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EDUCATION: Let’s resist cruel intentions

Letter by John C. Winskill, Tacoma on July 15, 2010 at 2:11 pm with 21 Comments »
July 19, 2010 9:02 am

Re: “Too much spent on special ed” (letter, 7-14).

Money spent on special education by the school district is not spent in an effort to be kind and caring. Special education is funded as a result of state and federal law.

We do not, in this country, parcel out essential benefits to children according to their academic potential. Fortunately this country values its school-aged children not because of their IQ or physical strength.

Gifted children already have an extra measure of ability. They already have a huge competitive edge. To give them even more, and to pay for it by taking away from those whom already have so little is both senseless and even cruel.

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  1. Zillahboy says:

    John,
    Why do you brand someone who doesn’t agree with you as cruel?
    Have you ever wondered abour how special ed kids do when the leave their sheltered environment and go out into the real world? It’s not a pretty picture.
    Kids should be educated according to their capicity to learn, but to try to make disadvantaged think that they can function equally in the real world only to find out outherwise is beyound cruel.

  2. spotted1 says:

    No John, we do not parcel out benefits based according to academic potential. We do the reverse. Those parents who raise their children in such a manner as they are prepared to attend school, with basic skills that are expected of a kindergarten student, are actualy charged for full day kindergarten in some districts. The student who is not academically prepared gets to go for free while the child who is prepared is charged.

    Mediocrity is rewarded. Poor parenting skills are rewarded and those kids benefit from extra help at the expense of the taxpayer. Those are the same parents that qualify for assistance for their kids as low as 3 years old through the ECEAP program.

    Zillahboy…the special education kids learn to cope to the best of their ability AT A YOUNG AGE. The world is cruel and tough. Yet schools coddle and “love” them and give them a false sense of reality. Because that is what the public outcry demands of the schools.

  3. frankiethomas says:

    I don’t think kids that come to school unprepared and kis that come to school with developmental delays and have been clasified as special ed are the same thing, Spotted, for one. Also, no one at the district is talking about taking money from special ed to pay for highly capable programs. Lastly, the letter writer does not understand that highly capable kids, when their abilities are not challenged, are actually more likely to be behavior problems and drop outs! So the “extra edge” is more like a double edged sword.

  4. Unfortunately many of these ‘special’ kids are just dumped on the schools so the parents don’t have to pay for a special home for them. These kids are strapped to their wheel chairs drooling, have to be fed special diets, and their butts wiped when the soil themselves. The school district pays for nurses for these kids because of their medical needs. They also pay for one assistant per kid. These parents know the school has to provide them with an ‘education’, so they use. They know they don’t have to pay anything extra until they reach 21 years of age. Quite the burden on our school system. Sad to think – but that’s what is happening.

  5. frankiethomas says:

    Wow fmrplt “these parents know. . .” like they are getting away with something? I can’t even begin to describe the distaste I have for your post.

  6. Yes frankie, these parents know….. You have no clue. And too bad you find it distasteful. The demands of these parents border on ridiculous.

  7. frankiethomas says:

    Really, frmplt, I have quite a clue. Perhaps you’ve missed my posts about my 18 year old deaf-blind developmentally disabled nephew? Yes, he’ll be in school until he is 21, with his aide and his diapers, sorry to tell you. The demand OF those parents? You have no clue the demands ON those parents.

  8. You proved my point frankie.

  9. frankiethomas says:

    No, because your point indicates they are somehow “using” a system they should not be involved in. I disagree.

  10. Yes, they are putting a huge strain on an already poorly funded school system. If they can’t afford to take care of them there are other options. Tell me, what can your nephew do (be honest) that will be productive in society? I don’t mean to be cruel or saying they don’t deserve life. However, you go into the class area where these kids are schooled and tell me what learning goes on. It’s a giant daycare.

    These schools are spending thousands of dollars above and beyond what they would (could) put into high achievers. Running start could be better funded. And no, I’m not upset because my children didn’t get the funding – we are paid.

