Educational malpractice in Western New York

I smell a ratI have a friend who, until relatively recently, used to teach Special Ed in a Western New York school district (not Rochester, but in an outlying district).

One of the things that appalled and horrified my friend was that on most (3/4?) of the Fridays the 9th-12th grade Special Ed students would, all in one room, watch violent, non-academic movies (many brought from the homes of the staff!) from 11 am to the end of the school day!

You might think that adults were absent, but in truth in the audience there were teachers, assistants, aides and academic coaches. My friend estimates it was about 10% of the students’ learning time for the week. In fact, in the last 3 days of any week before major school breaks it was, and still is, common practice to abandon any effort to teach the Special Ed students and just show junk movies.

There was no effort by the staff to hide this practice, and since this happened so consistently and for such long periods of time, it is hard to believe that the administration was unaware of this; certainly they looked the other way!

Isn’t there any parent or other responsible adult out there who is as outraged as I am? This is yet ANOTHER reason why we homeschool, but not all parents have that choice, and the children, their families and our society pay the price.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. andrew cuddy
    Sep 12, 2013 @ 17:51:24

    Marcy, so much progress has been made in the education of children with disabilities in the areas of inclusion, provision of research-based teaching methods, identifying and understanding the disabilities, etc. Yet there is so much more to do. One key element, which as a special education attorney I see as a constant battle, is raising the levels of expectation that these adult have for these children. Too often, the bar is lowered, when if it were raised we’d all be surprised at the heights that these kids would reach.

    I am always looking for “whistleblowers” about school district programs, and gathering information about these schools so I can pursue complaints to the state education department. Feel free to reach out to me if you have specific info to share.

    Andy Cuddy, special education attorney


  2. Lloyd's of Rochester
    Sep 12, 2013 @ 19:33:09

    I completely agrees about expectations. My friend was also working with a particular student that everyone apparently panned as too multi-handicapped to be worth helping and very creatively helped the student improve her knowledge, but then when the student started participating in class and answering questions and improving test scores they accused my friend of helping the girl pass the tests by cheating!! Said friend now teaches students for that district by being an itinerant tutor, which is pleasant because no one can dictate how to do things and prevent kids from actually learning. Would identity be protected?


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