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Mon Sep 22, 2014, 12:20 AM

I just ran across this at Twitter. A rant from a father of a special education student.

Here is a link to his website, with a very angry post front and center now. I do not blame him. Take time to read it. This is the way Arne Duncan and reformers plan to treat special education kids now.

Exceptional Delaware

This was my sonís math homework tonight. My son with special needs. This was his first day of division. Can someone, in the name of all that is holy, tell me exactly what the hell this is? I know what itís supposed to be. But it is not. It is a confusing, prime example of the agony that is Common Core. Students should not be subjected to this. My son is in tears right now, missing his 4th grade teacher and he hates 5th grade. This isnít what school should be about. It shouldnít be this hard. It should be about learning at an appropriate grade level.

....And you want to test my special needs student on this material? OVER MY DEAD BODY!!!! I will not subject him to this hell. Parents, we need to wake up and open our eyes to this reality. This isnít making our children ready for college. Itís a curriculum that our own Secretary of Education Mark Murphy already expects 70% of our students to fail on the state test next Spring. What will that do to students confidence? They will be made to feel like failures. With that comes rejection and isolation in their perceived view of the world. This is a sin beyond proportion.

Parents, I have only one more thing to say: Opt-out of this and demand your legislators immediately ban this torture being inflicted on our children. The ONLY reason schools arenít against this is because they feel they have no choice. But parents do, and it is our time to rise up and take back our childrenís education.


The reason schools and districts are fighting is because they need Arne's money. The IEPs are going to be ignored soon.

There are test samples at the site.

Here is his Twitter page.

I feel the frustration.

20 replies, 2659 views

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Arrow 20 replies Author Time Post
Reply I just ran across this at Twitter. A rant from a father of a special education student. (Original post)
madfloridian Sep 2014 OP
RandySF Sep 2014 #1
madfloridian Sep 2014 #2
davidpdx Sep 2014 #10
elleng Sep 2014 #3
greatlaurel Sep 2014 #14
LibDemAlways Sep 2014 #4
madfloridian Sep 2014 #6
LibDemAlways Sep 2014 #7
Manifestor_of_Light Sep 2014 #5
ReRe Sep 2014 #8
SheilaT Sep 2014 #11
ReRe Sep 2014 #12
SheilaT Sep 2014 #15
ReRe Sep 2014 #16
SheilaT Sep 2014 #17
Enthusiast Sep 2014 #9
MannyGoldstein Sep 2014 #13
madfloridian Sep 2014 #18
Smarmie Doofus Sep 2014 #19
greatlaurel Sep 2014 #20

Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 12:21 AM

1. I THINK this is an issue of the specific school or district applying it incorrectly.

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Response to RandySF (Reply #1)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 12:28 AM

2. I think Arne is planning on requiring the same of special ed students as regular.

I wonder if Arne Duncan is trying to end the category of special education?

National Education Secretary Arne Duncan wants to tie test scores for special-education students to the amount of money a state receives from the federal government for reimbursement of special-education services. States that send back high test scores for special-education students will get more money; those with lower scores will get less or even no money.

Surely this will improve student learning, right?

Clearly, No Child Left Behindís emphasis on tying student test scores to federal money was a major success! Cloning NCLB tools for special-education students sounds like a real winner.

Secretary Duncan argued, ďWe know that when students with disabilities are held to high expectations and have access to a robust curriculum, they excel.Ē

If only teachers knew this was the magical brew to student success! Obviously teachers have never held special-education students to a robust curriculum and high expectations, right?


More at the link.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #2)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 03:40 AM

10. The problem is you can't expect the same of special ed students

Duncan should know that. Fuck even I know that! .

I grew up with a mild learning disability and was diagnosed in the 4th grade and put in remedial classes until the 8th grade when I finally did catch up. One of those remedial classes was math. Most students aren't going to fully catch up like I did. To penalize the school for having SE students is idiotic.

The parents of SE students need to scream as loud as they can at Duncan to get him to change the policy, even if it takes amending it in Congress.

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Response to RandySF (Reply #1)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 12:29 AM

3. which appears to be one of the problems with common core,

widespread failure to educate TEACHERS how to teach it.

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Response to RandySF (Reply #1)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 08:50 AM

14. You failed to go to the link, where the worksheet is clearly labeled from Mifflin-Harcourt.

The worksheet is labeled that it is from the Mifflin-Harcourt Publishing Co. The worksheet is also labeled Lesson 1.8 Common Core Standard CC5 NBT6 Perform operations with multi-digit whole numbers and with decimals to hundreds.

