"The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves." -- John Adams

"No money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution." -- Indiana Constitution Article 1, Section 6.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilisation, it expects what never was and never will be...nor can they be safe with them without information. Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe." – Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Assessment and Accountability or Educational Malpractice and Cruelty?

On Monday I have to stop teaching to give inappropriate tests to kids with learning disabilities. They get accommodations for some of it...I can read the questions on the math, or social studies, or science, for example, but...

But...and here's the crime in all this...they are required to take the "Reading/Language Arts" portion of the test...at (what the state defines as) grade level with no help.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't a disability mean that a child has trouble in a particular area...and that area is usually reading (though not always)?

I'm not against assessment and accountability, but this is not assessment, it's torture and educational malpractice. It's not accountability, it's cruelty.

Read this from Mrs. Mimi's blog...
Don't tell anyone, but I used to just call it quits after a while.  I mean, enough is enough, right?

Me: (noticing that one friend, a friend who struggles in reading... I mean STRUGGLES) (kneeling down and whispering) Are you okay?
Friend: (tears streaming down face) (STREAMING!) I just can't do it anymore. (Is your heart breaking yet?)
Me: I know it's hard, sweetie, but you just have to do your best.
Friend: The words are just too hard.  I'm not smart enough.
Me: (trying not to let tears stream down my face because I have to get this kid to try and finish) Just try a few more and then we'll stop.
Friend: And we'll go back to learning?
Me: (choking back sob) Yes, honey, we'll go back to learning.
This story of a child wanting to "go back to learning" is, unfortunately, not isolated. There are many stories of kids falling apart emotionally, vomiting from nervousness, acting out in disturbing and pathetic ways...

The indifference in this country (or is it outright antagonism) towards the needs of our children is telling...and disheartening.

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