Protecting special education students

UPDATE: The GAO released a report today finding widespread allegations of abuse over the way special education students are treated in public and private schools. The report found that teachers and other staff members lack training in how in restraint methods.

A Woodstock High teacher and her assistant were arrested Monday for allegedly duct taping a special education student to a chair.

The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office also said that the teacher confined another student under a desk.

The situation mentioned above is an extreme case. Still, there have been other reports of teachers harming students with disabilities.

I’ve often heard parents of special needs children say their kids were being mistreated, abused or ignored in schools but were unable to prove it.

How are special education students really treated? Which districts are doing a good job?

47 comments Add your comment

HS Teacher, Too

May 19th, 2009
10:00 am

Laura,

This is a VERY broad — overly broad — question, just to classify all special education students generally. There are so many reasons students can be considered “special education,” it’s not really meaningful to ask how they are treated without breaking it out into subgroups.

Joy in Teaching

May 19th, 2009
10:02 am

I felt so incredibly sad for both the teacher and the parapro in the story. To me, it should be obvious, they were frustrated about the student’s behaviour issues and were receiving absolutely NO support by the administration in that building.

Should they have duct taped this child to the desk? Absolutely not. However, if they were having discipline problems and the school administration did not do more to give them the tools to deal with this child, then the school administration is just as at fault in this mess if not more.

The level of frustration exhibited by the teacher and aide do not just appear overnight: it takes weeks and months of working, trying, sweating, and pleading with someone higher up for help and not getting it for that to appear. I truely feel sorry for all concerned.

V for Vendetta

May 19th, 2009
10:24 am

I wasn’t aware that SPED students needed anymore “protection”: they receive more (tax!) money per student than any other subdivision of the population; they receive more supplies and facility space; they receive more personal attention; they receive accomodations for ridiculous things like ADHD and EBD; they receive the benefit of asinine Federal laws. Many school districts transportation budgets are enormous due to the personalized services rendered to the SPED students, including but not limited to doorstep pick up and drop off, smaller bus sizes, and the subsequent amount of fuel needed to make it all work. And they need more protection?

Look, like Joy said, I’m not defending what the teacher and her para did–not in the least–but at what point is enough ENOUGH? What these students and parents are allowed to demand and get away with is just as criminal in its own right. The fact that we bend over backwards to accomodate it is even worse.

Flipper

May 19th, 2009
11:14 am

Yep, I sit and watch as a special ed kid in my neighborhood is picked up to attend a school that is 1 1/2 blocks away. He is perfectly capable of walking and used to walk to school every day. He has no visible physical impairments – he is just a slow learner.

He is the only kid on the bus.

He is young but can definitely make it a block and a half with a parent. I see him out playing in the neighborhood all the time. His mother is a stay at home with no other kids.

I guess she just doesn’t want to miss her morning TV shows.

catlady

May 19th, 2009
11:37 am

The teachers and classmates of many sped kids need the protection!

Stan

May 19th, 2009
12:05 pm

I LOVE this blog! Y’all are some of the most politically incorrect folks who just speak the truth (as I see it) of all the ACJ blogs.

Unless the kids were really harmed in some way, the fact that the kids got taped in place is not the issue. The teachers are being pushed to their limits and beyond all in the name of saving the weakest of or species. It makes no sense. If Jr. is going to be re-treading tires when he grows up then so be it, teach him what he needs to know and let him enjoy childhood as much as possible, then send him out to re-tread the tires.

jim d

May 19th, 2009
12:06 pm

Anyone care to venture a guess as to who made the following comment several years ago?

“Special Education Is An Albatross around the neck of GCPS.”

Ernest

May 19th, 2009
1:04 pm

The SPED advocates is a powerful coalition that has Federal support. Like Joy and V, I empathize with the teachers because I believe their actions were the result of reaching a boiling point of frustration. I don’t condone what they did but believe others in their reporting structure should also be held accountable.

I’m not going to ‘hate’ on SPED children because of the circumstances they find themselves in. As a country, we made a decision to provide for those that have ‘differences’ by creating laws to help and protect them. That’s why looking at the average amount spent per student does not really shed a lot of insight to the actual cost to educate a child. Having that information should result in us asking more questions, specifically WHY.

I hear that DeKalb is well recognized for the services it provides to its SPED population. I heard they were an early adopter of using centers for providing services. I also understand that many of the lawsuits they deal with may be attributed this constituency. Maybe some of the changes are a result of lawsuits from the past.

