Tuesday Open Thread

I believe the waitlists dissolved yesterday.  Any thoughts?  Any successes?  I will have to ask the district the question about space at schools.  If there is any space at a school, can a parent ask to have their child there?  Or, are any open spaces to be held for anyone new who moves into the district?

The issue of the Supreme Court races has received national attention.  As you may recall, money is pouring into the opponents of the justices up for re-election due to the charter law ruling last September and, to a lesser degree, the fines that the Court imposed on the legislature due to inaction on McCleary fulfillment.  Stand for Children had a fairly ridiculous op-ed in the NewsTribune about "balance" on the court.  While I'm all for diversity of opinion, my vote will always be for the person I believe is the best qualified for any elected position.  In this case, I believe it's the incumbents.  Also, I would not vote for Supreme Court justices based on one issue.

 (I had one legislator, the name-calling Rep. Matt Manweller, say to me that the charter school decision was the worst one "in our lifetimes" , that he could find no "credible constitutional scholars" that agreed with it and that anyone who didn't think that the decision was politically-based was "delusional."  I've only been here 28 years so I can't say that for certain about any lifetime worst cases but there have been several credible scholars who believe it was based on constitutional issues and well, if you have to name-call to make a point, maybe it's not such a great point.

What's on your mind?


Anonymous said…
Our child was moved off the waitlist yesterday. Got the call in the late afternoon. I joked with the caller and asked if he'd be burning the midnight oil making calls, and he said yes. Nothing like waiting until the last minute, but we're relieved.

So movement did indeed happen.

OM mom
Lynn said…
The inability to move from a seat at school A into an empty seat at school B is only confusing if you're looking at it from the individual student's perspective. When students move, the budgets at both schools change. One student doesn't usually make much difference but could theoretically push an attendance area school over the threshold where they lose a classroom teacher and/or a partial PCP FTE. There are attendance area schools where many students were on waitlists for other schools and they were at risk for huge disruptions in September. Schools used to be able to make up for lower student to teacher ratios in a particular grade with higher ratios in another in order to minimize disruption but that's no longer possible with the mandatory K-3 class size limits.

We made a big fuss last fall over disruptive staffing changes. This is the solution.

The losers here are the option schools. Their no-shows can't be back-filled. Attendance area schools win because they've gained stability.
Anonymous said…
My child was moved off the waitlist out of an attendance area school into our preferred school which happened to be an option school. We received notification in late May.

WL Mom
Anonymous said…
Jill Geary has an interesting post about inequity in HCC:


Looks like some in the district are finally recognizing the obvious.

Anonymous said…
Nice to know our JSCEE staff are well compensated,

New hires get per year;

23 days of vacation
2 personal days
12 paid holidays
12 sick days

....and a nice salary

Crying Poor
Anonymous said…
This is how Geary ends her post, which cites Hobson vs Hansen as apparently "eerily similar" to AL/HCC in SPS:

"We need to look for ways to hold all of our students to the highest educational expectations, and perhaps self-contained education at either end of the spectrum of intellectual performance is not the answer."

Yeah, well, we'd probably all agree (more than people realize) on the ideal model, even we unconscious racists. But Director Geary, there's miles of work to do before you're ready to worry about whether HCC is self-contained.


Anonymous said…
We moved one spot to the #1 (out of 7) on an Advanced Learning list at an Option School but no luck. There was also a General Education waitlist for the same grade, and an Access waitlist, so the school had 3 wait lists.

We were told that when an opening came up, they would alternate between waitlists, but that doesn't appear to be the case since the General Ed waitlist dropped by 6 while the Advanced Learning only dropped by 1.

Very frustrated with how this was managed.

NE mom
Anonymous said…
If this is Hazel Wolf, which has one of the better reputations for advanced learning, they should at least be able to clearly explain how they fill their gen Ed vs AL seats. It's not like they have self contained classrooms. I call shenanigans.

Balance Needed said…
Geary seems to support the notion of taking- down advanced learning. However, her arguments exclude the needs of advanced learners.
Anonymous said…
So Director Geary thinks a one-size-fits-all approach is best? Or does she believe teachers have the ability and willingness to provide much, much more in-class differentiation (e.g., lessons and assignments that are tailored to the needs of kids working at probably about half a dozen grade levels within a single classroom)? I'm not buying either.

It seems to me that Ms. Geary doesn't really understand HC students. She may need to hear from some parents at her upcoming meetings, so they can explain how these are different and how neighborhood schools have failed them in the past.

And if she's really so concerned about segregation (since that's the heart of the case she cited), why not start with the NSAP? Sending HC kids back to their neighborhood schools would have little impact on racial diversity in our schools. Likely the only change would be that HC students were neglected, while everything else went on business as usual.


Balance Needed said…
Has Geary not realized that Spectrum has been dismantled and middle school LA/SS has been dismantled?

I'm DisAPPointed, too.
Anonymous said…
Do the option schools have any open seats? If so, is there anyone on the waitlist and will those spots be filled? JSCEE appears to be playing the same game on option schools that they played with Middle College: refuse new enrollments, claim that enrollment is declining, and use that to justify killing option schools.

