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Sat Jan 12, 2013, 11:03 PM

my son's school district did it again

Not only do I have to give him a private root beer float party at home because he will never reach the GPA needed to be acknowledged as a good student and get to participate in a root beer float party at school. And not only did I have to contact the vice principal so she could tell the wrestling coach that my son can participate regardless of his grades. But now I get a letter in the mail stating that my son did not meet standards on the state standardized test. They gave him the standardized test that the general education students take instead of giving him the alternative test that special education children with an IEP are suppose to take. Do these school administrators even have a brain in their head? Do they even realize they have special education students in their school? I am currently looking into private schools. I can't afford for him to go full time but I will sell my soul to the devil to get him in for at least math and science because those are the two classes he is failing.

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Arrow 62 replies Author Time Post
Reply my son's school district did it again (Original post)
liberal_at_heart Jan 2013 OP
bobclark86 Jan 2013 #1
kestrel91316 Jan 2013 #7
stevenleser Jan 2013 #42
kestrel91316 Jan 2013 #43
pnwmom Jan 2013 #57
madfloridian Jan 2013 #12
proud2BlibKansan Jan 2013 #29
mrmpa Jan 2013 #36
alittlelark Jan 2013 #31
PatrynXX Jan 2013 #38
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #45
exboyfil Jan 2013 #2
liberal_at_heart Jan 2013 #5
MannyGoldstein Jan 2013 #3
liberal_at_heart Jan 2013 #6
MannyGoldstein Jan 2013 #15
liberal_at_heart Jan 2013 #18
MannyGoldstein Jan 2013 #19
liberal_at_heart Jan 2013 #25
MannyGoldstein Jan 2013 #27
tavalon Jan 2013 #40
Ilsa Jan 2013 #4
liberal_at_heart Jan 2013 #9
nadinbrzezinski Jan 2013 #8
liberal_at_heart Jan 2013 #11
nadinbrzezinski Jan 2013 #13
liberal_at_heart Jan 2013 #14
riderinthestorm Jan 2013 #49
siligut Jan 2013 #10
Luminous Animal Jan 2013 #16
liberal_at_heart Jan 2013 #24
Luminous Animal Jan 2013 #26
Smarmie Doofus Jan 2013 #17
liberal_at_heart Jan 2013 #21
proud2BlibKansan Jan 2013 #35
LeftyMom Jan 2013 #20
liberal_at_heart Jan 2013 #22
LeftyMom Jan 2013 #23
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #46
proud2BlibKansan Jan 2013 #28
liberal_at_heart Jan 2013 #30
proud2BlibKansan Jan 2013 #33
Irishonly Jan 2013 #54
proud2BlibKansan Jan 2013 #55
Irishonly Jan 2013 #56
ChachaCha Jan 2013 #32
proud2BlibKansan Jan 2013 #34
xfundy Jan 2013 #37
FLyellowdog Jan 2013 #39
bluestateguy Jan 2013 #53
Scuba Jan 2013 #41
dsc Jan 2013 #44
meow2u3 Jan 2013 #47
Separation Jan 2013 #48
rateyes Jan 2013 #50
bluestateguy Jan 2013 #51
d_r Jan 2013 #52
pnwmom Jan 2013 #58
LWolf Jan 2013 #61
AngryOldDem Jan 2013 #59
LWolf Jan 2013 #60
WinkyDink Jan 2013 #62

Response to liberal_at_heart (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 11:11 PM

1. So... what is your son's problem?

Does he have a particular condition?

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Response to bobclark86 (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 11:31 PM

7. He's in special ed, obviously for a reason. She has no obligation to disclose

the reason to you or anyone else.

I know it galls you and your little friends that special ed even exists, since you'd prefer that these people just be kept shuttered at home and die sooner rather than later. But you don't get your way just yet.

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Response to kestrel91316 (Reply #7)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 09:46 AM

42. Your post was alerted. Jury results...

At Sun Jan 13, 2013, 09:38 AM an alert was sent on the following post:

He's in special ed, obviously for a reason. She has no obligation to disclose
http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=2183143

REASON FOR ALERT:

This post is disruptive, hurtful, rude, insensitive, over-the-top, or otherwise inappropriate. (See <a href="http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=aboutus#communitystandards" target="_blank">Community Standards</a>.)

