Over-inclusion?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Peregrin5, May 29, 2017.

  1. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Do you guys have any issues with IEP students being put in classes that they simply shouldn't be in in the name of inclusion? I get having students who are at certain levels being included in regular ed classes with the right support and if they aren't too low, but I'm talking about case managers who put students into a class with no support, and being told they can't do 95% of the work I assign because they have a 2nd grade reading and math level, and that I should be creating new curriculum for these students and constantly be on top of their work and specialized grading along with my regular ed students. And this is not just one or two students, but dozens.

    At my old school there were special day classes for students like this that provided them instruction at THEIR level with teachers who were specifically hired to create modified curriculum to best meet these students needs. I teach a fairly complex and rigorous science class where I endeavor to deeply challenge my regular ed students. And I can provide accommodations within reason, but I feel like here the idea is that special ed students need to be fully included in all regular ed classes, and there is not enough money or resources for in-class support, or classes that meet their needs.

    Is this something that you see at your school?
     
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  3. mathmagic

    mathmagic Connoisseur

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    I don't see it at my school, thankfully...and my own personal thoughts: it always needs to be a balance. It shouldn't be all outside of the gen-ed classroom, it shouldn't be all inclusion (unless appropriate for student). Just like always, our goal should be to treat each child individually, differentiating for their particular needs.
     
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  4. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    May 30, 2017

    I have been teaching long enough to see the pendulum switch back and forth...full inclusion back to non-inclusion, and back again. I think district budgets have something to do with it...less money means less services. It certainly does a disservice to both teachers and students when a severely low student is placed in a class they cannot achieve success in.
     
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  5. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    It's full inclusion at my school, and I have a modified curriculum for students who cannot read at the level my main texts require, but I have a number of student for whom even this is too high. I'm working with our SpEd teacher to create four grades of high school ELA for students below a third grade reading level, but I feel terrible for the students who had previously fallen through the cracks previous to this.
     
  6. Obadiah

    Obadiah Habitué

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    No Ordinary Hero: The SuperDeafy Movie, dramatizes this concern. In this particular script, the third grade student is Deaf. Due to his father's insistence, he is mainstreamed in a regular classroom without modifications. In case I whet someone's appetite to view the movie, I won't give away the plot; it's quite an interesting and enjoyable movie. Anyway, the group of Deaf and hearing people that I viewed the movie with had quite a discussion on IEP's and mainstreaming. Combined with experiences other Deaf adults have related to me, some have had positive experiences in mainstreaming situations and some have had quite negative experiences.

    Probably the most dangerous aspect of mainstreaming for students of any difference, and Superdeafy highlights this problem, is seclusion; often students and even some teachers treat the mainstreamed student as if something is wrong with them, they treat the person as if s/he were subhuman. Mainstreamed students don't need pity, they need acceptance as equal people, and frankly, every person has differences, some are just more noticeable than others. In Superdeafy, the other students, especially one bully, make fun of the Deaf student. One adult told me how his interpreter used to be his playmate at recess. But I've also heard the opposite; just recently a Deaf adult related how in her elementary classroom, she had quite a few good friends who were hearing.

    When my third grade class studied meters, I would tell them about the discovery of fossils of very short people. The media was labeling them "Hobbits". We discussed a "what if" story, what if these people were still in existence and were discovered on some remote island, and a family immigrated to our neighborhood. We imagined how much shorter than a meter a third grade "Hobbit" might be, and discussed how we would befriend him/her in the classroom, how we might modify some of the games at recess, how we would include the new student as one of our friends, etc. I've also discussed inclusion of other differences with the class, especially when it would appear in our reading lessons. In other words, appreciation, kindness, friendship does not need to only include people who are precisely like ourselves.
     
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  7. cupcakequeen

    cupcakequeen Companion

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    It's a moderate problem at my school. We have several students across several grade levels that fall in this gray area. From a test scores/IQ/past performance standpoint, we know that a regular class is several grade levels above their level. But our district really pushes us to keep students in regular classes for core subjects unless they have an intellectual disability or something similarly significant.

    The problem is, I have several students who are right above the traditional cutoff for intellectual disability. But apparently, that means that a student with an IQ of 70 is going to magically be able to function at grade level with only a moderate amount of support, whereas a kid with an IQ of 65 can't? (And I know IQ is not the be all/end all of of performance, I'm just using that as an example.)

    Socially, these low but not that low kids, who have severe learning disabilities, health impairments, and other similar disabilities, are socially much more suited to a regular education class with resource support. However, that doesn't mean they are just going to be able to do grade level material. We offer as much support and modification as we can, but sometimes it's still too much for them. I really feel for these kids. I've spoken with our principal and our special education director multiple times about coming up with a better way to support these students. We have some ideas, but nothing definite yet.
     
