short bus

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!  

And when the administration of the school, teachers, or EnglishLanguageLearning Instructors (in liew of Special Education Teachers) talk to me about the classroom environment, they are so keen to act like I’m a dolt; “let me help you understand…,” or, “the process is difficult…”  What I’ve come to see about this whole situation is that were I not such a successful advocate; were I not educated and clever; were I not so savvy about the processes of getting big projects accomplished; my kid would suffer under the weight of ignorance and sheer misguided egoism.   The ofensive and disgusting things I’ve heard about my kid like, Ma’am, he should be at a special school, you know, for retarded students.” Is fairly appalling when you realize that this is a kid who plays football at the high school level, has a great group of friends – most of whom are not out of the norm of socal akwardness, and he reads well beyond grade level.  
And I am standing in the way of those who would harm the ePrince.  I do battle with the egos and the ignorance.  I insist on fairness and same opportunities as those of his classmates.  I insist that the other students who are similarly intelligent and afflicted  might have an honest chance to be successful too.  And the flooding onslaught of nonsense and bullsh*t is freaking overwhelming.   And there are 10 days of school left in this academic calendar, less than 10 days to address and correct the harm that has already been donel, the damage that continues daily and punishment that will have lasting consequences for a student who has both special and gifted educational needs.

a bitchin feminista mama at the intersection of political quagmire and real life.

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