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Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Meeting 1 update

This could be the first of several meetings in order to solve the issues I've brought to the table concerning the Girl's educational issues this year. Attendees at the meeting were the school principal, the school psychologist, the head of special services (SpEd), my advocate and myself. The meeting was held in the principal's office and started about 5 minutes late, as usual.

We started out by discussing the English teacher. I brought with my the Girl's entire portfolio with some documents she had written marked up to show the subjectivity of the grading. There was no discernable rubrik to show why her grades were so low, but after looking at my examples from the NY Times Book Review and the Chicago Manual of Style, all were in agreement that the grading needs to be explained and the teacher needs to be reinformed about the Girl's learning issues, i.e. follow the damn IEP. It was agreed that the principal and the school psychologist would meet with the English teacher and discuss the grading rubrik and the subjectivity of the teacher's edits, which all agreed seemed unusually harsh. We spoke about how the Girl has gone from an eager English learner to one that has become blaise about even trying, because she knows she'll only get a C- with no chance for advancement. This did not sit well with the group, and they vowed to make it better. We'll see.

Then we moved onto the Math teacher. I started out with the threatening, and they all immediately agreed that this was in no way to be supported. What I was suprised about is that the principal was aware of the problem since other parents had already brought this to his attention. I think now that I have as well, and that I've got legal people behind me, they're probably going to insist that this woman stop threatening.

We also covered her continual screaming. No surprise there, either. They've had plenty of complaints, it seems. So WHY is this woman still working there? And lastly we touched on how the Teacher makes the Girl feel, especially when she's constantly threatening to fail her. The upshot is that the principal and the school psychologist are going to hold a meeting with the Teacher and the Girl to try and work out a solution that is agreeable to both parties. I asked that they let the Girl speak her mind, intimating that she's probably going to swear and call names, but I think she should have that right after so many months of pent up anger and frustration. Once that meeting is held, we'll have a followup meeting where I can talk to the teachers if I choose.

I was polite, well spoken, very well prepared, and exhibited power. I didn't back down. I didn't yell, but I was strong. I got my words heard, and I am going to get some action. That's all I really wanted, for my daughter to be respected and for her IEP to be followed. A little professionalism would't hurt, either.
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