ALERTER'S COMMENTS:

Clearly unwarranted personal attack in the second paragraph. Nothing indicates the prior poster hates special ed in the least. Well over the top. As pointed out by another DU member and educator later, the student may not qualify for the test the OP wants. We need to quit seeing evil where there is not. The gun thread mania is really making DU suck as are poste like these. Kestreal has been here for a while. With more posts like this she needs to join Jody

You served on a randomly-selected Jury of DU members which reviewed this post. The review was completed at Sun Jan 13, 2013, 09:44 AM, and the Jury voted 3-3 to LEAVE IT.

Juror #1 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: No explanation given
Juror #2 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: No explanation given
Juror #3 voted to HIDE IT and said: No explanation given
Juror #4 voted to HIDE IT and said: someone woke on the wrong side of the bed it seems. I say hide this. We really don't need to go to the gutter so easily and quickly
Juror #5 voted to HIDE IT and said: No explanation given
Juror #6 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: Normally, I would agree with alerter, but the context here changes everything. Kestrel is responding to a really heartless and soulless post by bobclark86 to the OP. The OP is a heartwrenching post about OPs son who is specifically noted to be in special education. bobclark86 replies "So... what is your son's problem?... Does he have a specific condition?". Obviously he does have a condition that warrants he being placed in special education classes. When you read the OP and bobclark86's response, its no wonder kestrel went off on him like he did. I probably would have been hard pressed not to respond similarly. - SL

Thank you very much for participating in our Jury system, and we hope you will be able to participate again in the future.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #42)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 04:17 PM

43. Thank you. YOU got it.

"...Kestrel is responding to a really heartless and soulless post by bobclark86 to the OP. The OP is a heartwrenching post about OPs son who is specifically noted to be in special education. bobclark86 replies "So... what is your son's problem?... Does he have a specific condition?". Obviously he does have a condition that warrants he being placed in special education classes. When you read the OP and bobclark86's response, its no wonder kestrel went off on him like he did. I probably would have been hard pressed not to respond similarly. - SL"

Heartless and soulless pretty much sums that post up. The smartass tone jumped right out at me.

Furthermore, if DU wants to get rid of me because I call out posts and posters like that, then I will gladly go. SHAME on the alerter.

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Response to kestrel91316 (Reply #7)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 11:42 PM

57. self-delete

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Response to bobclark86 (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 11:38 PM

12. What difference would that make to you? Or to anyone?

The student would be there because people skilled in such issues worked with the student and parents. There are rules to follow in testing, and the school did not obey that rule.

Sounds like the school admin made a very bad decision.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #12)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 12:44 AM

29. How do you know the school didn't obey the rules?

Parets don't get to demand an alternative test. It is only administered to 1% of students, and they are the most severely disabled kids in the district. I see nothing in the OP that indicates this is a severely disabled child.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #12)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 01:22 AM

36. Glad to hear from you madfloridian.............

I've missed seeing your posts.

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Response to bobclark86 (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 12:55 AM

31. uuuhhh, yeah.....

are you serious?

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Response to bobclark86 (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 01:45 AM

38. o_O

not particularly the smartest question in the world. He's in special ed. what else do you need to know??

Hopefully your just having a brain fart..

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Response to PatrynXX (Reply #38)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 04:35 PM

45. actually, as mad flo notes, the kind of condition the child has has relevance to the question

 

of what kind of testing is done.

special ed is a very wide gamut.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 11:13 PM

2. Is dual enroll an option in your state?

Keep your kid home for the subjects he has difficulty in. In our state you could go with a portfolio evaluation from a teacher (less expensive than a private school). You can participate in extracurriculars just like the full time students. You could generate your own transcript for your child for graduation. Perhaps you could get a college student tutor for his two subjects which he has difficulty (one student should be able to cover both). I would actually like to do that type of tutoring when I finally retire as an engineer.