  11. frankiethomas says:

    It is not an inability to pay for other care – do not assume that parents of all disabled kids live in poverty. He learns braille. He learns spatial abilities. He learns to walk with a cane. He learns a form of sign language that involves feeling it in his hands since he cannot see it. And no he certainly will not grow up to be an attorney or a neurosurgeon but he deserves a chance to learn to communicate and he ought to go to school and learn up to his potential. There are plenty of supported employment opprtunities for disabled adults. What would you have these children do? Stay home and babble in a corner or have their families bankrupted by the exhorbitant cost? It is a cost, I am not denying that.

  12. Why would I assume that they should live in poverty? No. There are other government solutions which I’m sure your nephew will go into after school.

    It is an extremely high cost at the expense of others.

  13. frankiethomas says:

    I think it was your comment “if they can’t afford to take care of them” that led me to assume that was your belief.

  14. Where is Charles Dickens when you need him?

  15. frankiethomas says:

    Hey beerboy, speaking of higher learning! How is that fine educational institution you call home?

  16. ft – new president and new provost pushed through re-organization based upon cost-cutting but, when the faculty asked for the cost/benefit analysis they admitted that it hadn’t been performed and they couldn’t show that it would save any money. Basically they are cutting Chair’s pay by creating yet another level of middle/upper administration with the power/responsibility to do what used to be done at the Department level. Meanwhile the state board of education has declared that state institutions should be self-sufficient. Tuition is going up, classes and programs are being cut but Athletics continues to prosper.

  17. frankiethomas says:

    Sounds like most higher ed instittutions – I’m sure you heard about the WSU provost taking a swing at someone and winding up the highest paid history prof at wsu-tricities.

  18. Just as all the programs were taking a hit, the ID Board of Education gave the presidents of the state universities a 10% pay raise – justified by the cost-savings they would realize by avoiding a job search to replace any of them – all the other presidents somehow donated the extra money (about one lecturer’s annual salary) back to their universities – at ISU the prez said that it was his money and it was none of anyone’s business what he would do with it.

    After one year in office, the faculty petitioned for and held a vote of no-confidence regarding the Provost. We are in for a bit of a rough ride here.

  19. spotted1 says:

    frmplt and frankiethomas…I think you are speaking to two different issues.

    Let’s face it, there are people who use and abuse every system. Especially if they can get something free for it. Then there are those who are supportive of their kids and trying to improve their life, to the best it can be.

    Those who do NOTHING to help their kids, are the ones that should be addressed. Not the good hard working folks of this world.

    As for sped and highly capable kids…are you aware that highly capable programs should be considered special education. Of course, on the high side, but they are just lumped into regular ed classes. If they are lucky, their is a special program thrown together to help them along. If not, well, then they move towards the middle unless pushed by others outside of school.

  20. frankiethomas says:

    I am aware that in some districts and states in this country highly capable programs are under the special education umbrella. This is not the case here; their budgets have nothing to do with one another.

    I believe frmplat is talking bout the perceived waste of dollars on children that have no potential because of their profound disabilities.

  21. One of the basic rights we have as Americans is the right to an education for our children. That education needs to be tailored to each child. It’s true that children differ in many ways and have many different needs. I happen to be the mother of a couple of “highly capable” kids. You may not realize that “highly capable” kids can prove to be just as challenging in many ways as develpmentally delayed and other “challenged” children. I have three boys and have spent MANY an hour in teacher conferences. Many of those with my older two sons’ teachers led to questions about what I was doing wrong since my kids were obviously gifted but not motivated. Imagine my surprise when meeting with my youngest son’s 1st grade teacher and being congratulated on being such a great parent! (He’s smart and motivated!) We all do our best with what we’re given. Don’t criticize what you don’t know. By the way, if some of you knew the situation of the father who wrote this letter, and his situaton with his son, you would be apologizing. And God forbid, if you were in that situation, you would be singing the praises of dedicated educators and parents wanting to do the right thing for your child.

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