  8. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    One or two of my students have an aide that works "with" them but from my observations in class she really seems to be doing their work for them and the assignments that get turned on are all her work and not the students. The students meanwhile often just play games on their provided chromebooks with their headphones on. Because of status quo I probably won't do anything about it at this point but does anyone else see a problem with assigning them the same grade as the other students when it's really an adult just doing their work. And I literally mean just doing their work, not helping them, or even asking them. Just writing the answers for them and turning in the paper that she had just completed with no input from the students.
     
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  9. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    It became a problem at my school this year. We were told it was due to a change in California law/ed code but whatever, it has not been good for the kids involved. In a class of 32+a I simply cannot give them the individual attention they need to be successful. I can make all the modifications in their IEP and they still fail.

    I have more Ds and Fs in my regular classes this year than I've literally ever had and I have no doubt this is the reason.
     
  10. MrTempest

    MrTempest Companion

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    There are two things that I have seen that are contributing to this trend.

    One, and this the case in Georgia, but having more SPED students in inclusion classes equates to higher points for the school’s annual review process, sometimes these are bonus points. Therefore there is a push by admin to have more student’s move from accommodations that are not inclusive, regardless of what the student may actually need.

    And the second point is probably more prevalent. The purpose of an IEP is to provide the student what he or she need to be successful. The accommodations should be based on whatever supports are necessary for the student. However all too often what is offered is not based on needs but what the school currently has to offer. A lot of this is done because parents do not fully realize their rights and the power they actually have. Instead IEP meetings are focused on providing what is already in place instead of what the child may actually need.
     
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  11. AmyMyNamey

    AmyMyNamey Comrade

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    May 30, 2017

    I'd like to know what state you're in. I am fighting in the segregationist state of Indiana.

    Throughout my district, and across the more impoverished areas of my state, mainstreaming or inclusion is a cost-cutting measure tied up with pretty bows of euphemism. It is common that most students in a given class have some recognizable form of learning disability. Some are even violent and highly disruptive. By tossing these children into general education classes, the state saves tens of millions every year. In turn, these students are under served, their disabilities go undiagnosed and untreated, and they effect a crippling impact on all learning in the classroom. As these negative consequences are born by the poor and minorities, our legislators are comfortable turning a blind eye. Never mind the overall generational impact upon our entire society; short-term cost-cutting, especially at the expense of the poor, trumps all.

    This is never about "inclusion." It is always about money and who gets it.

    To better enable our own undoing, we lower our expectations and keep our mouths shut.
     
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  12. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    May 30, 2017

    I've had this issue one year, but since then I was able to verbalize the problem to my admin and it didn't happen. This year, we merged with a new school, new admin and I've had about 6-7 students who I knew couldn't do the work, they couldn't even sit in there without getting disruptive (obviously bored and overwhelmed because of the higher level work) and within a couple of days they were taken out. This is really in the best interest of the kid, why put them in a high school class if their reading level is 5th grade, or if they need one on one attention they so severe ADHD, etc?
     
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  13. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Aficionado

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    I haven't seen it...yet! I know my district wants to eventually see full inclusion. Why, though? If we have 5th-6th graders who are in SpEd and reading at a 1st grade level, how can they be fully & successfully mainstreamed into GenEd?

    Additionally, many of our SpEd kiddos suffer from ADHD, ODD, ED, ID, etc.

    Sigh.
     
  14. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Phenom

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    All of our students are full inclusion with collaboration. Some do fantastic in that setting, but others struggle. Thankfully when they get to high school, they do have some resource rooms, so they won't be in full inclusion again.
     
  15. GPC0321

    GPC0321 Companion

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    I have a student right now who we've talked to the EC teachers and admin about since last year and he's still in general ed classes. This poor fella is struggling so much, and I let him take assessments over, he gets to work on things during his SpEd class, etc. but he's barely passing and has no prayer of passing the state test next week that accounts for 20% of his entire average in my class. No. Chance. He is low, low, low, and even though he's sweet as a peach and always keeps up with his grade and wants to know what he can do to bring his average up, there's just only so much I can do. I'm sorry, but the state says a student that completes my class should be reading and analyzing complex fiction and nonfiction texts independently at the 10th grade level. They should be writing essays and doing research papers and using proper grammar, etc, etc, etc. If they cannot do these things by the end of the semester, they shouldn't pass.

    The buck has to stop somewhere. I teach high school, not 3rd or 5th grade. I expect students who have made it into 10th grade English to be capable of reading and writing at a high school level. If they are not capable of this, they will struggle.