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #2)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 11:18 PM

5. dual enrollment is actually an option in our state

I don't feel confident enough to be able to teach him although I guess you never know until you try.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 11:16 PM

3. Sorry to hear that!

Are his problems in math and science due to his disability? If so, then it's a sign that the IEP is not working, and needs to be fixed. You should not have to pay in order to accomodate a disability - the federal law is very, very clear that the school district has to adequately take care of it, and if they can't, but a private school can, then the district must to pay for the private school.

My wife and I work with local parents on this stuff, helping to get kids into better academic situations. I'd be happy to provide info, feel free to PM me. It drives me nuts when districts don't do the right thing.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #3)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 11:27 PM

6. you're not kidding the IEP isn't working

There is no flexibility at the middle school level. I have fought with the school district ever since he started 6th grade and have gotten nowhere. First problem is that all math students are required to take grade level math no matter their ability. So even though he is at a 5th/6th grade math level he is in an 8th grade math class. School district policy. I tried to fight it. It did not work. Second problem is that there is no special education science class. He has to take general education science whether he fails it or not. They tell me there is suppose to be more flexibility at the high school level. We are moving to a different school district next year because we cannot afford to live in this neighborhood anymore now that my husband is on disability. So we won't have to deal with this particular school district next year. All I can do is hope this other school district that we are moving to is better and try to get him the help he needs with the subjects he is failing. If this other school district is as bad as the one we're in now I will look into the school district paying for private school classes. Thank you for reminding me of that. I had forgot that the school district is responsible for my child's education whether he gets it at their school or somewhere else.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #6)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 11:44 PM

15. By federal law, there's no such thing as "all students must"

IEPs must address the unique needs of each student with a disability.

The first video on this site might be helpful: http://effectiveprogress.com/videos/

Also check out Wrightslaw.com, which has amazing info.

School districts often do the wrong things, usually out of ignorance but sometimes because they're cheap/broke. Unfortunately, parents usually need to become informed and hang tough to get what their kids are entitled to.

Bottom line is that your son's guaranteed a free and appropriate education. Fixing his IEP is the key.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #15)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 12:02 AM

18. thank you. During his 6th grade year we asked for a hearing and was denied.

I guess we just didn't have the proper information to fight them effectively. I agree. We have to fix his IEP.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #18)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 12:07 AM

19. What kind of a hearing did you ask for that was denied?

I believe that you have the right to call an IEP meeting anytime. And you can always call for what's called a due process hearing with the state if the district is not playing by the rules, but those are a pretty big deal.

May I ask what state you live in?

Sorry if I'm being weirdly obsessive... When kids don't get the education they're entitled to, I get a bit nutty and want to try to help, but feel free to tell me to go away, it's late and you're probably tired!

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #19)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 12:24 AM

25. we live in WA

We had asked for him to be placed back into the LRC2 special education program which would give him more support. The LRC1 program is for more independent students. He was in LRC2 in elementary school. They wanted to see how he would do in LRC1 in middle school. He struggled so much. He would come home every day in tears and ask if he could skip school. We asked for a hearing to have him placed back into LRC2. We were denied based on the fact that his IQ( in the high 70's at the time) was too high and could not be placed back into the LRC2 program.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #25)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 12:36 AM

27. My sister lives in Seattle, we were just there for a week

Unfortunately I'm not familiar with those LRC programs.

Your best bet might be to get an outside (private) neuropsych evaluation if he doesn't have a recent one, which you might have to pay for out of pocket . But it should give you good ammunition for fixing the IEP.

If you're in the Seattle area and want a recommendation for a neuropsych tester I could ask my sister - she's a psychologist although she doesn't do neuropsych testing.

Good luck! Be smart and be tough! You'll win!

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #18)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 05:09 AM

40. Call an IEP every week until they are so frustrated they do what they are supposed to

An IEP is individualized. There is no must in an IEP and they are misinformed if they think that.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 11:17 PM

4. I wish you luck with the private schools.

Just a warning: they may not take him if he has an IEP. I don't know of many private schools doing special education (and I have a child with an IEP). Or it might be a long trip. Then you'll have to get the school district to pay for that.

