On the closure of two schools.
This is to what we agreed when we elected George W. Bush to the presidency… He said that “no child should be left behind.” That means “no child”. If a school could not meet the standards set, it should be closed and those students sent to one that does meet such standards….
Politics has punted the ball for 14 years, and now, 2014 we’ve reached the end of sudden death overtime. There is no time to punt. Game over. These were the rules, upon which WE, THE PEOPLE, all agreed….
Darn shame no one thought of special-ed students back then.
Even though everyone in the back of their heads knew that if something is wrong with a person’s brain, something preventing them from performing on the level set for those who have no trouble building neurons and synapses, there was no way they could ever meet the intellectual standards set.
So, it made great sense to separate them from mainstream schools. Cull out those who have no hope of getting 1550 on their SAT, get them out of ones schools to increase those schools averages, then point to those raised averages to show that educational reform (at least under that principal) was working because: “gee, look at the increase in average test scores!”
Plus it made great sense to parents, who long ago accepted the reality that their one child would not graduate medical school with honors, would not be one of societies’ greatest achievers, and therefore, needed an environment where they could proceed on their own individual level, with great coaching and celebrate every milestone their limited capacity would allow them to cross.
What doesn’t make sense is having these schools uphold a standard that should not be upheld in the first place.
First item of business then will be to remove schools specializing in challenged students from being held accountable to standards set too high… It is like failing a first grader because they can’t jump a 6 foot high jump bar…
This was an oversight in the “No Child Left Behind” act… Because of that oversight, the solution now is to close these schools which despite great teachers, great administrators, and great students in every way other than their scores on the DCAS (Smarter Balanced starts this year), create embarrassing scores that are lowest in the state for the simple reason we aggregated all our lowest standardized tested students and put them in one school to help them.
If you re-spread those low scores across many schools, the tiny dip in new averages those students create, will not be enough to drop their new schools into a failure zone, and therefore the state’s report card then shows no F’s.
Which is what is being done:.. to eliminate “bad” schools those “bad” students are being diluted with enough good students across the state to keep the grade “averages” up. (Like legally allowing the dumping of arsenic into a river as long as the parts per million don’t reach a certain level. Bit if you get one of those parts, it is still just as toxic).
It’s a human tragedy if that now moved student will be overwhelmed and grow inward, shut down, and simply give up. But what the heck, it never shows up on the overall state’s grade…. so all schools look like they are doing great!
That is all that is going on here. The real solution is to recognize this reality, and to absolve these types of schools who specialize in the teaching of those students (who for reasons beyond anyone’s control), will never rise up to meet the standards set from the “No Child Left Behind Act”…
Therefore, these two solutions need to go forward simultaneously. (a) Legislation absolving certain schools from state standards (essentially putting “‘waiver status designation” into the hands of state legislators (accountable to we, the people) and not the Secretary of the DOE); and (b) a court case filed, similar to that of REACH, decrying the promotion of discrimination against disabled special-ed students by this action (because they are indeed being forced to matriculate into an inferior education, based solely upon their disabilities)….
These two schools should stay open and be commended for the service they provide society. Not closed because of some oversight 14 years ago that did not disclude them at that time.