Common core leaves the most specialized learners behind. Those that could only succeed with differentiated learning are now left out. It compounds the issues of the differently abled, and by putting these children in this one size fits all, age inappropriate model, frustrates and hurts them.
A mom in New York writes in:
One year ago, I took R to his developmental pediatrician. During the evaluation, R became so anxious and upset by his perceived lack of ability, that he trashed the exam room and tore up the test booklet. The Dr. suggested my 7 year old start taking anti-anxiety medication. It was the straw that broke this mama camel’s back. I took him out of school to homeschool him.
Today, I took R back to the same developmental pediatrician. He has been homeschooling now one year. I was hopeful, but honestly, not sure what to expect. Not only was R able to keep it together to participate in the evaluation, but something remarkable happened. My son has many disabilities, including Executive Function. (Here is an explanation from a website:
“Executive functions consist of several mental skills that help the brain organize and act on information. These skills enable people to plan, organize, remember things, prioritize, pay attention and get started on tasks. They also help people use information and experiences from the past to solve current problems.
If your child has executive functioning issues, any task requiring these skills could be a challenge. That could include doing a load of laundry or completing a school project. Having issues with executive functioning makes it difficult to:
Keep track of time
Make sure work is finished on time
Apply previously learned information to solve problems
Look for help or more information when it is needed”)
During the test, R had to look at a group of 4 non-sequential numbers for one minute. Then, with the book closed he had to write on a piece of paper the same numbers. Another part of the test had R try to replicate a drawing of different shapes after looking at it for one minute. I didn’t expect him to be able to do it at all, and to become upset.
But, then R did something amazing! He began to repeat the numbers out loud in order to remember them. And, when faced with the drawing, R traced it with his pencil. He came up with his own strategies to solve these problems!
I know most of you probably don’t understand how huge of an accomplishment this was for R. But, what made this moment one I will never forget is what R’s doctor said to me. He said, “R would have NEVER made this kind of progress in school. Choosing to homeschool him was the best thing you could have done for him. Keep doing what you’re doing!”.
This past year has been frustrating, enlightening, and full of successes and failures. There were days when I was sure I was failing R as his teacher. There were days when I thought I was losing my mind! There were days when I finally figured out how to teach him a new concept that he was just not getting. Days when he would throw his arms around me because he was so excited to learn. And on every Friday, when I yelled “Happy Friday” and he says he doesn’t like Fridays because there is no homeschool on weekends, I smiled. (I need a break and so does he!).
To receive that kind of affirmation that I really am doing the right thing, and doing it well, made my heart soar.
Special needs mom, now teacher and homeschooler to #stopcommoncore
Via “Lace to the Top”:
Last year, the NY Board of Regents and John King applied for a waiver for special education students. They laid out in great detail why some students should be exempt from 10-15 hours of testing that by every measure is completely developmentally inappropriate. The evidence provided was so compelling no one could turn it down, but that is exactly what Arne Duncan did.
These students will be forced to take the NYS ELA and Math tests this year. Where are their civil rights?
Special needs kids are the “sacrificial population” under common core????
Yes. That sums it up.