As to Jill Geary. During last year's campaign she touted the fact that she had a "twice-exceptional" child and understood the concerns and needs of parents of gifted and SpEd kids. She said she knew how to fight for them and would do so.

Now she is saying that to do so is racist and now we're going to take away services and curriculum for advanced leaners in the name of equity.

Bait Switched
Anonymous said…
Let's not forget that the Mayor has actively been working to plant operatives on the board who will support his causes. Geary is smart, she's political. Don't assume Blanford is the mayor's mouth piece. Geary could just as easily strive to see the "big" picture...you know -- the one where the mayor runs the show.

I seriously doubt FWIW is a Garfield teacher or staff. I believe FWIW is a parent at a school that is suffering from losing too many HCC students. Likely FWIW is a bored white yuppy parent (with a club membership or two) who feels better about him/herself when working towards "social Justice" but really they are hoping to improve their school by bringing back the HCC students, even if it means those students will be bored out of their minds.

-Sad State
Anonymous said…
FWIW is a muckraker looking for a good story to sell ads.

Anonymous said…
I wouldn't want to be in a combat unit during war with this crowd. You sell people out as soon as your self-interest is remotely threatened. First the Garfield teachers, now Jill Geary.

Whether you know it or not, you are perpetuating your own stereotype.


Anonymous said…
David Lohman, author of the CogAT, explains how the mis-use of national norms (by excluding local and/or sub-group norms) EXCLUDES minority students. No need to take my word for it. As long as SPS uses national norms only, the "hot zones" will many students in HC who shouldn't be, and many students from underrepresented groups who should be.


BTW, when did it become okay to seek the identify of posters? The Honors for All marathon resulted in the lifting of the no-name calling policy. The fluid/situational ethics that are determined by the popularity/challenge of the message/messenger that have developed on this blog has not been lost on your readers.

Charlie and I have said - over and over - that we do not out commenters nor do we allow it. However, if someone uses a moniker and yet the writing seems familiar under other monikers, I have no problem with someone point that out.

I'm pretty sure most readers know who the lead trolls are so my advice is to just ignore everything they say. They are only here to stir the pot - not give clarity or context or solutions.

Jet City mom said…
As a lifetime Seattle area resident, I agree with Bait Switched
We believe we are a liberal city, but I remember attending community meetings to support alternative schools, specifically Summit K-12, when my oldest was an infant and she is now 34. Alternative programs were constantly defending themselves, despite ther popularity.

She never was able to attend Summit, as SPS released waitlists well into the school year, and that would have been too difficult for our family.
I do appreciate that they have gotten a little better about that.
Despite demand, the district never replicated the program.
We are solidly blue collar and low-moderate income, (depending on overtime,) but she attended private schools on scholarship as they offered support for her special needs. It was a disappointment she was not able to attend Summit K-12 and it was even more so when it was unceremoniously shuttered.

We may like choice in some areas of our lives, but we seem to want homogeneity in our schools, instead of realizing that appropriate and fair is not equal and identical.

Since this is the open thread, I also wondered where we are on foreign language as a graduation requirement.
All four yr colleges in our state require a minimum of two years of foreign language to apply, and most if not all, require a third year to graduate.
If we aim to give all ( more?) students the opportunity to attend college ( which is different than expecting them to do so), I believe it is important that we insure all students are taking a foreign language, which IMO, is just as important for their future as mathematics or english.

We currently seem to believe that high school students who are not prepared to attend college by high school graduation, can easily take those courses at a community college and transfer.
Yes, but.
Students who are not counseled to take a foreign language in high school likely have families that are not supportive or knowlegable of requirements to continue their education. They also may have learning differences which make academics more challenging, which convinces me that it is even more important to have language in k-12, where they can get federally mandated support, as opposed to waiting till later,when they will not be eligible for an IEP and the process of learning a language may be much more difficult as brain plasticity is reduced as we age.

If we are honest about reducing disproportionality, education is the key.
Anonymous said…
Melissa is right, we should call all people who we don't agree with - trolls. Gifted Ed is such a tragedy, we need to speak the truth with one voice.

2 years of foreign language is a graduation requirement under Core 24.

another reader
Outsider said…
It’s silly to speculate who FWIW is, because he is a totally normal and orthodox voice of leveling in SPS. He could be a hundred different people, and articulates faithfully the consensus of those who matter in the system. The same views are held by all the top SPS bureaucrats, state supt. candidate Reykdal, now apparently board member Geary, and perhaps the mayor too.

Open your eyes and connect the dots. Here are a few dots from this blog (entries in the last couple of mothts):

"Former Queen Anne principal, David Elliott, is opening a private school, Solve for (x) School. They have a fairly specific page on qualities they want (or want to develop) in students."

This as advanced learning in SPS middle schools is being eliminated. N.B. annual tuition is $15,500.

