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Old 04-29-2010, 02:20 PM
 
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Dealing with an issue right now in special education. We have a student who is in the Resource program. He is failing all of his classes. ALL of his teachers agree it is for ONE reason: Lack of effort to pay attention or complete assignments. NOT lack of ability. The mere fact that he is labeled as learning disabled is a joke to us. His Mom, unaware of the complexity of the issue, wants him in a "smaller" class. She's been told the smaller class is the Special Day Class. She is now demanding that her son-a perfectly capable young man who is not achieving simply because school and authority in general is a joke to him-go all the way down to the Special Day Class. All of his teachers agree this would be terribly inappropriate. Our program specialist here in L.A. Unified has flat out told me, the case carrier, I MUST rewrite the IEP to place the student in SDC. I asked about due process. The specialist said its a no go. Effectively, despite the fact that all of his teachers-Special ed. case carrier included- believe SDC is the WRONG placement-not only will his placement not be what we adamantly feel it should be (the least restrictive RSP), our opinions and rationale WILL NOT EVEN BE HEARD. I think this is horse****. I'm just now taking it all in. Does anybody know of a plan of action I/we can take to fight this? I'm certain that something is amiss here and I need to find it. Ideas would be appreciated! Thanks!
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Old 04-29-2010, 02:30 PM
 
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I should clarify that the program specialist mandating I write the IEP for SDC has not heard anything in the way of an argument from the IEP team on why SDC is not the correct placement. It's not like he's looking over and considering the two points of view and making a decision. His decision is based solely on the guidelines he has in front of him saying the parent gets precisely what the parent wants in all cases and without dispute or debate. This is his first year as our program specialist.
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Old 04-29-2010, 03:29 PM
 
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Why shouldn't the parents have the final say for placement? If it's the mistake you believe it to be, they are the ones who will have to deal with the consequences. Why anybody would prefer their child be in a more restrictive setting is beyond me, but I wouldn't obsess over it.

Since the student already has an IEP, there must be some kind of learning disability to go along with the poor effort/attitude. Maybe things will work out.

Let the mistake be the parents', and move on to the next student who wants to succeed.
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Old 04-29-2010, 03:35 PM
 
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I agree with Mattie. They are more invested in the child than the teachers are. Let it go.
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Old 04-29-2010, 03:46 PM
 
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But the parent isn't the only one to deal with it. Just because the class is smaller does not mean it is easier. I teach next door to a class with only six children, all of which are severely EBD (Emotional Behavior Disorder). One girl has three distinct personalities all with separate names. Another hears voices. Another consistently injures himself and has attempted gouge his eye out with a pencil during state testing. That class, with only six kids, is a seriously challenging one. It would be completely unfair to those kids to place another child in there just because he is lazy.

An IEP is a legal document. Regardless of what the parent wants, at the end of the day as a SPED teacher you are still liable for what is on there. What if this parent changes their mind and decides to take some sort of legal action? It wouldn't matter if Skyway said the teachers were all against it, the legal document would say they were all for it.

If it were me, Skyway, I would remind the supervisor that the IEP is a contract and can be used in court. Since it is your expert opinion, and the opinion of other teachers, that this is the wrong decision you need to refuse to create it or sign it. Explain that you would be happy to have someone else do it and would put together a nice packet. You would also be quite happy to pick up the slack for the other person who is put out by the predicament. To me this parent sounds like a bit of a "booger" and I don't know that I would compromise my integrity for it.
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Old 04-29-2010, 03:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TouchOfWhimsy View Post
I agree with Mattie. They are more invested in the child than the teachers are. Let it go.
Clearly, you have absolutely no clue what goes on in some schools. No offense, but you both have to work outside of special education. Kids are placed into special education ALL THE TIME with little to nothing in the way of real confirmation of any disability. Why? Parents want to get their hands on SSI money from the government. Long story I won't get into here. Suffice it to say, if you don't know what I'm talking about, well, uh, you don't know what I'm talking about.

Anywho, in regards to this student: What do you think about an 8th grade boy openly telling everybody within earshot that he knows he can keep up with the lessons but he doesn't care? How about an 8th grade boy who brings marijuana to school to smoke out with his buddies in the middle school bathrooms because it's fun? Do you thinkan 8th grade boy coming into class high as a kite might have his ability to learn impacted? Specifically impacted by something other than a disability?

Is there anybody with any experience teaching or working in special education in an ubran school distrct that would like to comment? No offense to anybody like the posters above who have no experience working in the field, but I'd like to hear only from those with some real experience and knowledge on the matter. Thanks.
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Old 04-29-2010, 03:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccr4tigers View Post
But the parent isn't the only one to deal with it. Just because the class is smaller does not mean it is easier. I teach next door to a class with only six children, all of which are severely EBD (Emotional Behavior Disorder). One girl has three distinct personalities all with separate names. Another hears voices. Another consistently injures himself and has attempted gouge his eye out with a pencil during state testing. That class, with only six kids, is a seriously challenging one. It would be completely unfair to those kids to place another child in there just because he is lazy.

