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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Monday, September 08, 2008

WHY does the high school screw up so consistantly?

I am so angry I could spew bullets. I am tired of dealing with a school that is so disorganized that they cannot get anything right. It's one fuck-up after another, year after year. I'm sick of it. So is the Girl, who is the one that suffers from their lack of consistancy and organization.

All through the summer we had no clue as to where the Girl would be attending school this fall. Absolutely not a clue. Last we knew, her team meeting at the end of the year last spring recommended a program that we refused. We never heard from the school again, even though I sent email, letters and made phone calls. It was all in a big void for the summer. As the summer progressed I made contact with the State Board of Education to hire a mediator to deal with the school, since they were ignoring me. Once the mediator was hired, I again sent a stay-put letter to the Superintendent, copying all the salient team members. No a word back. But then I called the school on another matter, and found out that the Girl was registered there for this fall, and that she had a schedule that I had never signed (not knowing about it and all....). The office personnel called the SpEd director, who in turn called me at 8 pm the next night, and she was "SHOCKED" to find out that we had no clue of where the Girl would be attending school. Shocked, she said.

I told her what we wanted, she agreed, sent me the IEP, I signed it, she arranged for a schedule, and we thought all would be OK. We are morons. We never learn.

The Girl got her schedule on Thursday, the first day of school, and it was totally wrong. Wrong math, wrong science... wrong wrong wrong. So she went to her guidance counselor. Who was very busy. So she waited. For hours. And then made another appointment for Friday. And waited. And waited. And waited. For hours again. Still no schedule.

The Math head has refused to allow her credit for the math class she took this summer. The math class the entire team agreed would allow her to catch up. But he won't take the credit even though it's HIS summer school and she got an A in the class.

Because he won't switch her class, none of the other classes work and she's stuck with no schedule. She's in the wrong English class and has already missed a quiz. She's missed 3 history classes waiting for the guidance counselor (and if you don't wait, you don't get in...that's part of the problem) and has 'N'ed out of the class, meaning she's lost credit for the entire term. Already. On day 3 of school.

To say I'm livid would be putting it mildly. I called the Math Head last Friday and told him that he is not going to hold up her education and screw up her math like he did her brother. Oh yeah, this is a familiar problem. You can't even imagine what he did to the Boy, but suffice it to say that he repeated the same math class 4 times, passing it each and every time. But he never advanced at all. Despite my bitching.

So a letter has gone out to the superintendent, and now I have to go back into mediation. For a freaking schedule. How annoying is that?

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Blogger sss said...

For years we fought our special Ed program. We hired high paying attorneys from a prestigious law firm, an advocate, a Harvard professor of neuroscience, and countless other professionals. Not even with that” army" did our special Ed dept. stay within the law. We ended up going private and suing for half the tuition as our taxes are over 17,000 a year. The public school would not and actually could not accommodate us. We are talking language based LD, add and short term memory issues with an above average IQ. Disabilities that every school should be able to accommodate .Every single freaking year there was a problem with the incompetent imbeciles that thought they were "helping" us. There was never a time that they made it easy. classes held in a closet, services not provided, playing the blame game as in who was suppose to do what at the school, incompetent “specialists”, blatantly not following the IEP. After talking to countless parents at the private school, them being from varied school systems thru out mass. The stories were almost identicle.Why does this happen? Are the groups of people that decide to become directors of sped programs, in cahoots to torture these kids? I know this sounds overly dramatic. But its abusive .what some kids/parents/families go through just to get an education for their love ones can be unfathomable. Unless you’ve experienced it firsthand, parents of kids not on IEP’s, have no idea. Sorry but I have lost respect for some of those who are supposedly in the "healing professions" that abuse their msw ms dr med degrees by letting us think they care.

9/9/08 8:19 PM  
Blogger margalit said...

SSS, I agree with you. I think that most people that don't have kids with special needs have no idea of what a struggle it is to even get an IEP written up, never mind to get schools to follow them. I've never yet seen a school system that is willing to follow an IEP. The teachers often never read them, and even if they do, they don't care enough about an individual child to deviate from their normal way of teaching. They know that they are acting criminally, but because the responsibility is that of the school system and not the individual teacher, they go on doing whatever they want.

The "specialists" often are so busy defending the school that they forget to look at the child. I think most of the experts wanted to help long ago, but got so entrenched in the whole school politics that they have forgotten that they are there to help.

I'm sorry you've had to fight the schools. It's such a pain in the butt.

9/9/08 9:50 PM  

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