What do you think will happen now that most states are opting out of NCLB?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by waterfall, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    6,052
    Likes Received:
    915

    Jan 1, 2012

    Do you think anything will change now that there won't be NCLB or AYP? My dad is a special ed teacher in my home state and he seems to think that with this change, it will really change their special ed programs. He thinks they'll go away from "full inclusion" which was mostly started out of fear that students with disabilities weren't getting enough classroom content to pass the test (in his district anyway), and go back to more resource/pull out programs. He also thinks there may be a decrease in "teaching to the test" with no AYP to meet. I'm not so optimistic. I think they'll just come up with something else- most states already are with merit pay being tied to test scores, encouraging teachers to teach to the test even if there is no AYP. What do you think (if anything) willl be different?
     
  2.  
  3. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    10,924
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 1, 2012

    My district is talking about more pull out type programs with the common core standards. We may have classes that are teaching lower level common core classes for students not ready for grade level materials.
     
  4. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Messages:
    3,769
    Likes Received:
    233

    Jan 1, 2012

    My understanding is that it isn't an option to opt out of accountability, but an option to opt out of the US DOE's accountability program. So, it's not that there wouldn't be some form of assessment, but that that system would be created by the state, under approval of DOE. I could be wrong, but that's my understanding.

    If this is the case, I think "how things would change" would vary by state. So, if a state created an assessment system with more frequent points of assessment (e.g., quarterly), that might have a different implication than states that stated with an annual assessment.
     
  5. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    4,330
    Likes Received:
    572

    Jan 1, 2012

    I am quite certain that in my school, it will mean a dumbing down of the material. I've already been told by my principal that he'd rather students know 25% of the material REALLY WELL than 100% of the material superficially. He went on to say that only until 85% of the students know the material inside and out, we can move forward in the curriculum. With my course we'd be stuck on chapter 7 for two months.
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,958
    Likes Received:
    2,114

    Jan 1, 2012

    Is it really MOST states?
     
  7. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    6,052
    Likes Received:
    915

    Jan 1, 2012

    41 states have already done it. I imagine the others will follow...I mean does any state really think that 100% of the students in their state will be proficient by 2013-2014? I can't imagine NOT opting out of it.
     
  8. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    3

    Jan 1, 2012

    I would be estatic to see more resource classes return as I have witnessed negative effects of full inclusion. The idea was to "expose" the very low students to at least some content and vocabulary they might see on the test when the truth is they sat in class either glazed over, sad because they felt stupid every day, or angry because even they realized they were in the "wrong" classroom. If "Sally" comprehends first grade material, she comprehends first grade material. Period. She isn't going to read a sixth grade level passage on the state test and come across the term "inference" in the extended answer prompt and get busy on a stellar response. :rolleyes:

    So I'll cross my fingers he's right.

    I have a letter from a very low student. She wrote that she felt stupid. I wrote her back, and in my response I told her she most certainly was not stupid...that struggling with some things does not make a person stupid and so on. She wrote back having noticed that the way she spelled stupid and the way I spelled it were drastically different. Oh, I actually I think the word was dumb. Anyhow, she started crying because she couldn't even spell dumb correctly. We are making too many students feel that way every day while patting ourselves on the back for including them in the regular classroom.
     
  9. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    10,924
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 1, 2012

    I think that the opting out may only be an option because the standards that we are teaching are not what we are assessing. At least in my state, we are teaching the common core standards but still using the old assessment based on our old standards.
     
  10. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Messages:
    726
    Likes Received:
    78

    Jan 1, 2012

    Obviously JustMe you are a regular ed teacher and not a special education teacher. I absolutely believe that not every child should be in the regular classroom but if this movement moves back, then all sped kids who are not working as the regular ed teacher wants them to will now be pulled out. I get very disgusted at some of the regular ed teachers who deal with sped kids now. If teachers would follow the accommodations or even let me know if there is a test or what not, the student would be okay. Many teachers just assume that if they are in the regular classroom, then they can do the work by themselves, regardless of the poor teaching. I also forsee more students being qualified sped because no one wants to deal with them at all. This means more sped teachers and more isolation for students. This is what I see now when we are pulling out some kids and trying to help in the classroom. I anticipate it will just get worse and sped kids and sped teachers will now be the outcasts. Sorry if I offended anyone but this is what I see day in and day out.
     
  11. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Messages:
    1,785
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 1, 2012

    How can we find out if our state opted out? I'm in CA?
     
