Tag Archives: social

Pain & Suffering in Special Education

In my last posting, “Teachers Who Cheat & Why They Do It,” I gave the advice to people employed within public education who are being pressured to do something unscrupulous to “grow a set” and refuse to willingly participate in the undermining of the special education system. But, telling someone to “grow a set” really doesn’t tell them exactly what to do when the pressure is on.

And then I read Alexander Russo’s July 7, 2011 article, “Education Will Break Your Heart,” on The Huffington Post.  Russo was writing after reading something that inspired him, “Liking is for Cowards. Go For What Hurts,” by Jonathan Franzen that was published in The New York Times on May 28, 2011.

Anyone struggling with a moral crisis over pressures to take unscrupulous steps in public education should stop to read these two articles. Franzen’s piece speaks to life in general. Russo translates it to the world of education.

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“Velcro® Aide” vs. Learning Facilitator

Click here to download the podcast version of this article.

There is a realm of conflict surrounding the use of 1:1 aides in special education and many local education agencies (“LEAs”) have developed their own assessment protocols to determine when a child really needs an aide to try and rein in this issue.

Sometimes these assessments just turn into a means of justifying to the parents a decision against aide support that was actually made by the LEA for fiscal reasons, so there are still issues with these types of aide assessments that need to be worked out.

Because these are LEA-made evaluations that are not bound by regulation and they aren’t scientifically validated standardized tests, LEAs can make them up however they want and some are better at researching best practices than others. But, even if it’s the best aide assessment in the world, none of that makes any difference if the aide support a child is given isn’t used well.

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