Our Mascots

Our Mascots
These are the happy people

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Making dumb choices

Why do we keep making dumb choices and foolish decisions that are contrary to what we know to be right.  Some examples, all students will be reading at grade level by 2014.  the fact is that all students do not have the capacity to be at grade level, not by 2014 and not by 2054.  Anyone with an ounce of common sense knows that.
Another foolish idea.  Everyone should go to college.  Everyone should have the skills necessary to earn a decent living.  that does not equate to everyone going to college.  Some people will use technical skills and work in manufacturing, or the human service sector or the service repair sector- many of these jobs do not require a college education.  Many of the people who do these jobs are very skilled, earn a decent living and do not have the ability to go to college.
There is ample research that tells us that kids with learning challenges need require and benefit from intensive individualized education.  Yet our whole society is pushing full inclusion for the social skills that students with disabilities will supposedly get from plain kids.  First of all, general ed teachers have neither the time nor the skills to teach students with learning challenges.  Second of all, plain kids do not experience themselves as social peers with students with disabilities.  Most of the interactions between plain kids and students with disabilities are either forced by adults or bullying by plain kids.  Students with disabilities seldom get invited by plain to outside social events.  Yet we persist in saying full inclusion is a good idea.
High stakes testing is another naive idea.  We all know some very bright people who are doing well as adults who are terrible test takers.  We also all know people who are good test takers but have little knowledge of the content or the ability to problem solve.  Still we are insisting that everyone takes a test to prove what they know and that teachers be punished with poor ratings for having students who do not do well in the tests.
Dumb ideas make dumb choices