We should keep our ears and eyes open as I understand nationally there is a move to ‘mainstream’ students thus eliminating centers.

jim d

May 19th, 2009
1:08 pm

Special needs being ignored in school? HA!! We can only hope that someone will soon realize that the attention diverted to these students causes a much larger problem for regular students that get ignored due to the amounts of time teachers spend fullfilling their obligations under IDEA.

Ernest

May 19th, 2009
1:21 pm

reposting…..

The SPED advocates are a powerful coalition that has Federal support. Like Joy and V, I empathize with the teachers because I believe their actions were the result of reaching a boiling point of frustration. I don’t condone what they did but believe others in their reporting structure should also be held accountable.

I’m not going to ‘hate’ on SPED children because of the circumstances they find themselves in. As a country, we made a decision to provide for those that have ‘differences’ by creating laws to help and protect them. That’s why looking at the average amount spent per student does not really shed a lot of insight to the actual cost to educate a child. Having that information should result in us asking more questions, specifically WHY.

I hear that DeKalb is well recognized for the services it provides to its SPED population. I heard they were an early adopter of using centers for providing services. I also understand that many of the lawsuits they deal with may be attributed this constituency. Maybe some of the changes are a result of lawsuits from the past.

We should keep our ears and eyes open as I understand nationally there is a move to ‘mainstream’ students thus eliminating centers.

Cere

May 19th, 2009
1:27 pm

Oh my lord. I too watch as my neighbor’s child is wheeled out to her morning bus in her wheelchair and the bus lowers the lift in order to board her and the chair as in her intellectual fog, she waves goodbye with tilted head and crooked raised arm to her mother.

It’s then and there that I say a prayer for that child and that mother, along with a prayer of gratefulness for myself and my children, for we do not have to know the agony they endure.

The Truth 2

May 19th, 2009
2:05 pm

Vendatta stated “they receive accomodations for ridiculous things like ADHD and EBD.” I have a gifted child with ADHD that receives no special accomodations. I pay for his therapy. I drive him to the therapist and I implement the strategies at home that the therapist suggests. The only other thing that I do is share strategies with his teacher. If you’ve never worked with a child with ADHD then you really have no idea what you’re talking about. It’s not made up, it’s real. I’ve been teaching for 21 years. I work with children and I’ve taught kids with ADHD. Don’t make generalizations.

jim d

May 19th, 2009
2:12 pm

Ernest,

Unfortunately, funding is one of the driving forces behind the current movement to mainstream children with disabilities into general education classrooms. The cost incurred by offering specialized services to children with disabilities far outweighs the cost of simply mainstreaming special needs children into general education classrooms without the specialized supports. As a rule, special education teachers must have advanced degrees, thereby requiring higher salaries. In addition to this, the cost of aides, equipment, and materials for special needs children far outweighs the cost of the supplies needed in a general education classroom. With yearly cuts in funding, districts must look for ways to decrease expenses.

Even more unforunate is the fact that this will be done at the expense of other students.

Dr. Craig Spinks /Evans

May 19th, 2009
2:36 pm

Fortunately, there are still people who do “the right things” to control publicly funded institutions and to protect those we assign to their care, even in the face of threats of lawsuits. How do I know that such courageous people remain? I ate lunch with one of them today.

Ernest

May 19th, 2009
2:49 pm

You are absolutely correct, JimD! I also believe that discussion is being lost in all the others regarding school budget cuts. The ’spin’ is that ‘mainstreaming’ and ‘collaborative instruction’ is going to benefit all students however I have not heard from one teacher that speaks favorably about that.

Could this be a part of a plan to win support for vouchers? I believe when the parents of general ed students look at how this could potentially impact their child’s education, there will be an uproar like we’ve never seen.

Frustrated Teacher

May 19th, 2009
3:07 pm

I have 2 special education children in a classroom of 20. It is very frustrating. They are often up roaming the room, yelling and crying for most of the time. I can’t teach them or anyone else for that matter. They are with me a total of 2 hours out of the day and it feels like an eternity. I am not certified in the area of special ed. and it would be helpful to have someone else who is in the room with me at these times. I totally understand, but do not condone, taping a student to a chair.