I think you might need to go up the chain and complain about how he was tested, and make certain that his IEP contains the instruction to administer the modified tests.

I hope this helps, but there isn't much info in your post to go on.

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Response to Ilsa (Reply #4)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 11:35 PM

9. I've looked into private schools before

There are private schools around here that will take special education students with an IEP who are failing classes at their public school.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 11:34 PM

8. Can't vouch fr these guys

Since we don't have kids, but heard good things from local parents.

Tutoring is what you might need.

http://tutoring.sylvanlearning.com/get_started.cfm?cid=NAC-MEC-search-google-ppc-get_started-1203&CFID=10234073&CFTOKEN=43625033

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #8)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 11:38 PM

11. We could give tutoring a try

but I would rather just replace the class he is taking at the public school with a class at a different facility. I don't think he would do well with an extended day. His autism causes him to get frustrated and he breaks down. He has to have down time when he can just come home and relax and forget about his frustrations.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #11)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 11:40 PM

13. I think they work with kids with

Learning spectrum. You might be able to replace the school and the district has to.

Just a suggestion.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #13)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 11:41 PM

14. I will definitely look into it. Thanks.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #8)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 05:25 PM

49. +1. My oldest daughter LOVED Sylvan. She somehow began to lose her math skills in middle school

so in 7th grade we started Sylvan for her. They managed to plug the holes she'd missed in elementary school and within a year she was doing 9th grade work. We stopped the tutoring at that point and never had to go back.

But she loved the experience of it. They also have science programs.

See if you can explore some of the tutoring places in your area. I've experienced firsthand and know many other pleased students and parents.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 11:35 PM

10. It is good that you try to make it up to him with the root beer

That is such a poor system and then it isn't apparent that the school even compensates for children with IEPs? Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 11:51 PM

16. Can you opt out of the testing?

FYI, I really feel for you and your son. And I would follow the advice to look for a tutor specializing in special education needs. It could be that your son has an aptitude for math and science but is not thriving under the manner the subjects are being taught. You might go through a few tutors until you hit on the best one but it will be worth it. The key to understanding a tutor's effectiveness is to familiarize yourself with the state requirements and monitor your son's progress.

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Response to Luminous Animal (Reply #16)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 12:19 AM

24. that's what I always thought

He loves cosmology. He comes home and talks very intelligently about what he learned in science class. He just can't pass the general education curricula that goes along with being in that class. And with math, he can do some math in his head which I've never been able to do. Also, he can pick out number patterns. He doesn't do well with word problems especially and forget about finding the area of an irregular shape.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #24)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 12:31 AM

26. If you can opt out, I'd take that path and

seek out a tutor that may help keep him at standards (or perhaps above) without the cookie cutter approach to education. As long as you and the tutor keep him on track, there is no need to deal with the tests. As far as word problems go - he may never grasp that. I couldn't because of my dyslexia.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 11:51 PM

17. Question 1: NO. Question 2: NO.

>>> Do these school administrators even have a brain in their head? Do they even realize they have special education students in their school? I am currently looking into private schools. I can't afford for him to go full time but I will sell my soul to the devil to get him in for at least math and science because those are the two classes he is failing.>>>

1. Most school admins ( I said "MOST") are failed teachers and are attracted to administration by the prospect of money, status, and power over other people.(And getting out of the classroom, which they HATE.) They tend NOT to the best and the brightest.... and certainly not the most ethical.

2. But they MAY know and not care. There's also a collection of relatively new and egregiously dumb ideas now making the rounds re. how to address sp ed. The most idiotic is fueled by the common core fad and says all kids... even sp ed kids, even profoundly retarded sp ed kids, have to be taught the same curricular elements as gen ed kids of the same age/grade level. So a 15 yo w. Down Syndrome and a measured IQ in the 40s has to be taught Algebra. Even if he can't tell time, count money or even identify the numerals 1-10.

Algebra. For kids who can't count to ten.