  12. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    3

    Jan 1, 2012

    You don't offend me, but you obviously don't know me. I think you are absolutely wrong when you state that special education students who are not "working as the regular ed teacher wants them to" will be placed in resource rooms. One, I don't get to determine that. And two, only a portion of special education students would need resource classes. Resource serves a purpose, and it's not to just get low-performing students out of the regular classroom.
     
  13. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2006
    Messages:
    4,858
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 1, 2012

    Very interesting question. I hadn't even thought about how it will affect our day-to-day (we're always the last to know, aren't we?). Unfortunately, I believe there will always be an emphasis on tests and accountability-as others have mentioned tying it to merit pay and even a big chunk of evaluations in many places now. Administrators think in terms of data-that's just how it is.

    I also didn't think about the emphasis on inclusion being tied to NCLB. I'm looking forward to reading others weigh in on this.
     
  14. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Messages:
    726
    Likes Received:
    78

    Jan 1, 2012

    I never said that I knew you or anything about your teaching. I was reflecting on what I see everyday. And yes, the regular ed teachers can have a child tested for sped and can even be qualified if teachers think the student needs the help. You are right about the portion that may need resource but at my level, middle school, it is quite obvious that there are many students who are not at grade level. I'm glad that you completely understand that the resource services are to help the student but it also means that many times the low-performing and behavior students are pulled to the resource room because it is not working in the classroom and usually because the teacher does accommodate. If this doesn't happen at your school, I'm glad for you. Sorry to say it does happen at other schools.
     
  15. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,017
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 1, 2012

    I love having Sped students in my classroom. I provide accomodations for all my students and even more for Sped students. When they have been pulled out for a while and then are given a chance to be in a regular classroom and be successful with the right accomodations the value of their increased confidence is priceless.

    This year I fought hard to keep the Sped kids in my classroom because they were learning and they were excited to be in my class but due to scheduling conflicts with the sped teacher this couldn't be done and she couldn't do push in.

    I hate it when Sped teachers just pull out students without collaborating with me about material to be covered and talk about accomodations that can be done so all of us can be on the same page. It seems as if once they're pulled out some Sped teachers follow their own agenda when in reality these students are also going to take the same standarized tests as the rest of the students.

    Particularly when it comes to math. I keep hearing the sped teacher complain about how she's not that good at math and the material is too hard for her. I have no problem with that as long as we meet and we collaborate. I have so many strategies and accomodations for the topics I've been teaching for so many years but instead she pulls them out, teaches them just the same fractions for two or 3 weeks so students are not learning the material they will be tested on.

    Additionaly, when scores are released and my performance is being judged, the scores of sped students are included in my overall percentage whether I taught the students or not. :dizzy:

    Sorry for the vent, but this year I've worked so hard to have the students included in my class but couldn't understand why the sped teacher can be for an entire period every day pushing in for reading classroom when sped students are not even there but can't come to my classroom to do push in which would be the best for the students.
     
  16. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Messages:
    726
    Likes Received:
    78

    Jan 1, 2012

    I wish that we were working together! I totally agree that I can help the students and teacher in the classroom if I'm allowed to be there. I know that full inclusion doesn't always work but the collaboration between the two of us can be priceful for the student. Many times I'm not allowed to be in the regular classroom because many schools think that a para can do that job. (I do know there are sped teachers on here who feel that way!) But I know that I can make a big difference for those students in that classroom as well as others who may be at risk! I find it extremely difficult to be teaching my own classes or interventions and still need to help the kids in the classroom with tests, etc. It is VERY difficult to help with a test if I don't know how it was taught! I am so glad that you wanted those sped students in your class. From what I've seen, you are the exception!
     
  17. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,017
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 1, 2012

    I love my sped students. They come to my class with a stigma of not being smart and you should see the look in their faces when they show all the other students that they can do well in my class also. Last year a sped student was really good at mental math and helped his team win a game we were playing. Everybody was shocked and surprised that he could do that. I can tell you that the look on his face and the boost of self-esteem he got that day was priceless.

    The sped teacher last year was great. She accomodated her schedule really well so that all students could be included and we collaborated with the material and tests. We would meet almost every day to go over the lessons of the day. She even learned how to used algebra tiles from watching me using them in the class. She said she never knew how to use them, which was a shame considering that this is such a great tool for students who can't grasp abstract concepts like algebra. She left due to budget cuts but
    I wish she could be back. :(
     
  18. Barbera

    Barbera Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 1, 2012

    It sounds like if a state opts out they invite more federal control that has not yet been defined. Arne Duncan wants more accountability so what else could it be than a different kind of testing?
     
