Special Education in 4 yr. colleges

Discussion in 'Education' started by chanel, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. chanel
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    chanel Silver Member

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    This weekend, I checked out the services offered by Stockton State College, here in NJ. I must say, as a special educator, I was shocked. It looks as if the professors are now being asked to "modify" and "accomodate" all students with disabilities. While I understand that handicaps, such a vision, hearing, and mobility issues require special services, it seems the schools are now preparing for the "learning disabled" and "ADHD" kids as well.

    This is from the faculty handbook:

    http://intraweb.stockton.edu/eyos/wellness/content/docs/pdf/dispart2.pdf

    There has been an ongoing debate whether or not students with disabilities ( who do not meet the same standards as the regular ed. students) should be offered a different HS diploma. Some states do this.

    Should college professors be required to "modify" assignments for students who can't read? I'm having a real problem with this.
     
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  2. old navy
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    old navy <<< Action Figures

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    I've noticed similar positions in colleges such as reading specialists.

    I also have a problem with that.
     
  3. chanel
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    chanel Silver Member

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    What people fail to understand is that "SLD" (specific learning disability) is a generic EDUCATIONAL label given to the majority of classified students in the public school system. There is NOTHING "specific" about it. SLD students include the mentally retarded, the emotionally disturbed, and the basic n'er-do-wells. By giving them a medical sounding diagnosis, kids can get smaller classes and individualized help. It was never intended to be used as a label for special status outside of the K-12 school system.

    25% of our students are classified. The special education dept. is the largest dept. in our school.

    The impliications of this are enormous.

    Will professors start to water down their curriculum to the lowest common denominator, like is happening in many of our high schools?

    Will these kids be given IEP's in the workplace?

    Will note-takers and one-on-one aides be mandated in order to ensure "equal opportunity" at their place of employment?

    No politician would dare to challenge the ADA. It would be political suicide to "deny access" to the disabled. But someone needs to recognize that SLD should not be a protected class of people. Some of them are simply fuck-ups. True story.
     
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  4. old navy
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    old navy <<< Action Figures

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    True story indeed. I have 175 students in my health and medical sciences classes. I have more IEP students than some SPED teachers have. It has almost gotten to the point that I advise students who have a real shot at getting in and succeeding in med school or nursing school, to take all the science department classes you can and take mine only if you have room on your schedule.

    I actually get more satisfaction from helping these students prepare for the next level which mainly will include low level labor employment or trade school. The more well equiped kids of course do not need as much help and benefit from the harder courses.

    The ADA is meant for wheelchair access, help for the vision impaired, etc. (preaching to the choir I know), and not for people who do not and will not ever qualify for certain positions. I am all for accomodations and helping those that need help, but do not agree with leveling the playing field to the point of diluting the process or the results.
     
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  5. uscitizen
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    uscitizen Senior Member

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    It is another necessary part of America's race to the bottom.
     
  6. old navy
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    Exactly.

    The race to the bottom is not unique to education though, but a result of the desires of society. The system in which I teach not too long ago had a national reputation for academic excellence. In order to get an A, the student had to earn a 93. Enough parents complained that it was too hard for their kid to get an A, so the Board gave in and adopted a 10 point grading scale. The parents said that their kids were having a difficult time getting into college because of the lower number of As compared to other systems.

    The reality was that college admissions officers knew that a high B from this system was better than an A in other school districts. Not any more. The dumbing down, or diluting of the system has made us like the rest. That isn't the only reason. The tardy, absence, and disciplinary policies were changed as well. The parents complained that the policy was too strict so the Board softened it as well.

    The same demands that lower academic standards are seen in society today. People want a big payday, the corner office, free benefits, and a college degree without putting in the work required. So when the citizenry complains that education in the U.S. sucks, they need to first look within to determine what they really want.
     
  7. Dr.Traveler
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    Dr.Traveler Mathematician

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    As part of the American's with Disabilities Act, our university does offer a Counseling Center that can accommodate all kinds of disabilities. In fact, we have to take into account certain disabilities when we select online homework programs these days.

    Some of these I have no issue with. For example, a seeing impaired student will need a note taker. Not an issue. I've had students with crippling arthritis that I provided notes to. Some students need a quiet testing environment or extended time. Also not a problem.

    As of yet, I have not had to water down the curriculum for any of the courses I teach or supervise. I have to accommodate the students with special needs, but any student taking my class an obtaining a passing grade does so after meeting the same course objectives as any other student in the course.
     
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  8. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    Well if being stupid isn't a handicap, I'm not sure what is.

    That being said, watering down the curriculum to accomodate those who will never understand the material seems to miss the essantial point of education.

    Heterogeneous educational placement is one fairly good example of social liberalism gone wrong, in my opinion.

    It's not that we should not provide educational opportunites for everyone, but dumbing down the course to make it possible for the intellectually weak to pass a course cheats those students who are capable of learning so much more that the median.

    Additionally it puts an enormous strain on teachers to expect them to create multiple lesson plans to accomodate the wide range of capabilities that a heterogeneous class placement imposes on them.

    I HAVE lost a teaching post for expressing such sentiments, incidently.



    There ARE societal benefits to doing this, of course, but the wasted educational opportunities for normal and brighter students that result from heterogeneous student placement far outweight the social benefits of doing so.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011
  9. xotoxi
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    xotoxi Platinum Member

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    Are you of the opinion that people with dyslexia should just not be allowed in college?

    And then, down the road someone might comment on how they would have a better paying job if they hadn't been so lazy and gotten a better education
     
  10. old navy
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    Nice post Doctor Traveler. Not only do I go all out providing for students that need accomodations because it is the law, I do it because it is the right thing to do. I have a girl in class this year as well as last that has a kidney disease that stopped her growth. She will be on meds and other treatments the rest of her life. She is nice, funny, and knows more about space than I ever will. She wants to be an astronaut when she grows up. Who am I to say "That will be impossible"? My job is to help put her in the best possible position to succeed, regardless of where she ends up in the future.

    What clogs the system is the lazy, the trouble makers, and the degenerates that have an IEP and try to ride it as far as it will take them. My job is to work with them as well. I try to reach the ones that I can and hopefully the others will get it from somewhere.
     

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