Reality

May 19th, 2009
3:19 pm

The core issue here that must first be answered is….. do we (society) want to ensure that kids get a specific level of education (up to 8th grade, for example), OR do we want to ensure that we spend a certain amount on kids education, OR do we want to ensure that kids spend a certain number of years in public schools.

I honestly couldn’t tell you what it is right now, and I think that this confuses many issues – to include education for special ed kids. Is it really fair for this minority to consume the majority of the ed funding?

Joy in Teaching

May 19th, 2009
3:21 pm

My last class of the day just left. In it, I have 26 students. 14 of those are boys and 9 of those are supposedly ADHD.

Unless someone has actually endured the hell of having that many ADHD 7th grade boys in a classroom at the end of the day on the second to the last week of school, then that person really has no idea of how truely frustrating dealing with that type of child can be. Especially when an administrator won’t back you up on trying to keep your class under control enough so that meaningful activities can take place. Or when you have a parent whining that their child shouldn’t be made to serve detention or be placed into time out because they simply couldn’t HELP getting out of their seat 15 times in the class period to go throw trash away.

I am getting SO sick of everyone having an excuse for poor behaviour and for not being held accountable for their actions. There was a time in the last 30 years when students behaved because they were punished if they did not. Parents were ashamed when their kids acted like wild animals. Administrators dealt with discipline problems quickly and swiftly. And teachers were actually able to teach something of real substance and not this watered down crap that we have to do under NCLB. Graduation rates were no lower than they are now…and schools were safer.

I honestly don’t know what the right answer is about special needs students. As a taxpayer, I DO resent the fact that our schools are being used as REALLY expensive baby sitting services for the profoundly mentally and physically disabled. I hate the fact that the labels of ADD, ADHD, and EBD are being slapped on so many kids thus allowing them much more freedom to disrupt class. And I REALLY hate the fact that schools are no longer preparing kids for the real world because we are allowing them to get away with any and every thing that they can because the real world does not give a crap if they are ADD, ADHD, or EBD.

V for Vendetta

May 19th, 2009
3:24 pm

The Truth 2, yeah, sure, whatever. I was diagnosed ADHD as a child. They wanted to put me on enough meds to calm a mongoose, but my parents had a different technique for getting me to pay attention and act right: they slapped the s#$t out of me when I acted like a jerk or didn’t pay attention. Guess what? It worked. Though many of the traditional ADHD problems persisted–inability to focus, zero short term memory, organizing thoughts–I learned how to deal with them myself and maintained good grades throughout my educational career. Accountability made the difference in my life, not medication or some therapy du jour.

Forgive me for making “generalizations,” but I DO know what I’m talking about because I’ve been there; I lived it. I was lucky to have parents who didn’t cave to the altruistic attitude of society and who took it upon themselves to (painstakingly) work with me as a child day after day after day . . . .

Now I’m a teacher, and I certainly don’t buy that excuse from any of my poor ADHD kids (who DO receive accomodations, by the way; you can have an IEP for ADHD). Maybe YOU shouldn’t make assumptions. You know what they say about that . . . .

jim d

May 19th, 2009
3:25 pm

Ernest,

The hard sad truth is that most parents won’t even notice and while I do not think it is a strategic move towards vouchers, i do believe it may be an unintended result.(in time) that “time” is what I find disturbing. We could lose an entire school generation of students to yet another fad before anyone will speak out against this plan. Can we really afford that?

jim d

May 19th, 2009
3:29 pm

buy stock in Duct tape!!

Cere

May 19th, 2009
4:00 pm

Wow. You people are cold. Especially those of you who are teachers. No wonder parents are uncomfortable sending their special needs children off to school.

I think the first comment on this blog is the most relevant. The spectrum of special needs is vast and so who exactly are we trying to address? The child with a learning disability who needs direct instruction or perhaps a little extra time, (they provide interrelated teachers in the classroom to assist with this) or the child with no language skills in a wheelchair – or anyone in between.

There’s no way to address this issue with a broad brush. And really, I’m ashamed of the selfish, hurtful comments written here about how much of a “drain” special education is on the rest of the kids. How ridiculous. Would you rather return to the day that they were all sent to a special school so that your children didn’t have to be burdened?

As far as the comment by Vendetta – all I can say is, your name is so revealing. Who exactly is your vendetta against? Yowsa.

Cere

May 19th, 2009
4:03 pm

Wow. Just wow. I am truly saddened by how cold you all are on this subject. Especially those of you who are teachers. Vendetta – your name is so revealing, who exactly is your vendetta against?