    It wold be like putting kids in a calculus class who have trouble with basic arithmetic and expecting the teacher to assess them on adding and subtracting but giving them credit for calculus. I don't know why the powers that be think kids who lack basic reading skills should be given credit for a high school level English class.
     
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  16. GPC0321

    GPC0321 Companion

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    I have a student right now who we've talked to the EC teachers and admin about since last year and he's still in general ed classes. This poor fella is struggling so much, and I let him take assessments over, he gets to work on things during his SpEd class, etc. but he's barely passing and has no prayer of passing the state test next week that accounts for 20% of his entire average in my class. No. Chance. He is low, low, low, and even though he's sweet as a peach and always keeps up with his grade and wants to know what he can do to bring his average up, there's just only so much I can do. I'm sorry, but the state says a student that completes my class should be reading and analyzing complex fiction and nonfiction texts independently at the 10th grade level. They should be writing essays and doing research papers and using proper grammar, etc, etc, etc. If they cannot do these things by the end of the semester, they shouldn't pass.

    The buck has to stop somewhere. I teach high school, not 3rd or 5th grade. I expect students who have made it into 10th grade English to be capable of reading and writing at a high school level. If they are not capable of this, they will struggle.

    It wold be like putting kids in a calculus class who have trouble with basic arithmetic and expecting the teacher to assess them on adding and subtracting but giving them credit for calculus. I don't know why the powers that be think kids who lack basic reading skills should be given credit for a high school level English class.
     
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  17. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I remember having a student who read and wrote at a first grade level. The student was placed in my foreign language class. The foreign language is not spoken and exists only in written form. That student struggled so much, even with my exhaustive help. The student struggled extensively in all classes, frankly, and should never have been admitted into my school's reading-heavy magnet program. Such a shame. I'm sure that the student's self-confidence, whatever may have been left at that point, took an enormous hit.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2017
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  18. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Companion

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    Ugh, yes! I've butted heads over that kind of thing several times. That's pretty much how I ended up with my job. My student is a great candidate for mainstreaming with supports, but the supports the university provided were totally inappropriate for him. You don't have to have an ed. degree to know that putting a student with an ASD and ADHD in large group tutoring isn't a good idea. After that failed him miserably because he was too anxious to ask questions and couldn't focus for the whole session, his parents hired me to get him the help he needed. The only services the university offers are group tutoring, a note-taker, extended time, and basic services for sensory impairments.

    Lucky for me, my mother has an ed. degree and knew our rights, otherwise I never would have gotten the extremely limited accommodations I needed for my vision impairment. You shouldn't have to be an expert to get your child what they need.
     
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  19. Obadiah

    Obadiah Habitué

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    Hold on there! Woah! I feel like I just fell into a space warp or something. Or perhaps I'm still dreaming and having a nightmare. I wish that was the case. Unfortunately, it seems the truth here is stranger and more perilous than fiction.

    I thought students were to be placed in the least restrictive environment. Some mentioned that this was a status or a money issue for the school--the law does not state least restrictive for the school, it's for the student. Least restrictive environment does not mean an adult doing your work (by the way, are the adults learning any science?) and certainly does not mean playing games on a Chromebook. No, this is an example of regression to less informed times when students with differing abilities were considered abnormal and treated as subhuman, just something to put up with.

    And wait! Stop the presses. This thought just entered my mind while typing the above. They are playing what?! Video games? Have the administrators seen MRI photos of brains on video games? The photos show strengthened lower brains and restricted upper brain development, the exact opposite of the needed learning for these students--how is that the least restrictive environment?

    My friend who recently passed away in his late 70's was dyslexic, so in school, he was given art assignments for most of the day. Although this was beneficial to his adult hobby of absolutely amazing paintings, and although it was good that his interests and abilities in art were recognized, his lack of education left him illiterate and he eventually suffered from severe alcoholism. However, on the bright side, he turned his life around. As an adult he taught himself to read and frankly, he found stuff in texts that no one else would catch at first. He became successful in his business and quite active at helping other people. But the point is, he was the exception, not the rule. We need to get back to doing what's best for the student, all the students, not what's most convenient.
     
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  20. scholarteacher

    scholarteacher Connoisseur

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    It is definitely happening here. It takes an act of God and 2 acts of Congress to get a kid in SAC, but it's even harder to get them back out! We have a least 1 student who is wild and disruptive--one of the worst I've seen in 34 years. She can't read on a kindergarten level but is passing from 1st to 2nd grade because she receives EC services. There's no way she should be in a mainstream classroom.
     
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  21. Backroads

    Backroads Enthusiast

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    Not a big problem for me. Then again, I teach 2nd grade so I am more in the hunting out business of problems.
     

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