Therefore, this worksheet is not from the specific school or district. It is from one of the major publishing companies that are selling common core aligned products to the public schools.

This worksheet is ridiculously complicated for children new to the concept of division. How in the world is a kid supposed to know to break the 70 into 50 and 20? Why not 35 and 35 or 60 and 10? For someone who does not think in number patterns, this is an impossible assignment.

How in the world as a parent do you help a kid navigate this? It would be far more productive and far less demoralizing to teach kids how to conduct basic math operations first. They can understand the patterns of math then move into number theory. Elementary school kids are not developmentally ready for abstract concepts. By shoving this stuff at them at developmentally incorrect ages, it damages their ability to learn abstract concepts later on in their development.


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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 12:49 AM

4. The father's frustration is totally understandable.

I looked at the example and it's ridiculous. I'm a sub and have encountered common core math several times already this year. It complicates the process. It's fine to show students different ways of playing with numbers, but they need the basics first.

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Response to LibDemAlways (Reply #4)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 01:25 AM

6. I agree. I taught "new" math concepts always in the primary. But first I taught basics.

Something is very wrong with the picture for a special needs students. I share the father's frustration.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #6)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 01:37 AM

7. I was tasked with teaching two special needs

3rd graders how to subtract using number lines and by making numbers more "friendly" by adding digits to get multiples of ten. It's even hard to explain here.

Anyhow, to say the kids were lost is an understatement. It's insanity.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 01:18 AM

5. "They will be made to feel like failures."

Sounds just like Christianity. You're a worthless sinner from the get-go because you are BREATHING.

Uh huh.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 02:48 AM

8. It's like...

...trying to teach calculus to 3rd and 4th graders. Let me tell you a story... One of my sons had ADD (or that's how he was mis-diagnosed at the time.) Very intelligent. In the 4th grade, they taught the kids to do math in their HEADS. He did great with it, and he eventually got to the point of just answering the math questions and not showing his work. Alright, he made it through the next few grades. Low and behold, he arrives at his freshman year of high school algebra. He never showed his work. Always got the answers right, but the teacher actually flunked him because he didn't show his work, in spite of his correct answers. And "F" in math, in his first year of high school! (He had never made a "C" or "D" in his entire previous 8 yrs in school in ANY subject!) No, the teacher didn't contact me at any point and ask me to encourage him to show his work. The "F" woke him up. He did have to take the class again, did show his work and got an "A" in the class. As a matter of fact, all of his grades shot up as he proceeded through HS. He went on to graduate from college with high grades.

I'm sorry people, I think PO did the wrong thing by putting so much faith in Arne Duncan's way of looking at education. The education of our children should never be gambled with/sold to the highest bidder and slickest debaters of privatization. We need to back up this education ship about 15 years and start over again.

K&R

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Response to ReRe (Reply #8)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 03:54 AM

11. It's like trying to teach calculus to 3rd and 4th graders.

 

Good point.

I was in what amounts to an accelerated math program when I was in high school, and when we got to the calculus part I was lost, could not understand anything, and my grades quickly dropped to a D. I was 16 years old at the time.

Thirty something years later I'm back taking math classes at my local junior college. I only needed to get through college algebra for the program I was in, but was enjoying myself so much I took probability and statistics, and then signed up for calculus. I was 47 years old. I LOVED the calculus. It felt like a reward for all the algebra classes I'd taken. I comment on this to several of the math teachers at this school, and to a person they said, "Oh, Sheila. What most people don't understand is that math is developmental, and most 16 or 17 year olds are simply not ready for calculus, but they will be at 18 or 19."

I thought back on my experience and realized they were right. I also saw that exact same thing in my two very bright son. Couldn't do calculus at 16 or 17, but could a year or two later.

This is not to put down anyone here who did calculus at 14 and just loved it. You do understand you are NOT exactly like everyone else, don't you?

I'm certainly no expert in teaching math at the younger grades, but it's clear that some of this stuff is total crap.

Oh, and I'm old enough to remember before we had any special ed at all, back in the 1950's. The kinds of kids who later on would be in special ed were either allowed to flunk every other grade or so, or simply stopped going to school, if they were ever enrolled in the first place.