Only school administrators... the most determined of whom move up to the district office and thereby can set policy .... could be clueless enough to think this is an appropriate education.

If I were you I'd visit an ed lawyer and see what the prospects were for getting the district to pay for a private school which can provide an *appropriate* education... since apparently the district cannot provide one. There are attys who specialize in precisely this area.

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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Reply #17)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 12:10 AM

21. I can't help but wonder what idiot came up with the idea that they should teach

based on grade level no matter the ability level. It obviously violates the ADA.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #21)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 01:14 AM

35. The argument from the feds is that this DOES meet ADA.

ADA is about access and so some bureaucrat in DC decided that ALL kids should have access to general education curriculum. That means ALL kids take the test.

Yes it's crazy but that's the reasoning.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 12:08 AM

20. Why are you letting them administer the test? I would opt him out or keep him home those days.

In my opinion everybody should do so because those tests are bullshit, but special needs kids in particular really shouldn't be subjected to that nonsense.

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Response to LeftyMom (Reply #20)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 12:14 AM

22. I think I just read a story about a local school here in the Seattle area

where all the teachers refused to administer the test. It was so cool. You're probably right. I probably should just keep him home those days. Up until this point they have given him an alternative test, WAAS, meant for special education students with an IEP. That's why I was so floored when I got a letter saying he didn't meet the standards on the MSP test, the test the general education students take.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #22)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 12:17 AM

23. Are you dealing with the special ed people at the school level?

Would going to the district level and raising hell there help?

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #22)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 04:38 PM

46. Garfield HS. And now being joined by others.

 

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 12:41 AM

28. The alternative test is for severely disabled kids only.

It's not for every kid who has an IEP. School districts are only allowed to give the alternative test to 1% of their students. The ones who qualify typically have very low IQs and end up in programs for what we used to call 'trainable' students.

Your son should be given the same test the majority of the kids take, with accommodations and modifications.

He also won't get any special ed services at a private school unless it specializes in working with kids with disabilities. Those schools are typically very expensive.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #28)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 12:47 AM

30. well if he cannot pass the MSP then they will have to let him take the WAAS

because there are new state rules that state you have to pass the state's standardized tests to graduate. He did not pass the MSP. So, they will have to let him take the WAAS. And I have already done research on private schools in the area. There are some that do offer services to special education children with IEPs. They are expensive. I am willing to pay for some of it, but I cannot afford to pay for all of it. And since it is the school's fault he is not getting an appropriate education they may just have to help me pay for those private school classes.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #30)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 01:02 AM

33. You said you asked for a hearing but didn't get it.

That tells me you're going to have a hard time getting the district to pay for a private school. Those requests almost always end up in court. That costs lots and lots of money. Tuition is probably less expensive.

I also don't understand why you didn't get a hearing. Did you file your request with the state dept of education? They are the agency that would resolve your dispute - not the school district.

What you need is an advocate. Every state is required to have a parent outreach program that can provide advocates for parents. There is no fee. Call your state dept of education to find out about what is available in your state. Or Google 'special education advocates (state name)' and see what comes up.

I would also encourage you to consider opting your child out of the state test. Those rules vary from state to state. If you are willing to tell me what state you are in, I can maybe hook you up with the opt out group in your state. PM me if you want.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #28)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 10:02 PM

54. It's been so long since I have been in the class

My IEP students took the test but it was read to them but that's been years ago. I hate to see any child with a learning disability being punished. Do you know if parents are still able to get advocates for their children? My cousin was having a terrible time and I couldn't do much except tell her to get one and she was able to get her son help. With all of the cutbacks I don't know if they even exist any more.

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Response to Irishonly (Reply #54)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 10:49 PM

55. Yes every state has an advocate program.

We can't read the Reading tests to the kids anymore but we can read Math tests and other subjects.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #55)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 11:18 PM

56. I Wish Things Were Different

I remember when IEP students didn't take the tests unless they were very close to grade level. I honestly do not think I could be in a classroom any more. I hold educators close to my heart.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 12:57 AM

32. Lawyer up and get an advocate

to go with you to your son's IEP's. You need to scare the crap out of them. Services that his school district can't or won't provide are still no excuse. Transportation and educational costs at the expense of the district to a specialized school are actual options if you push hard enough. Public law 94-142 is your battle cry! Don't give up!!