Classroom Teacher

May 19th, 2009
4:18 pm

“Would you rather return to the day that they were all sent to a special school so that your children didn’t have to be burdened?”

Yes I would. I have a total of 14 sped kids in the three classes that I teach. Out of that number 5 will have to be institutionalized and 3 can probably get by in a group home type setting. The other 6 you ask??? ADD ADHD EBD and just plain ole B-A-D. And guess who the bigest losers are? The remainder of the class who has their instructional time constantly disrupted.

jim d

May 19th, 2009
4:58 pm

cere,

“Would you rather return to the day that they were all sent to a special school so that your children didn’t have to be burdened?”

thats a plan I’d buy into although just giving them “special classes” would work for me.

Ernest

May 19th, 2009
5:03 pm

Cere, are you that same person from that great school blog about DeKalb schools? If so, you’ve got something great going on there….

I think in the era of budget cuts and many scrutinizing the bottom line, those that receive additional services will feel the brunt of criticism. DeKalb went through this with their transportation changes as some in the community saw that as an ‘added benefit’ that took dollars away from neighborhood schools. SPED student unfortunately will be looked at by some as taking resources away from non SPED students. The compassion some formerly had has become envy in some cases. The SPED students have federal protections which should keep local school systems from making rash decisions about how to educate them.

jim d

May 19th, 2009
5:03 pm

cere,

not too long ago there was a stigma attached to being in a special ed class. that stigma had a lot to do with parents and children not wanting to be labeled with ADD adhd etc. perhaps returning to those days would benefit all.

catlady

May 19th, 2009
6:13 pm

I agree witht he other teachers who have posted. Those of you who think we are cold-hearted, come spend a day in class with us (or your kids). I have been bitten, kicked, punched, spit on, pinched and all manner of other things by some sped kids. There are no reprecussions. The other kids in class have, as well. Not to mention the disruptions and lack of attention available to the “regular” kids. Plus, I am supposed to “modify” and teach them the GPS. It’s funny, the least needy (gifted) are still pulled out but we push in with kids who scream constantly, have to have their diapers changed, or display aggressive behavior. Why is that, I wonder? (I have standing to speak; I have raised 3 gifted kids myself.)

I am currently being used to teach reading to 5 autistic, BD, ADHD, MR kids. It “counts” because there is a sp ed aide. They can’t leave the sp ed teacher in there because she has to go back to the room to be with the 3 SEVERELY autistic kids who are not in inclusion. I have no additional training in problems this severe. To say I am counting the days is an understatement.

I watch the sadness of this every day.

I am sure there is a problem occasionally with teachers crossing the line. But we have too many excuses/reasons in place so that there is no accountability for the behaviors. There has to be a question of ability to profit from instruction or return to investment. Also, we need supervisors and those who make up these laws to spend some time doing what they say can be done, with the lack of support that actually IS.

catlady

May 19th, 2009
6:23 pm

BTW, one of my autistic/BD/ADHD kids, age 8, told me I didn’t need to expect him to do anything; that he was autistic and rarely took his medicine for ADHD and he felt “jumpy” a lot. He also said he has “anger managment issues”. He had it all figured out at age 8–he’d get to act however he felt and he would get a check monthly for it!

V for Vendetta

May 19th, 2009
7:23 pm

Cere, let me break it down for you: In public school, these kids roughly make up less than 5% of any given public school’s population, but they consume an inordinate amount of time, money, and resources completely out of proportion with their population size. In addition to that, they have myriad laws and statutes backing them up and parents who are quick to sue, quick to complain, and quick to ask for handouts from the government, i.e., the rest of us. Of course I’m generalizing here, but the majority of SPED parents don’t do a whole heck of a lot to change my opinion on the matter. I have a problem when the lowest common denominator of ANY group of kids gets the majority of the resources–race, intelligence, and socioeconomic background are irrelevant. Why not the best and the brightest? What about them? Oh, right, they don’t have advocacy groups, lobbyists, and organizations behind them. (Those they DO have behind them could never hint at what I’m talking about without being branded insensitive, callous, or hateful–regardless if they’re right or not.) This is the environment in which we work; forgive us for being just a little sick and tired of it.

