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Saturday, December 11, 2010

No confidence in the states decision on disabled students

I would have more confidence in the districts decision to move more special needs children into the regular education classroom if special diplomas didn't count against a school's graduation rate, with graduation rates now being part of the formula by which high schools are graded. I can’t help but see a coincidence and think many children will pay the price for this.

The last two years I wrote memos to my administrations stating I had special education students who would benefit and with accommodations and modification be able to succeed in a regular education class room, however not one student was moved until the rule was changed and kids graduating with a special diploma can now adversely affect a schools grade. Many special education kids can and will be successful with the move and quite frankly probably should have been moved long ago, however there are just as many disabled students that will struggle and never succeed or just be pushed along without any skills or knowledge, ill prepared for anything. This isn't about helping children, it's about improving schools grades and as strange as it might sound, those things often do not go hand and hand.

In the end it comes down to this; there will be no difference in curriculum between the valedictorian at Stanton and a severely learning disabled student with an IQ of 70 from one of the neighborhood schools. No reasonable person should think that is appropriate or acceptable. If we truly cared about our disabled children we would have multiple tracks based on the students ability that prepared them for life not just the one size fits all, regardless of ability, intellect, aptitude or desire one that we have now.

Chris Guerrieri
School Teacher

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