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I am tired. I am emotionally exhausted and overwhelmed. It is ridiculously too much to stand in the way of failure.
From the Office of Education Accountability, my state is ranked 50 out of the 50 states, consistently the lowest ranked education system in the country. The city and high school district where my oldest son is currently enrolled, are considered a “City in Crisis” according to the Editorial Projects in Education where the dropout rate is 42%. That is a rate of 58 graduating students for every 100 students who enter the high school district. This fact is not a travesty, it is an outrage! And just to insult my overintellectual proclivities, our new governor recently slashed the education budget because she considers such funding as a waste of resources – and these are her words, not mine. The state budget plan has been approved to steal money from school districts which haven’t been used by the end of this fiscal year! This strategy is what the state legislature ironically calls a “win-win situation because the schools aren’t using the money anyway.”
And I am raising children who are not the norm. The aforementioned rankings are for those students who fall in the bell of the curve, so for the students – like mine – who fall at the edges of the curve, the statistics are even worse. My oldest son has an IEP (special/individualized education program) that his teachers are federally mandated to follow in the classroom. Do you think all of his teachers are following any of the mandates? … I hope you knew the correct answer! My oldest can do math beyond college level when given the support he needs. And it is not that the kind of support that would be an additional burden to the instructor. With bitter irony, I can assure one and all that the accommodations are really just good teaching strategies incorporated by successful teachers all over this fine country. Even some good teachers within this awful state’s educational borders. Sometimes, rarely, a good local teacher utlizes positive and successful teaching strategies. But not my kid’s math teacher! No, that guy thinks that IEP’s are negotiable!