As for my name, my Vendetta is against altruism, collectivism, statism, socialism, Marxism, and mysticism. I’m a relentless Objectivist, and that about sums it up. I praise individualism and personal accountability, and I eschew the vapid morality of altruism and social servitude.

freemarketeducator

May 19th, 2009
8:45 pm

The only fair solution is to obey the Constitution. There is no provision for federal funding for education. Because all education is religious, there is no Constitutional support for State compulsory school attendance laws. If these laws were repealed, there would be no “legal” tax base to support government schools. JUST IMAGINE HOW MUCH MONEY TAXPAYERS WOULD HAVE IF ALL SCHOOL RELATED TAXES WERE SUDDENLY DONE AWAY WITH! Most could pay for a quality private education or home school. Individual families could privately fund their child’s special needs. Quality teachers would be in demand. Bad teachers would retrain to flip burgers. Those that still could not afford to educate their children could appeal to charity. Private schools could offer scholarships. That way, those who have mercy on the poor and needy could voluntarily contribute to their aid. Those who have no interest, wouldn’t be forced to. This is God’s way.

flipper

May 19th, 2009
8:53 pm

“Would you rather return to the day that they were all sent to a special school so that your children didn’t have to be burdened?”

Why Cere, you are a GENIUS!!!!! You’ve got the answer!!!

Please get these kids out of the mainstream classroom with all speed so that the kids that are actually going to have jobs.. and hopefully create jobs can learn enough to pay for government SPED services.

I feel for these kids, but I also feel for the mainstream kids who have to deal with them all day long.

TW

May 19th, 2009
9:15 pm

Flipper – my kid’s school has a ton of special ed programs (elem) and they do a heck of a job seeing that they don’t interrupt the regular ed students. The trouble at the high school level is, in some cases, it is just baby sitting for out of control, very large people who don’t care at all about the education part – state run day care is what it is. And some of the behaviors that these ‘kids’ are allowed to get away with because of their disability are just incredible – things they will eventually go to jail for when ’spec ed’ no longer overrides ‘illegal.’

Bring back vocational schools – not just for spec ed, but for kids who don’t need to be going to college. What’s turned it all upside down is this crazy belief that there will be no happiness unless one goes to college.

ScienceTeacher671

May 19th, 2009
10:36 pm

freemarketeducator, how much do you think it costs per year per student for “a quality private education”?

Also, the federal Constitution may not provide federal funding for education, but the Georgia state Constitution (Article VIII) says, “The provision of an adequate public education for the citizens shall be a primary obligation of the State of Georgia. Public education for the citizens prior to the college or postsecondary level shall be free and shall be provided for by taxation.”

V for Vendetta

May 19th, 2009
11:23 pm

“Because all education is religious . . .” I’m not even sure what the heck that’s supposed to mean. It certainly doesn’t make one iota of sense. “This is God’s way”? Perhaps I’m no biblical scholar, but I seem to forget the part where God outlines a comprehensive education system (public or private). It’s true that government taxes could be put to use paying for SOME private school, but it is highly unlikely that Westminster would suddenly have an overflow of enrollment due to the privatization of the system; good private school is still quite expensive as many on this blog can attest. We’ve also debated the merits of homeschooling, and I think the general consensus is that it’s fine so long as the parents have some shred of intelligence.

Or faith. You know, since all education is just religious . . . .

The Truth 2

May 20th, 2009
9:20 am

Vendetta, you poor soul. Glad I didn’t have your parents for mine and my kids didn’t have you as a teacher. Bet you’re single too! I’ll gladly continue to provide my son with whatever is necessary to help him. I was so excited to discover yesterday that he scored in the 98th percentile on the ITBS yet again! It was a pleasant letter to receive. Obviously we’re doing something right without slapping the crap out of him for everything! Obviously this form of punishment has loosened some of your marbles! How OLD are you!

The Truth 2

May 20th, 2009
9:23 am

One more thing, in all the years that I’ve been teaching, I’ve yet to have a special ed kid slap, pinch, spit on or curse me. Maybe it’s how you interact with them.