  19. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    3

    Jan 1, 2012

    I realize you are basing this statement on your experiences, but I don't feel Marci is the exception (thankfully:)).

    As in my first post in this thread, my desire to see resource return isn't about me. I wrote about putting children in circumstances that only hurt them emotionally and academically...not about the work and dedication required on my part. It isn't about me...period. And it certainly isn't about removing special education students from the regular classrooms, but only those who NEED resource services. I think this is how many teachers feel.
     
  20. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Messages:
    726
    Likes Received:
    78

    Jan 1, 2012

    It excites me to hear that you can see what I see in my sped students. I just wish we could teach together!
     
  21. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Messages:
    726
    Likes Received:
    78

    Jan 1, 2012

    I'm glad that you welcome all students into your classroom and I'm glad you feel that Marci is the not the exception. However, as a sped teacher, and, I'm only basing it on my experience, I still say that there are teachers who would want sped students removed from their classrooms. I also agree that there are students who really shouldn't be in the regular classroom but again, I've seen those who could be successful but are not because of the teaching that goes on in that classroom. I guess we are looking at this situation from different perspectives and we will have to just kindly disagree. What we can agree on is that we want what is best for students.
     
  22. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,958
    Likes Received:
    2,114

    Jan 1, 2012

    41? All I can find online is that 11 states had filed waivers as of mid-November. Do you have a link for your data regarding states who are thus far opting out?
     
  23. Barbera

    Barbera Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 1, 2012

    Where do you draw the line though?

    I have seen mixed results. Some student do great and some would be better off in the small RSP classrooms. I wish they would offer a choice rather than the all or nothing approach a district I used to sub at took.
     
  24. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    10,924
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 1, 2012

    For the past three years, I have had many students who have been a traditional pull out student in my regular education classroom. With the accommodations and modifications put into place for the students, most of them succeeded over the course of three years. Only two students were really not successful and this had less to do with the classroom and their needs than the student not showing responsibility for their homework and classroom work.

    I can honestly say (and I'm an ex-special education teacher), that the students who were placed into my classroom were lower than some students in our pull out programs. Many of these students tested in the bottom 1% on their MAP and state testing. However, with the course of the year and the interventions put into place, these students made tremendous gains and most even met on state testing!
     
  25. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,841
    Likes Received:
    321

    Jan 1, 2012

    Inclusion is great...in theory. We are not honoring the spirit of inclusion by placing sped students in general education classrooms without support and training for all teachers involved. When it's done right, it's great. But so many gen ed teachers are handed an IEP without being taught how to make those accommodations, and the ideal collaboration between the sped and gen ed teacher often doesn't happen. I am dually certified in elementary ed and special education. I feel very strongly that all students should be with their peers when appropriate. But if you asked me if I felt resource rooms were a bad thing....I'm not sure I could fully say no. I have a few students that could benefit from more one on one time that I am just not able to give them right now. Maybe it's my inexperience...but I am working really hard and still feeling like they could make more gains in sped. :sorry: I have 25 kids to get around to. Two need serious one on one interventions. They can't read at all in 3rd grade. It's stressful. I'd sit with them all day if I could.
     
  26. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    4,330
    Likes Received:
    572

    Jan 1, 2012

    I'm quite certain that one of the sp. ed teachers at my school would be saying the same things about me that Louise is saying here. However, my take on what goes on is completely different. She is constantly telling me how she has to fight me and the other gen. ed teachers so her kids get what is legally mandated. Which isn't true at all. But she sees it that way and no matter what I or her department chair tell her, she isn't going to change her mind. She believes that we should all put as much focus on "her" kids as she does. Which is impossible. She says that it is my fault that her favorite student isn't passing. He is working hard - shouldn't I just give him an A for effort? If not an A, at least a C?

    It is really exhausting dealing with the special ed teachers that think this way. Many have a list a mile long of how the general ed teachers won't work *with* them. But IME, there isn't any "with" with some of these people. It is their way or the highway.

    Long way to the point of - please remember there are two sides to every story. As frustrated as you are with the general ed teachers, there is a good chance they are as frustrated with you.
     
  27. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    6,052
    Likes Received:
    915

    Jan 1, 2012

    I heard it on the radio this morning. I can't find a current list. Here is a list of 27 states as of September (list is on the right hand side) that plan on opting out. Obviously this is older- I know Ohio is opting out and they're not on this list.