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Response to ChachaCha (Reply #32)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 01:10 AM

34. They really aren't options. Kids have to qualify.

Parents have to prove that the services their child needs are not available in the school district. And the vast majority of school districts do provide the services. It doesn't matter how hard a parent pushes. Yes, they SHOULD push (all parents should push) but they can't change the nature of their child's disability.

It's also not 94-142 any more. It's been IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities in Education) for about 20 years now.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 01:23 AM

37. Some of the most amazing, intelligent, creative people in the world

were not "good students."

It sucks you're having to go through all that with the school system, but you and your son will both grow from the experience.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 03:43 AM

39. Just as a side note...

Many years ago I taught children witb learning disabilities ( as well as some with emotional handicaps), and I was so proud of the younger ones' ability to compute their math by using manipulatives. Sadly, when it came time to take the state standardized tests, I was told by the county office that the children wouldn't be allowed to use the manipulatives. It brought a lump to my throat to see those precious little ones trying to struggle to "do their best" with no real hope of being able to achieve their best.

The students always freaked out about the tests and one mother was so concerned that she told me she just might have to keep her child home during those days. My response was along the order of telling her that it would be a shame if the child missed the tests due to illness, but we can't always know when one will get sick. I reminded her that there would be "make-up" days scheduled and we could only hope that the child wouldn't be sick then as well. Needless to say, the poor child was absent during both the regular and the make-up days.

No test scores for that little girl. Such a shame....really, it was such a shame.

Good luck. Don't let the system do your son more harm.

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Response to FLyellowdog (Reply #39)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 09:24 PM

53. Ha! Good for you.

You pwned the standardized test pimps!

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 06:32 AM

41. In 1993 I moved my family into another school district to get my son the services he ....

... was supposedly guaranteed to get.

Stand up for your child - no one else will!!!

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 04:21 PM

44. the test thing may not be your district's fault

many states now require that all students, including those with an IEP, take the same test under the same conditions as everyone else.

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Response to dsc (Reply #44)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 04:56 PM

47. If that's the case, the law should be challenged in court

Requiring disabled students with an IEP to take the same test as the general ed kids under the same conditions seems as if it discriminates against disabled kids.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 05:23 PM

48. I'm so sorry.

Our son is in middle school. We have had these same problems since kindergarten. While stationed in Alaska we finally got an advocate for us and got an IEP that really helped. He was allowed an aid to help him throughout the day.

When I transferred here to Florida the nightmare started all over. They immediately changed his IEP took away his aid and his schoolwork suffered. He started getting "sick" at night so he could get out of school the next day.

After scouring the Internet I found the McKay grant. It gave us the ability to enroll our son into a private special needs school. Most of them around here are religous schools, but we dont have a problem with that. Our son is finally coming into his own finally at 15. The problem we have is the school he is now going to does not have high school. So the process will start over this summer to find a new one.

I would suggest if you haven't, to get an advocate. I can also, if you want help you look around for any benefits that you may be able to get that you don't know about. Ill shoot you a msg here shortly.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 07:49 PM

50. If he goes to private school, the

public school system has to pay for it if they are unable to provide it themselves.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 08:21 PM

51. My middle school screwed me years ago with one of those tests

I scored well, but not well enough to be placed into the "gifted" program. The stupid test was the only measurement they used; not my grades (I was an A student), not my intellectual curiosity and drive to learn, which was far higher than some of the dolts who were labeled "gifted" just because they scored well on a stupid test.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 09:04 PM

52. I'm sorry to hear of your struggles

We've been fortunate enough to have had good and supportive experiences with our son's IEP team.

Here's the thing I wanted to ask about the standardized test scores.

Doesn't that hurt the school more than it hurts your child?

Does you state require that standardized test scores are a part of the child's grade?

If not, then why care?