DB

May 20th, 2009
9:57 am

Cere – the answer to your question is “Yes.” The children are “special needs” for a reason, and as such, deserve special care — NOT being mainstreamed. Most teachers are not trained to be special ed teachers. It requires a particular mindset and set of skills. It’s unfair to force teachers to be something that they are not, it’s frustrating for teachers and kids alike to pretend these kids are “just like everyone else”, and equally unfair to suck up resources for kids who will almost always require some sort of support for the rest of their lives.

freemarketeducator

May 20th, 2009
10:24 pm

st671

In a free market, the cost of a quality education will vary. Most curriculum is available used, and presents significant savings. The more subjects the parent educator teaches, usually, the greater the savings. Tutors can be hired or co-op classes can be used. Online writing courses are readily available. Teaching videos are very popular and are especially helpful for foreign languages, as are interactive computer programs. The library and the internet provides tons of free resources. Many merchants give home school discounts (Apple, Borders, Barnes and Noble, roller skating rinks, Six Flags, etc. If you have more than one child, the per pupil cost can be less because curriculum can be passed down. Currently a complete video home school program, including books, quizzes, and tests costs $900-$1,000 dollars. This is the same curriculum used by many private schools. My kids have used it and have scored in the upper 90th percentile on their ITBS. Another savings can be in the area of doctor visits. Healthy home cooked meals plus less exposure to sickness and disease can drastically reduce medical bills. A child with a special diet or allergies can be easily accomodated. Peer pressure to buy trendy overpriced clothes is nil, if parent makes it so. Also, if most of the instruction is done in the home, the savings in gas (and less pollution) is huge.
Even with no obvious Constitutional authority for funding public education, the current administration plans to spend $98.2 BILLION:

“As a result of these efforts, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA, or Recovery Act), which President Obama signed into law on February 17, 2009, provided a total of $98.2 billion in funding for the Department of Education, creating an unprecedented opportunity for States and school districts to make significant changes to strengthen and improve all levels of education.”

Imagine if just that money were returned to the taxpayer! I think most could afford $1000.000 per child for family financed education.

The state compulsory school law states: “Public education for the citizens prior to the college or postsecondary level shall be free and shall be provided for by taxation.” I don’t understand how this education is free when it is funded with taxpayer money. Also, I am assuming that “taxation” here refers to STATE taxation only. In that case, the government has failed to fulfill its obligation because, correct me if I am wrong, I don’t know of any government school that could continue to operate without Federal tax money. Regardless, if enough citizens did not want to fund government schools, the compulsory attendance law could be repealed.

V for Vendetta

May 20th, 2009
11:14 pm

freemarketeducator, though we obviously differ ideologically, in this case I absolutely agree with your post. The Fed has no business running education–or anything else for that matter. However, since we’re marching down the road to socialism, I’m going to stick with my government job. Pretty soon, those will be the only jobs left!

soccer mom

May 21st, 2009
11:18 am

As the mother of 2 “gifted” boys, I couldn’t agree more with the suggestion to get the more disruptive and time consuming SpEd students out of the mainstream! All through elementary school and the middle school and high school courses in which a gifted option was not offered, large amounts of time are consumed by the teacher having to deal with these disruptive children. Who on earth thought that it would be a good idea to throw students of all learning levels (SpEd/slow, average, and gifted) into the same classroom? When I was in elementary and jr. high, the classes were “phased” so that the slower kids were in one class, the average kids were in one class, and the gifted kids were in one class. The teachers could teach to the speed/level of ALL of the students instead of teaching down for a small group of students. Luckily, the upper level courses (Honors & AP) at the high school level are not populated by SpEd students so the high achievers can actually learn at the rate they are capable of! If this sounds cold, so be it. Just as the parents of SpEd students are most concerned about looking out for their children, so am I.

freemarketeducator

May 21st, 2009
1:59 pm

Soccer mom,
On the surface, your comments sound reasonable. But after careful examination of the facts, I would conclude that you are just as much a part of the problem as those you point a finger at. The Georgia compulsory attendance law states that

“The provision of an adequate public education for the citizens shall be a primary obligation of the State of Georgia. Public education for the citizens prior to the college or postsecondary level shall be free and shall be provided for by taxation.”

The term “adequate” is all important. The government FORCES ALL children to go to school, yet the highest guaranteed standard for any government school is “adequate”. Adequate is defined as

1: sufficient for a specific requirement ; also : barely sufficient or satisfactory
2: lawfully and reasonably sufficient

Sufficient means
1 a: enough to meet the needs of a situation or a proposed end b: being a sufficient condition

ADEQUATE MAY IMPLY BARELY MEETING A REQUIREMENT.

