New special ed PTA helps parents, teachers Schools & Kids, posted by Editor, Mountain View Voice Online, on Nov 29, 2010 at 4:55 pm
In an effort to generate support and awareness for the special needs population in local elementary and middle schools Christine Case-Lo has co-founded the Mountain View Whisman Special Education Parent Teacher Association.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, November 29, 2010, 11:14 AM
Posted by Den, a resident of the Martens-Carmelita neighborhood, on Nov 29, 2010 at 4:55 pm
My feeling is that we are already spending a disproportionate amount of resources on special needs kids to the educational detriment of the majority. There must be a better way to help them outside of the public schools.
Posted by C Case-Lo, a resident of the North Whisman neighborhood, on Nov 29, 2010 at 5:02 pm
Den - I'm sorry you feel that way, but most parents with special needs kids already are maxed out financially trying to help their kids, with therapists, caretaking, and lots of stress. It's been shown over and over again that the investment in special programs for early intervention in education can help many of these kids become useful, productive and tax-paying citizens. It's a long-term investment, but in the long run, it will pay off!
Posted by A Bernstein-Feldman, a resident of another community, on Nov 29, 2010 at 6:46 pm
Den- The schools are not spending enough on special needs children. They should be spending more on training the teachers who are going to have these students in their regular education classrooms, they should be spending more on supplies needed to help these students to learn at the same rate as their peers, they should be spending it on related service providers and the like. The majority of these children can exist in a public school setting IF they get the extra help they need and the 'regular' ed. children can learn something about diversity and learning styles.
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Monta Loma neighborhood, on Jun 25, 2011 at 9:20 am
It's not the schools that are not funding special education at the level that is required, but the Federal Government. IDEA is a federal law that mandates educational services. That law has never been fully funded and has had only token funding, 7%-12% of the total obligation, maybe, since its' inception as PL94-142.
The science of teaching and instruction is far beyond the current skill set of public school teachers For example, ask any teacher about "juxtaposing exemplars of minimal and maximal differences in conducting 'general case' programming to teach a concept" and see how s/he responds. You might also ask "How does a child become an effective listener, a person who can listen with understanding?" and count the number of fictional explanations that are given.
The point, however, is that money alone will not solve the major problems that permeate modern educational systems or teaching methods. Educations prides itself on cosmetic advancement ("Look at all or our new, shiny computers") but shuns substantive advancement such as improving curricular design and modification or improving instructional design, delivery and modification.
No amount of money will push out those administrators and teachers whose only priority is job security and income. Despite protests of dedication to our children their actions speak about their true dedication. Simply attend any teacher Union meeting. You will not hear a discussion on how to put effective performance based management systems in place, how to systematically and scientifically improve instructional delivery, how to teach to all children (not just the medium and above) or how to produce generative learners and performers. This you will not hear, but you will hear about "what's my job, what's not my job", "Can we get more time off", "Can we get paid more". Not the discussion of great minds or dedicated educators.