    • California
    • Colorado
    • Connecticut
    • Delaware
    • Florida
    • Georgia
    • Idaho
    • Illinois
    • Iowa
    • Kentucky
    • Maine
    • Maryland
    • Massachusetts
    • Minnesota
    • Nevada
    • New Jersey
    • New Mexico
    • North Carolina
    • Oklahoma
    • Oregon
    • South Carolina
    • South Dakota
    • Tennessee
    • Vermont
    • Virginia
    • West Virginia
    • Wisconson


    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4469369...ity-states-lining-ditch-no-child-left-behind/

    This October article says that Whyoming is one of only 11 states that had not decided to opt out yet- although it does not list the states.

    http://trib.com/news/state-and-regi...cle_777edf5d-bd92-5377-ad8a-fa83b135fd02.html

    It's really just common sense- if states don't opt out, they're saying that 100% of their students will be proficient in both reading and math in the next two school years. What state can say that they'll be able to accomplish it? I can't imagine that any state won't go through with it eventually.

    Another thing to keep in mind for this issue as a whole is that if we end up with a Republican president, there's a good chance there will be no more DOE. How will states be accountable then- that would change things too.

    Foursquare, that's exactly the heart of the problem. Full inclusion sounds great. In my dad's school, he co-teaches with the teacher (he's extremely lucky to end up on a team that actually lets him teach in their classrooms rather than treating him like a para, and he only has one grade level) and then pulls his students and tier 3 students in the back of the room to reteach the same concept so they can hear it twice. It's essentially the same as pulling them out to go to a resource room, but they have to have another lesson with 8-9 students going on in the regular classroom while others are trying to work and everyone is having a hard time focusing simply so they can say their special ed students are in the gen ed room 100% of the time. He just got two new students who are in 3rd grade and are totally non-readers. I don't see how anyone could say that those students wouldn't benefit from resource lessons on their own level, rather than muddling through 3rd grade material with a "support teacher" in the room- that's not teaching them how to read! My students love coming to my class. Most of them will ask me several times a day when they're coming with me when they see me around school. They're happy that they can understand the material and make progress! It's time to start making decisions based on what the kids actually need to learn, rather than making decisions on what they need to pass the test. I had a 3rd grader last year who is extremely intelligent but has severe dyslexia. He's reading on a K/1st grade level. He's logical enough that he's able to look for words in the question, find the same words in the story, and then copy the sentences from the story as his answer even though he doesn't really know what it says. He passed last year. Standardized tests aren't everything. I'd hate for someone to stick him in full inclusion simply because he passed a test. I have absolutely no problem with my kids being in gen ed classes. In fact, I think all of them spend at least 90% of their time there. I think the time they spend with me working on their level is extremely valuable though.

    I also don't see over-qualification of students as an issue either. Maybe it's different in other places, but in my home state as well as this state a gen ed teacher cannot just decide the kid is a problem and get them an IEP. That wouldn't even get the kid placed in RtI interventions in my school. We have to have a year of RtI data, the student has to make little to no progress, and then they have to test under the 12th percentile. I just had to exit a girl because she tested at the 16th percentile, even though that's well below the benchmark for grade level. I work in a pull out program and if anything I think we're under-identifying students. They are the lowest of the low by the time they finally get to me. When I worked in full inclusion schools there were lots of kids added into sped that are WAY higher than any of my students.
     
  28. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,091
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jan 1, 2012

    Looked up Hattiesburg Newspaper and found:Mississippi will likely apply for a waiver at the next opportunity, which is in mid-February, Murphy said.
    Looks like most states will apply for the waiver.
     
  29. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    10,924
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 2, 2012

    Without a DOE and NCLB, I'm not sure RtI will last either. I love our RtI model in my school and am very happy with how it has been working. But what is going to keep school districts from cutting those individuals working with our students in RtI?

    Another area that I wonder about is the quality of our special education teachers. I know this is why inclusion is pushed so heavily in my district. Our special education teachers have knowledge of meeting student's needs and the disabilities, but they are not content area specialists. Yet, they teach the students who most need the content area specialists.

    I'll give you a prime example. Right now I have a student who cannot spell, the student could not read until 2 years ago. I am fully supporting a modified spelling list and want this to focus on sight words and phonics patterns at the student's level. However, my special education teacher continues to give this student holiday type words and words that are of interest to him but way above his spelling level.
     