Your child has a right to attend the government school because it is tax payer supported. Your child does not have a right to be educated beyond the government sanctioned “adequate” curriculum. If your child is gifted, the adequate curriculum might be too easy, but the school is under no obligation to provide an “above adequate” curriculum. However, for below adequate students, there is justification to provide extra help to get them closer to the “adequate” level. Public schools are like Social Security; they were never designed to completely replace private education, as S.S will not replace saving for retirement. If you desire a more than adequate education for your child, it is up to you to privately fund it. Your holier-than-thou attitude has no basis in the law. If you are unable to privately fund an “above adequate” education for your child, you might try going door to door and soliciting donations from other citizens. Explain to them that $10,000.00 per year just isn’t enough to educate your gifted child. I am sure they will be happy to help you out.

ScienceTeacher671

May 21st, 2009
7:26 pm

fme, I’m not arguing about federal involvement in education — I’ve already agreed that there is nothing in the federal constitution to justify federal spending on education.

The idea of “returning [the $98 billion] to the taxpayer” is also a bit laughable, since most of that is deficit spending and isn’t being financed with current tax $$, but again, that’s a different argument.

So far as state involvent goes, if you want that eliminated, the state constitution would have to be changed. Are you really suggesting that the majority of parents would be willing and able to homeschool their children?

It seems to me that the free-market model has already been tried, albeit without modern technology, and that the current system was implemented because the free-market model was only working well for the upper classes – but maybe I’m wrong?

freemarketeducator

May 21st, 2009
9:44 pm

ST671 you said
“The idea of “returning [the $98 billion] to the taxpayer” is also a bit laughable, since most of that is deficit spending and isn’t being financed with current tax $$”

Thank you for stating the obvious, which most on this board are completely ignorant of or are in denial of. GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS ARE AN ECONOMIC FAILURE AND HAVE NEVER BEEN SELF-SUSTAINING! Currently ALL of the government spending is funded by BORROWED MONEY from the PRIVATE BANK and lender of LAST RESORT, the FEDERAL RESERVE! This is the equivalent of funding your child’s education with a PAYDAY LOAN!!!! Does anyone know what the interest rate is that the FED is charging us? It is anything they want to charge, because NO ONE IS BUYING AMERICA’S WORTHLESS BONDS ANY MORE! The Chinese and Russians are maneuvering to replace the DOLLAR as the reserve currency. They know that the total U.S. debt is more than THE ENTIRE CURRENCY IN CIRCULATION! Years of government school teaching that all aspects of life are an ENTITLEMENT and that there is always a FREE LUNCH has finally come home to roost! You and your children and grandchildren are now slaves of the banksters. The dark times for America have only just begun. All of the lazy self-indulgent U.S. citizens have sown to the wind and are now reaping the WHIRLWIND!
Our family has seen this coming and have been preparing a parachute. We have disentangled ourselves from debt and have prepared to leave this country if necessary.

ScienceTeacher671

May 23rd, 2009
7:55 pm

fme, I’d change that to “All U.S. GOVERNMENT social programs ARE AN ECONOMIC FAILURE AND HAVE NEVER BEEN SELF-SUSTAINING!” — I’d include Social Security, Medicare, etc. in with education…but again, that’s getting into an entirely different argument…

SPED Teacher

May 27th, 2009
12:10 am

As a teacher, your job, as I see it, is to teach each child in your classroom regardless of their abilities. I teach in both c0-teaching and special classes. In my experience, it is not the SPED kids that are the worst behaved. It is the regular education and gifted kids with parents who CONSTANTLY make excuses for their little darlings. They could take lessons from the majority of the SPED students I have been lucky enough to teach. Some of the hardest workers and best behaved students I have had have had the label of moderately intellectual impaired down to profoundly impaired. That being said, mainstreaming academic classes, in my opinion, should be geared for students with milder forms of disabilities. As for SPED kids having more protection, try getting administration to discipline a regular education student with the “squeaky wheel” parents, i.e. the ones who go running to the board of education or threaten to call a lawyer, after the child has disrupted your classroom. And before anyone attacks me and tells me that I have only taught in sheltered schools, I have taught both regular and SPED classes in several different school systems in two different states. I’ll take my SPED kids over your gifted kids any day. By the way, I’m the mother of 2 gifted kids so I know what I am talking about on that front as well.

jim d

May 27th, 2009
9:30 am

SPED TEACH,

I call and raise.

Sped students in the states largest system create 95% of the problems encountered daily. THAT dear friend is a FACT.