Tuesday, March 23, 2010

DOE teaching model a disservice to children

From the Queens Chronicle:

An inclusion classroom is a “one size fits all” approach that consists of regular education students, advanced learners and special education students who have been given an Individualized Education Program. Most of these classes have two instructors, a regular education and special education teacher, who often switch off between teaching students as one comprehensive group and breaking them up into smaller factions so pupils with different abilities can learn from one another. All-inclusive classrooms burden teachers and treat students like members of a herd instead of vibrant, thoughtful, creative individuals with a vast array of strengths and an equal number of perfectly normal, character-building imperfections.

Our system has failed our teachers and in doing so has failed our students. Administrators fill cramped classrooms with students who have wildly different achievement levels, yet teachers are expected to keep test scores rising and every student learning. Who benefits from this assembly line approach? The bar is lowered for mainstream students while those who require special help and individual attention are ignored.

Is it rational to expect a special needs child to feel a sense of achievement when being measured by the same metrics as a gifted student of the same age? Advanced learners are also suffering because of the inclusive model.

Parents bear some responsibility here as well. We all want our children to perform at a high level, but kids need to understand the difference between winning and losing. When every child on a team gets a trophy, there is nothing to strive for.


Anonymous said...

Re establish "gifted" classes and keep the 'tards at home.

What good is an school going to do for them anyway if they have trouble counting...1,2,Potato,4,7,Green,Eleventy.

Anonymous said...

When are we going to realize that America is, or should be, the land of equal opportunity, not equal achievement?

Deke DaSilva said...

This article doesn't really say anything new or revolutionary, but if you "read between the lines", the author gives a "wink wink" acknowledgment to the idea that -


Not all children are equal in their capacity for learning!

If you want to find out what someone truly believes, watch what they do, NOT what they say!

Case in point - this interview in Science magazine with U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan:

SCIENCE: As the second education secretary with school-aged kids, where does your daughter go to school, and how important was the school district in your decision about where to live?

DUNCAN: She goes to Arlington [Virginia] public schools. That was why we chose where we live, it was the determining factor. That was the most important thing to me. My family has given up so much so that I could have the opportunity to serve; I didn't want to try to save the country's children and our educational system and jeopardize my own children's education.

If you need that response explained, then you probably went to a crappy NYC public school!