed is simply a fact of life. There’s no getting away from it. Let’s remember that all the sped kids we DO see–because they’re in-district–are saving us money.

We do need to be realistic, however, about sped expenditures. Just like everyone else, I don’t want my regular kids to miss out because too much is going to special ed.

How about if us sped parents stop getting offended when non-sped parents express legitimate concern? Geesh.

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  1. i hate that everyone hides there own agenda behind the special ed kids

  2. Its all about the money not the kids.

    Oh, people on one side hide behind the kids and folks on the other side hide behind the outrageous expenditures.

    In the mean time nothing is being done to alleviate the problem for school districts or taxpayers.

    It is kinds like the auto companies and the unions. No one wants to come to grips with the fact that the business model is broken.

  3. I used to teach in Ridgewood. There was an autistic boy in my class who would often become frustrated by small things and would put his head in his desk and try to hurt himself by banging the desktop on his head. In order to prevent this, I had to sit with him and hold the desk top up against his powerful effort to slam it down. I taught for many hours from this position. I loved that little boy and cared for him more than you will probably believe, but there is no question in my mind that the other children in my class did not get the education they deserved that year.

  4. Special Ed is also confused with IEPs for mild learning disabilities. I think there are a lot of kids who probably need better teaching methods, who are labeled with a learning disability. Years ago these kids would not be classified special ed at all.

    Most often it’s boys who get these labels. They act like boys, get an ADD/ADHD label, and are “classified.” Years ago teachers would have made them clean the erasers as punishment and shrugged off their behaviour as “being boys.”

  5. I am all in favor of the public law that protects special education children. I do draw the line when the regular education children are prevented from getting a free and public education. This happens when the I. E. P. (which is sometimes generated because of the special ed parent) goes to far. . i.e. a mainstreamed student with a franklin reader. the tapping can often disrupt the children around him/her. Many times the courts rule in favor of the parents not realizing that the goal set is not appropriate for the regular education setting.

  6. “There are strong and powerful forces that maintain the system, because it works well for lots of people, just not the kids.

    The tragedy is how many kids are graduating wholly unprepared for anything that follows. The easiest way to improve the graduation rate in America is to lower the standards. And lots of people have done that, and as long as we keep doing that, we’ll delude ourselves into thinking we have a decent graduation rate, but in fact our kids will be wholly unprepared.

    The magic ingredient in the game I play is high-quality teaching. We don’t remotely have enough of it because we don’t reward it properly, we backload the pay scale. The real money goes into the people who are in the system a long time, gets rolled up in a defined-benefit pension plan, makes it very hard to attract new talent. We don’t reward excellence, we don’t give hardship pay, we pay the same thing for a science teacher and a math teacher that we do for a physical-education teacher. If any university did that, they’d go under.

    The countries that succeed, they tend to draw their teachers from the top quarter, top third of their graduating college classes. These are people who have been academically successful, who believe in assessment, because they’ve lived under it and it’s served them well. In the United States, we draw teachers from the bottom quarter of our college graduates, and our kids in high-poverty neighborhoods get the bottom quarter of the bottom quarter.

    Joel Klein, Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education in his Wall Street Journal Interview – November 23, 2008

  7. Does it really matter how much money we spend on Special Education since we seem hell bent on “dumbing down” the Ridgewood education system?

    It matters less and less where the money is spent since the quality of a Ridgewood education is dropping. Monies added (or reallocated) WILL NOT be put to good use, but will rather be spent on social engineering programs.

  8. Up until 1960-65, we had a captive labor force in our schools. Any bright, ambitious woman who wanted a career went into teaching or nursing. We had this incredible group of people that we underpaid and they taught our kids.

    What have we done since then? We have to compete now to get teachers. And what’s it like to be a teacher? Well, first of all, you go to a teachers college, which are the backwaters of a collegiate place. They are awful. If you don’t get into any other things, you go to the teachers college, where they teach you teaching math. You don’t get math from the math department in the university, you get teachers math.

    Louis Gerstner Jr., former chairman and CEO of IBM Corp in Failing our Children, Wall Street Journal Interview November 23, 2008

  9. Doctors told to curb use of Ritalin in England

    However Few teachers can cope with ADHD’s incendiary mix

    Alexandra Frean, Education Editor
    London Times

    Many parents of children with ADHD reading today’s new guidelines will not know whether to laugh or cry. Some will be distressed at the suggestion that Ritalin should be reserved for the most severe cases. For many families Ritalin and associated drugs offer a route back to normality.

    The core symptoms of ADHD are inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. This incendiary combination can manifest itself as a pattern of careless mistakes, an inability to finish tasks, excessive talking and constant interrupting, random running around, blurting out of inappropriate comments or impulsive behaviour such as running into the street without looking. And often, all this before breakfast.

    NICE recommends parent-training programmes as the first-line treatment. But waiting lists for such support can stretch to a year or more. Even getting a diagnosis of ADHD can take months because many GPs do not recognise the symptoms and the few consultants who do are oversubscribed.

    It is hardly surprising then that parents turn to drugs, despite the side-effects (Ritalin can wreak havoc with sleeping and eating patterns).

    Even if parent-training programmes were readily available, they would only offer half a solution because schools are so poorly equipped to cope with ADHD.

    Research from the Attention Deficit Disorder Information and Support Service suggests that 80 per cent of teachers do not feel competent to support children with ADHD and that few are acquainted with the techniques that can be used effectively to help them.

    The good news, the very good news, however, is that the ADHD guidelines will give parents confidence to demand better treatment and the satisfaction of being taken seriously at last.

    Equally cheering is the recognition that ADHD is a condition that can affect adults too, meriting a comprehensive treatment programme of its own.

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