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Sunday, September 13, 2015

So much for improving ESE in Duval County (rough draft)

I am just going to get right to it.

At Ed White high school they are putting street wise kids who will never pass the FSA in with their intellectually disabled children. These kids which would have previously been staffed Varying Exceptionality are leaps and bounds more advanced than what one of the teachers at Ed White called, my babies, because sadly intellectually that is where many of them are at.

Then at XXXX XXXXXX they have been staffing kids from the PRIDE program to the transition program there. These are kids that have been diagnosed as Seriously Emotionally Disturbed and again intellectually are generally leaps and bounds above the kids that at XXXX XXXXXX.  If you are disabled you can stay in school till you are twenty-two and more and more families of SED kids are taking advantage of this but that doesn’t mean they should be placed at XXXX XXXXXX which until recently had just been designated for Intellectually Disabled children but it gets even worse. When it was pointed out that the center school doesn’t offer services like mental health counseling the district told the school to just rewrite the IEPs which totally circumnavigates the IEP process, I was later told that the district asked the school to contact the parents to ask them if they could rewrite the IEP which is a distinction with just a minor difference. The district told Ed White to do the same thing two years ago when I complained about city year volunteers being used as co-teachers. Dozens of IEPs were rewrote to eliminate co-teaching services.

Wait there is more. In the last contract negotiation teachers of ASD or autism were promised a twenty-five hundred dollar bonus and friends believe me that just scratches the surface of what they are worth as those are probably the most difficult classes in the entire county to teach. The district however made this promise with a caveat and that’s teachers have to be certified in autism.

Here is the rub getting certified in autism isn’t like getting certified in most subjects where you just have to take and pass a test. One of the teachers at XXXX XXXXXX told me they have to take four college classes at a minimum and they were spending twenty-thousand dollars to get a masters so they could get a 2,500 dollar bonus.

Two things nobody chooses to teach out of field, they are asked to and if these teachers and others throughout the county are going to put their careers and sometimes their physical safety on the line they should see the bonus.

Duval County narrowly survived an investigation from the state two years ago which saw the head of ESE promoted not disciplined and since past is definitely prologue it doesn’t look like we have learned much.

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