kitchen table math, the sequel: 4/15/12 - 4/22/12

Sunday, April 15, 2012

do general ed parents really want relief from special ed mandates?

from Eastchester School District's Letter to Representatives Regarding Mandate Relief
Mandate relief would provide districts with greater flexibility to meet student needs and to control spending without reducing the quality of education. A revised system without these costly (and in many ways outdated) mandates would better serve all of our students. Overall, enacting legislation to eliminate or modify mandates would provide much needed relief to taxpayers. [emphasis added]
In a town of 19,000 people, 4000 have signed this letter, many or most of them parents, presumably. (Simply because parents are more likely to know about the letter).

I'm guessing that few of those who signed know what the words "in many ways outdated" signify.

I don't know what the words "in many ways outdated" signify, either, but I can guess. And my guess is that differentiated instruction, team teaching, and full inclusion for the most disruptive students (kids like my own two) is involved.

Granted, Eastchester could simply be angling to increase class size for the most disabled children (New York state regs here). I'm pretty sure I myself support some flexibility in a school's application of the law.

But the word outdated is a flag. As far as I know, Westchester administrators don't particularly believe that small class size is "outdated."*

Westchester administrators do believe that homogeneous grouping is outdated.

Do general education parents believe that special classes for children with severe disabilities, children who can tantrum and hit themselves for hours, are outdated?

* I have the sense that many administrators are frustrated by parent insistence on the smallest possible classes, but that is a different matter.