It seems to me, that the school would benefit from your son having supports more than you would. Your son's scores are going in to the school's scores, and we all know that those scores have too much impact on the school. It is more to the school's benefit than yours that children pass standardized tests. Unless they require that the test be a portion of the grade, it really doesn't matter what a kid gets on the test.

Maybe you could somehow nicely suggest that to the administrators.

You should have an IEP meeting at least twice a year - once at the beginning and once at the end. If you don't think the current IEP is working, talk to the school and call another one.

Alternative tests may not be the answer - for example, an alternative test might be a multiple choice test with three answers instead of four. I've heard that the alternative tests may not be very well put together tests. There may be other supports that would work better for your son - for example, he might benefit from taking the test in a quiet place rather than the classroom. Or from having a calculator. Or from not having a time limit. All of those could be specified in the IEP. It isn't the case that special ed students "are supposed to take" an alternative test, but they can if that is part of their IEP. Talk to the people at your school about it. Again, it is in their best interest that all of the children do well.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 11:46 PM

58. Could the real problem be the No Child Left Behind law?

Doesn't that law have the impossible requirement that eventually 100% of students must "meet the standards" -- even in sub groups such as ESL and special ed? And that in the meantime all the subgroups have to show continual improvement in the percent reaching the standard?

That law should never have been passed. It was a huge error on Ted Kennedy's part to support it.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #58)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 09:11 AM

61. Yes, it was.

A huge error on Kennedy's part.

It's not just NCLB.

Getting a waiver from NCLB does not exempt states and their students from high-stakes testing. It requires both principal and teacher evaluations to include student test scores. It INCREASES the focus on those scores.

And THAT comes straight from the Obama administration.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 05:31 AM

59. It's just not your school district.

My daughter, who is on an IEP and takes standardized tests with accomodations (meaning extra time, and help interpreting questions if she needs it) could not sign up for orchestra her first year in intermediate school because she had not passed all of the tests. (She was very close, though, and last year she finally broke through. Yay.)

If your son was supposed to take the IEP test, then I would be raising holy hell with the school. My son is also on an IEP, and we have learned that you really have to be your child's best advocate when dealing with schools about IEPs. Can you possibly request that he retake the test using the format that should have been given in the first place? In some states, a retest and/or a rescoring is allowed.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 09:02 AM

60. Rules keep tightening.

This year, NONE of my sped students can take the alternative version. It's not an administrative decision. It's coming down from the state, and they're getting it from the feds. We took the NCLB waiver.

As our sped teacher tried to explain it to me, almost no sped students will qualify for the alternate test. So I've got some students this year who have never taken the standard version who will be doing so for the first time. Those scores affect their educational future, my evaluation, my principal's evaluation, and our school's rating. These are students who are, effectively, 3-5 years below grade level, who need assistive technology plus intense small group and 1-on-1 help to access grade level content and to work on closing huge skill gaps.

Our new evaluation system, needed to obtain that waiver, evaluates principals based on school test scores, among other things. The test scores carry a great deal of weight.

As long as student test scores are the measure of school/principal/teacher success or not, you will continue to see policy that is not good for students.

My school just sent letters home urging students who do not meet benchmarks on our district's formative assessments to attend tutoring at our expense. The letter is strongly worded. They also do things like rootbeer float parties as rewards. Not for test scores yet, thank goodness, but for general citizenship and work habits.

This fall I contacted the coaches for various sports myself about not using my sped kids' current grades for participation. It wasn't a problem.

I don't know what state you are in; it's a little different in each state, but the bottom line is that until voters stop putting education deformers into office, it will only get worse. Our admins are doing what they are told, as are we, and trying, under the veneer of compliance, to do everything we can to provide an actual education within the limits we've been set.

It's not your son's school district. It's the laws based on harmful policy that have been shoved down their throats.

You should know that, while private schools do not have to deal with the testing culture, neither do they have to appropriately serve students with learning disabilities. It is still the public system's job to serve those private school students.

http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oii/nonpublic/idea1.html

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 09:14 AM

62. In PA, all students, regardless, took (still take?) the same state test. We're run by crackpots.

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