An IEP is a legal document. Regardless of what the parent wants, at the end of the day as a SPED teacher you are still liable for what is on there. What if this parent changes their mind and decides to take some sort of legal action? It wouldn't matter if Skyway said the teachers were all against it, the legal document would say they were all for it.

If it were me, Skyway, I would remind the supervisor that the IEP is a contract and can be used in court. Since it is your expert opinion, and the opinion of other teachers, that this is the wrong decision you need to refuse to create it or sign it. Explain that you would be happy to have someone else do it and would put together a nice packet. You would also be quite happy to pick up the slack for the other person who is put out by the predicament. To me this parent sounds like a bit of a "booger" and I don't know that I would compromise my integrity for it.
Thanks CCR my thoughts exactly!
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Old 04-29-2010, 04:02 PM
 
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If the parents change their mind, so what? Then the IEP can be changed again. The parents have to sign off on the IEP placement anyway, which provides some protection for the SPED teachers.

My son has an IEP, and I haven't always agreed with the recommendations. If I didn't agree, I wouldn't sign until the changes I thought were necessary were made. Fortunately, the spec ed teams we've dealt with always seemed to have his best interests in mind, and we rarely disagreed. But, if we had, you can be sure I would have fought for what I wanted for my child, whether or not the SPED team liked it.
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Old 04-29-2010, 05:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattie View Post
Why shouldn't the parents have the final say for placement? If it's the mistake you believe it to be, they are the ones who will have to deal with the consequences. Why anybody would prefer their child be in a more restrictive setting is beyond me, but I wouldn't obsess over it.

Since the student already has an IEP, there must be some kind of learning disability to go along with the poor effort/attitude. Maybe things will work out.

Let the mistake be the parents', and move on to the next student who wants to succeed.
Why shouldn't parents have the final say, easy, because it would bankrupt every single school district in the nation. The parents would then have another excuse not to parent their child by actually teaching them how to behave in school and how to get their work done when necessary. Then, factor in that there are only so many hours in a day and there are OTHER kids that NEED the special ed programs and if he is taking up a spot that he doesn't truly qualify for, that other child suffers. Why is the school district not backing the teachers, easy, because parents sue school districts for ridiculous sums of money over issues like this thinking they are in the right for no reason other than they want their special snowflake to have special treatment because none of the other kids are as important.
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Old 04-29-2010, 06:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattie View Post
If the parents change their mind, so what? Then the IEP can be changed again. The parents have to sign off on the IEP placement anyway, which provides some protection for the SPED teachers.

My son has an IEP, and I haven't always agreed with the recommendations. If I didn't agree, I wouldn't sign until the changes I thought were necessary were made. Fortunately, the spec ed teams we've dealt with always seemed to have his best interests in mind, and we rarely disagreed. But, if we had, you can be sure I would have fought for what I wanted for my child, whether or not the SPED team liked it.
It appears as if you are presenting a reality in which only one of two outcomes is possible:
1) The school agrees with and acquiesces with each and all of the parent's demands and thus has the student's best interest at heart or
2) The school does not always agree with or acquiesce with all of the parent's demands and thus does NOT have the student's best interests at heart.

NEWSFLASH: That ain't reality.

The educators on an IEP team have knowledge of and experience with both the academic programs in question and how the student functions and performs within them. The parent effectively has NEITHER, even if they've spent a day or two sitting with the kid in class. That our professional opinions would be blindly disregarded at the whim of a parent is BAFFLING. Why? See the message above this one and beneath the one I'm quoting here. We have to have the best interests of ALL kids at heart. The special day program is a very specific program for a very specific kind of student. It's not for the kid who smokes pot with his buddies in the school restroom and thinks school and rules are jokes, refuses to pay attention in class or do any assignments and then gets all F's on his/her report card. Placing kids like that in the SDC program can, in fact, have major and adverse effects on the OTHER students in the program with REAL disabilities.

Would every parent like to see their kids in classes of 10-12 students and get lots of personal attention? YES! Do public schools have the resources to make this happen? NO! Only in SDC classes-for kids with seriously limiting learning disabilities-do such classes exist. And with more and more kids like the one in question here being placed in these classes, those class sizes are mostly a thing of the past; to the detriment of the kids who really need them.

Why would this parent want her kid in the SDC? The answer is two-fold:
1) Without thoroughly investigating the matter-much like she hasn't thoroughly investigated the kids behavior issues and pot smoking-she likes the idea of a small class for the kid. Again, see above. All parents would like this etc etc.
2) As an enabler of negative behavior and excuse-making-as soo many parents of struggling kids are-she prefers to think of the situation as being one where the kid just needs more help. That's more appealing than thinking she's been inadequate as a parent and the kid is just currently functioning in a delinquent manner.
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