However, I'm going to defend showing your work in math class. It really is important. I wonder how a kid could make it through an entire school year and never get the message that the work had to be shown. Showing your work allows a kid who gets the wrong final answer, but who has thing right up to a point, to get partial credit. The teacher who marks the entire problem wrong when the student is correct up to a point is doing much more harm. More to the point, there should have been communication with the teacher about that issue. There's a reason for parent teacher conferences. The first report card with a D ought to have been a clue.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #11)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 05:35 AM

12. I was angry at both the teacher...

AND my son. We had been through the "show your work" issue when he was younger. The teacher did talk to me in that instance and we worked together to do what everyone else had to do. He pulled the "I'm special because I have a learning disability" trick, and it didn't work. Now when he made that F in Freshman algebra, I didn't go to the teacher, as Robert had this previous issue. I think the counselor at school had a talk with him and impressed upon him how important it was for him to make good grades from Freshman-Senior. The state that we live in rewards kids with a scholarship when they are ready to go to college according to their GPA at the end of each year. He snapped right out of it and did great for the rest of HS and graduated near the top of his class.

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Response to ReRe (Reply #12)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 09:40 AM

15. Thanks for the clarification.

 

And I'm glad he wasn't able to get away with the "I'm special" trick.

I bet he's doing more than fine right now.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #15)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 09:55 AM

16. He sure is.

He had wonderful teachers. His college professors loved him, as he was so self-disciplined. Also to class on time and ALWAYS had early classes. Wrote the best term papers the profs had ever read, making A's on every one of them. I'm so proud of him, because he had a rough way to go as a kid. The other kids bullied him because he was a loner and smarter than everyone in the class. He always related best to kids older than him. He "learned" in a different way, if you understand that. OK... I'll stop bragging about him now.

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Response to ReRe (Reply #16)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 12:44 PM

17. It's hard to stop bragging

 

isn't it?

My oldest son was also bullied and shunned when he was in public school. He was small for his age, not at all interested in athletics, and very, very smart. We wound up moving him to an independent (meaning secular private) school starting in 7th grade. He remained small for his age for the next few years, but here academics were valued and he did very well.

We eventually figured out that he has Asperger's, which were at the root of his social difficulties. After some further struggles, he is now at the age of 31 getting his B.S. in physics this coming May, and is beginning his grad school applications. He wants to take astrophysics. He's my go-to guy for all my science and math questions.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 03:19 AM

9. Kicked and recommended!

Thank you, madfloridian.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 06:52 AM

13. For the 7,000th time...

 

Massachusetts has had standardized testing for decades, and it works well. My wife and I work on school stuff with families of kids with disabilities, so we see first-hand that accommodations are made for kids who need it. It works, teachers know how to use it, and all is well.

That the untested Common Core was foisted upon our country, instead of adopting the tried and proven Mass MCF/MCAS, is a show of bad faith toward the American People by the Obama administration. It's just a way to give a wet kiss to private corporations, and to give insane people (e.g., states that hate science) a way to make the tests fantasy-based.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 01:08 PM

18. Common Core for Special Ed..What are Standards-Based IEPs?

More from this blog from Sept. 20.

http://exceptionaldelaware.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/uh-oh-common-core-for-special-education-what-are-standards-based-ieps-and-which-are-the-pilot-districts-2/

Since I wrote this article a month and a half ago, Iíve found out standards-based IEPs have been around since No Child Left Behind was introduced back in 2002. But designing IEPs to fit the Common Core standards is a newer thing, going back to 2010 in some states. Delaware is just starting this ďinitiativeĒ in 2014. This is dangerous, and deceptive, just like the Common Core Standards and the Smarter Balanced Assessment. Our special needs students have never needed their parents to speak up more. This is the line in the sand, and we have to cross it now. We have to rise, like an army, and fight with our voices. We must unify, we must retaliate, and we must say no. If we donít, our children will be subjected to a hell we have never seen before. The very nature, the very essence of an Individualized Education Plan will change forever. And if we say nothing, we are allowing this to happen.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 01:11 PM

19. Where are the heck are the disability advocacy groups?

 

Council for Exceptional Children, etc?

Obama /Duncan ed policy is based on the premise that exceptional kids do not exist.

News to me, news to parents of special ed kids.

But I don't get the absence of outcry from the advocacy groups. Are they foundation grantees?

( I always assume the worst where this topic is concerned ... but I wasn't always that way. People like Gates, Duncan, etc. made me that way.)

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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Reply #19)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 11:03 PM

20. That is a very good question.

After all the efforts to get kids proper services, it will be a disaster to let them take these services away from kids who need them. Is this so the charter schools do not have to provides services and pocket billions of taxpayers' money?

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