  30. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    6,196
    Likes Received:
    2,125

    Jan 2, 2012

    Yes, I forsee even high performing kids with disabilties being stuck in a closet with little to no help. I agree.

    Unfortunately, in my school I see special education teachers not wanting to accommodate the students properly because they would just prefer to inflate grades. This will only get worse.
     
  31. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Messages:
    726
    Likes Received:
    78

    Jan 2, 2012

    First off, I must claify myself. I strongly believe that regular ed teachers need the support of special education teachers. When I did my masters several years ago, my paper was on collaboration between the regular ed teacher and special ed teacher. I started out wanting a paper about how I could help the regular ed teachers with sped students and the research took me in this direction. I did anonymous surveys with teachers who would participate from my building. The results were surprising to me. (I would assume if they wanted to participate, then they had strong feelings about collaboration.) Several comments just stuck out to me: "The quality of my classroom would be better if sped students were not in my classroom", "You can only get so much out of a 50-watt bulb", and "There are better students who won't take my classes because of all the sped kids." Do you see where I'm coming from? I've asked about going over the IEPs with teachers but they say they understand. I now give them information about students via a note. Most teachers want to leave an IEP meeting right after they give their information of how the student is doing in the classroom. (I have to admit I wish I could leave then too!) But then they aren't there for any discussion about the student with the parent or the accommodations! It's my job to tell them about what went on after they left.

    I had a conversation with my principal because of some struggles with teachers following accommodations. He told me that it was my job to MAKE SURE the teachers were following the accommodations. I already know that I have to work "with" the teachers not "against" the teachers so I try to be the one to "give" on things. I honestly realize it is quite difficult to make sure all accommodations are utilized. I totally understand that there are MANY more students in that classroom and as the regular ed teacher, there is so much to do! I totally get that. That's why that if I'm in the classroom with you or AVAILABLE during that class period I could help you and the students.

    I'm sorry that I came on so strong but right now I'm dealing with a teacher who insists that kids take notes in class. He goes WAY too fast for half the students. I've asked for notes and one student even asked for his notes but he doesn't have any. I just can't afford to put a para in a non-core class just to take notes for the students. We are trying to get notes from another student that we can copy. (Notes are used for tests and quizzes.) If we have the notes, then we can help the students. Again, this teacher doesn't always allow students to come to me for tests and quizzes. A student asked if they could come to me for help (this is in the IEP). The answer was no as the teacher wanted to see how they would do. (Student didn't have enough notes, struggled and failed.) He continues to think that they aren't taking notes so shouldn't have help on tests. Believe me, I have been in his class taking notes for kids in another subject area. I ended up taking notes on an overhead so all students would be able to take notes. Again, I don't have the people to give up for a non-core (tested) subject!

    Again sorry for the rant/vent or whatever. This is where I'm coming from. Also didn't mean to hijack this thread!
     
  32. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Messages:
    726
    Likes Received:
    78

    Jan 2, 2012

    We still use the 20 pt. discrepency model as RTI hasn't been used at the secondary level. I have two students on my caseload who qualified because they didn't meet the 20 points but the team thought they would benefit from the extra help. This happened before they came to my level.
     
  33. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    8,465
    Likes Received:
    1,602

    Jan 2, 2012

    I must be one of the few Gen Ed teachers who likes going to IEP meetings. It gives me a ton of insight into how I can help those students now and how I can modify my curriculum in the future.

    As for NCLB, it was a great idea that never had proper implementation or enforcement, and it seems to be eroding the ability for the teacher to teach to the students' needs.
     
  34. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    10,924
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 2, 2012

    I'm hoping that without NCLB we will move away from the coverage model to an understanding model. I do think that students need to see and cover the material at their curriculum, but not in such a way that there is no lasting memory of the content.
     
  35. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    10,924
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 2, 2012

    I can see teachers suddenly only focus on one or two skills and never moving on. This would then place students pretty far behind when it comes to middle school and above.
     
  36. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Messages:
    2,403
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jan 2, 2012

    To me, I think this has less to do with the teacher and more to do with the administration. I have several students with IEPs, but I have 25-30 kids in a room, (with a load of over 170 kids a day). I have no aid or co teacher. And I have a 40 minute class period. And 40 minutes to plan for all that each day. NO ONE is getting individualized instruction in my room. It's all I can do to cover it once. I know the IEP is a legal document, but in my opinion the school is at fault for not following it, not me.

