Thanks to Exceptional Delaware for spreading the upcoming changes to the IEP process.
Upon a preliminary perusal of the Scribed Document enclosed therein, I see many upcoming problems. Most likely it will take 29 different separate posts to debunk each of the 29 pages contained therein….
However first mention should be over the underlying premise driving these individual planks of “reform”, for reform they are not. They are a push backwards to the pre-Industrial tenants of education… to the times when education was not intended for everyone.
The driving force behind passage of the IDEA was this: Children who have special disabilities have the right to learn too. Anyone growing up in the 60’s and before, knows that before enlightenment, special people were baby-sat, written off upon their initial classification, and left somewhere to hang in the wind.
The IDEA was pushed through Congress and loaded upon the states because actions like those were deemed to be immoral. Behind the IDEA, is the driving principle that children who suffer disabilities, have the Constitutional right even with extra expense, to be given specialized instruction which will enable them to have an ability to insert themselves somewhere in society enabling them to have productive lives….
Making IEP’s conform to CCSS (Common Core Standards) returns us again to setting a bar too high, and writing off as losers all those who can’t reach it.
Which is actually good policy if you hate disabled children and rub your hands gleefully whenever you see them suffer. Isn’t that the framework from where this policy is being generated.
Metaphorically this new policy can be demonstrated thusly…. Across the board, the Common Core standard takes an existing 3 foot high jump bar for 1st graders and raises it now to 5 feet… The idea being that if they can’t jump 3 feet now, by setting the bar to 5 feet and firing the coaches whose 1st graders don’t meet it, we will create a race of 5 foot jumping first graders.. The IDEA back then said essentially that if 3 feet was the standard, a portable elevator should be installed so that those with no legs could elevate themselves up to that 3 foot level and then throw themselves over to land on the soft cushion on the other side.
What this new policy is doing , is saying that despite the IEP elevator being only able to go up to 3 feet, the bar must be set higher to 5 feet (because that is the CCSS standard) and all children must be able to throw their bodies over it by first grade level or not go forward. Too bad for all of those who suck at the 3 foot level…
This is not only a procedural change; it is a structural change as to how America feels, thinks, and deals with all people not lucky enough to be in their top condition.
This takes us back to that philosophy behind the days where being in a wheelchair meant you did not have access to buildings. This takes us back to where being mentally ill, meant you stayed in an asylum for life… For if you don’t meet the minimum standards of their designation of “normal”, you unfortunately don’t need to be part of regular life.
This turns its back on America’s philosophy and action over the past 30 years…
That is what is at stake. All know that Common Core standards are broken already. Most Americans are discouraged against them being used even for regular children. Most certainly, they should not be used to ban all and every potential disabled child from having a possible productive and satisfying life.
They return us to labeling children as “unfit” as opposed to “needing assistance” as early as first grade. This new policy implementation is nothing less than the odious placement of charter school selective standards upon the accept-all comers policy required of public schools…
Why should we return to the dark ages of putting our “mistakes” in the attic and sliding food under the door? I’m sure this program’s proponents have not yet thought through all the implications their policies will generate…. So you need to.
Why are we going backwards 40 years?