Monday, April 30, 2012

comparing apples, oranges, bananas, and ice cream

This is so ridiculous I don't even know how to formulate my frustration.

I appreciate that states are trying to find a way to evaluate special education teachers without using the same standardized tests on children with disabilities. However, Florida's decision to compare children with like disabilities is a bit much. It's a wonderful reminder of how the people making policy decisions are not the ones in the classroom working in reality. All children are different but our children with disabilities are each unique and in many ways probably have more in common with typically developing children than others who happen to share their special education label. Just because two children happen to have tested as having a similar IQ or happen to have an educational diagnosis of an Intellectual Disability does not mean that they are going to have the same learning rates and progress.

I know states want to find the best method to measure special education teachers, but I don't see why what happens now doesn't work. Currently we take base line data on each student and then work our rear ends off to improve that baseline data and meet the individualized IEP goals. That's just a bit difficult for a state to measure. The reason we write IEP goals is because the students require an Individualized Program. If they were similar we would be able to take the I out of IEP and just have an "autism" plan or a "Intellectual Disability" plan.

1 comment:

Miss Trayers said...

Wow! That is really short-sighted. I do wish those who decided on policies walked in our shoes, even if just for a day! :)