    It reminds me of when I worked at Hallmark and I had a labor issue. Everyone had to take a 30 minute lunch break - it was the law. But we also weren't allowed to leave one person in the store at the time and sometimes they would only schedule two people. So what were you supposed to do?

    It's the same thing to me - you can't require me to follow a law and then create conditions that make it impossible. And ultimately it is the kid that suffers. And you are right - a lot of time those kids get put back into the resource room, when really they just need to be in a general ed class room, but where the teacher is working under the conditions that they can support them.
     
  37. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Messages:
    726
    Likes Received:
    78

    Jan 2, 2012

    Yes, it is administrative...and we all know it. I think paras are a GREAT help in the classroom. (Well, if the para is a good para.) But it is difficult for the para too because they are in the regular classroom but under the supervision of the sped teacher. The sped teacher needs the para to do certain things in the classroom but the para has to work within the framework of the reg ed classroom. Then there is another layer where the reg ed teacher and sped teacher need to be on the same page. When does that collaboration happen?

    "I know the IEP is a legal document, but in my opinion the school is at fault for not following it, not me." I'm not sure what you meant by that. Did you mean that the school isn't supporting the reg ed teacher so they can follow the accommodations?
     
  38. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Messages:
    726
    Likes Received:
    78

    Jan 2, 2012

    You are exactly right about the IEP meeting. I do understand that there are numerous IEP meetings as well as SAT meetings to attend.
     
  39. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2009
    Messages:
    3,094
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 2, 2012

    I'm interested your take on this, because most teachers feel that NCLB has resulted in "dumbing down" the material and teaching to the test. Seems that opting out of NCLB would allow more flexibility and creativity for teachers to present the material.

    One of my favorite projects in Jr. High was a section on dinosaurs. Our 7th grade science teacher gave each class the same assignment: Create a presentation about dinosaurs that would tell me as much as possible about them if I had never heard of them before. There were three classes and we were competing with each other to see which class had the best, overall presentation. This allowed EVERY student in each class to participate in some way. One class did a huge mural of a prehistoric scene on the blackboard using colored chalk. Students in another class brought in models of dinosaurs they had built. And some students worked on the actual paper presentation. It was such a memorable experience because it was so open-ended.

    In one respect, I can understand your P's perspective about learning 25% well rather than 100% superficially. First of all, at least in math, if I teach the core fundamentals well, the rest of the material builds on that. But if I just spend 1-2 days per unit in the book, then only my best students are really going to develop any meaningful understanding of how it works.

    For instance, the Pythagorean Theorem is a wonderful tool that is useful in some fields, but not so much in others. While it is great for kids to understand how to determine if a triangle is a "right triangle" and how that knowledge can be applied to other measurements is great, but I would MUCH rather the kids understand how to find the square (or square root) of a number because that will be more useful to them overall. That doesn't mean P Theorem isn't important, just that it is not AS important as other concepts I am teaching.

    My teaching philosophy is that I want my students to fully understand the core fundamentals of the material and then apply that knowledge in solving problems that require critical thinking and application of that knowledge. If I can show the students how to connect the material they already know to a problem that seems "impossible" at first glance, then that will lead them to apply their knowledge to other problems when they encounter them.

    If I'm allowed to focus on the core teaching and then applying that to more abstract applications, I feel that is more benefit to my students that teaching them which key words to look for in a test question and other strategies that will help them score better. Not that there is anything wrong with teaching test strategies. That's a good skill to have, but it should be something taught as an accessory to the class rather than being the main focus of the class.
     
  40. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2009
    Messages:
    3,094
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 2, 2012

    Sorry to pick one nugget out of a long response, but this comment really caught my eye. Why do you think there is a good chance there will be no more DOE if we end up with a Republican president?
     
  41. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    10,924
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 2, 2012

    Cerek---It is definitely important to spend time teaching the key concepts/ideas of a unit. However, I fear that many teachers will not move on.

    What would happen if first grade only focused on addition all year? Then when the students got to second, they would have no knowledge of subtraction, geometry, etc.

    I can see the fifth grade teachers in my building focusing so much on operations with whole numbers that they would never touch on fractions and decimals. Yes, it would be nice if all sixth graders could perform operations with whole numbers well because it would make it much easier to introduce decimals and fractions, but students also need problem solving and vocabulary.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. KSMathMom,
  2. TeacherNY
Total: 168 (members: 2, guests: 144, robots: 22)
test