"I have taught around the world and know well that in other large democracies, every middle class family who can scrape together any amount of private school tuition for their children makes that their number one priority. The next thing they do is build walls with shards of glass on top and hire private security guards to protect them. The more we coopt our public school system to aid in separating kids in the name of 'families doing what’s best for their children,' the further we will go down this same Third World path." [Comment by SPS principal who advocates equity and elimination of advanced learning]

The duplicity or simple dimness of this person is breathtaking. Availability of advanced learning is what could make middle class families want to stay in the public schools. This principal is quarterback of the team that is working hard to create the exact class divisions in Seattle that he claims to dislike in other countries.

"In a NY Times column yesterday, How the Other Fifth Lives, Thomas B. Edsall describes how those at the top are insulating themselves while shaping the institutions that serve the rest of us. Edsall examines the updated research of Sean Reardon and Kendra Bishoff, sociologists who have been examining these trends: 'The self-segregation of a privileged fifth of the population is changing the American social order and the American political system, creating a self-perpetuating class at the top, which is ever more difficult to break into.'"

No kidding, and leveling of the public schools to the 30th percentile is a key mechanism for insulating the over-class. If you can’t afford private school, you don't get a good education. It's a tag-team effort between PC activists like FWIW and the wealthy. After stating it plainly, it's possible to start imagining what sort of society these people have in mind.

The one thing I still wonder is why the Mayor would climb on this bandwagon, considering that private school tuition on top of already crazy housing prices would seem to make Seattle unattractive to the sort of knowledge workers upon which Seattle's current boom is based. How can Amazon et al. continue to expand here if their employees don't want to work here? Or is that the whole point maybe?
Anonymous said…
"No kidding, and leveling of the public schools to the 30th percentile is a key mechanism for insulating the over-class. If you can’t afford private school, you don't get a good education."


Also, will any great scientific discoveries come from SPS-educated kids? I'm thinking it's not likely. Doesn't our society need some of these kids to solve complex environmental and medical problems?

At my kid's MS graduation, all the special awards were given to well-liked, extroverted kids..."humanitarians". The introverts who studied hard, didn't cause problems and graduated with high GPAs were ignored. No awards for academic performance. Maybe they think some kids just have it easy in the classroom and shouldn't be rewarded. But being popular also comes easy to some kids, and is excruciatingly difficult for others. Anyway, the message sent was that academics don't matter. We all need to be outgoing and popular. Other parents noticed too. Honestly, I think the administrators don't like "smart" kids.

Introvert's Parent
Anonymous said…
"As to Jill Geary. During last year's campaign she touted the fact that she had a "twice-exceptional" child and understood the concerns and needs of parents of gifted and SpEd kids. She said she knew how to fight for them and would do so."

Geary, in my opinion is a huge disappointment. Yes, she did make it seem like she would fight for SPED and AL, but if you listened to her in the final forums she pivoted away from her earlier remarks and made it clear she would not work outside the normal chain of command and would use her experience as a lawyer to DEFEND THE DISTRICT not students. As a typical politician she setup a contradiction to cover both arguments if cornered. If I were to choose who would most likely be the Mayors minion, Geary would be my top choice.

I also find her reference to her 2e child disingenuous, because I find it difficult to categorize a student who graduated one year early from an IB program as 2e when comparing her child circumstances against others.

Dirty Bird
Anonymous said…
I'm not a big Geary fan, but it seems to me a 2e child graduating early from an IB program is exactly what we hope for for our 2e students. Maybe Geary just did an excellent job advocating for accomodations. Being disabled is not supposed to prevent a child from achieving as highly as our district allows, and I consider this a success of the district, or of the child's parents. I hope she uses that ability to advocate for other 2e students(or at the very least stops throwing advanced students under the bus.)

That reminds me, though, is anything changing at Laurelhurst as a result of the meetings and problems last school year? I was worried about that school last year, and wondered how much she had to do with it all (either creating or improving the situation).

Anonymous said…
Situational ethics--there used to be a policy here about talking about someone's child.
The speculation about Jill Geary's child is beyond the pale.

This is becoming like the Breitbart News. You agree with us, you get a pass.
You disagree, you are called a "troll" or the policies aren't applied to you.

The readers notice.


Anonymous said…
Privilege gives ground unwillingly.

Director Geary spoke of her child - in broad terms about her own experiences in SPS - during the campaign. I don't think she has any problem with a reference about that in any discussion. You could ask her.
Charlie Mas said…
I disagree with FWIW. This blog does not speak with one voice. Each contributor and commenter speaks for themselves with their own voice. Any talk about the voice of the blog, as if it spoke with a single voice reflects a failure to see a fundamental truth. Of course, people are free to go on about that as well. The policy of the blog is to do minimal censoring.

I agree with FWIW, however, that the recent comments by Dirty Bird and Sleeper came dangerously close to violating the blog's norm that precludes discussing the education of identifiable individual students. It's okay for people to disclose the facts of their own or their child's education if they so wish; it is not okay to discuss the education of another's child. Given the low level of detail and the context of Director Geary's advocacy these comments are in a gray area. I will delete comments that clearly cross the line.

Finally, on the general topic of academic achievement for students with disabilities, I would like to remind everyone that only about a small fraction of Special Education students have a cognitive disability and, therefore, given the appropriate accommodation, all of the others should be able to achieve academically on a par with their normally developing peers. The fact that any student is able to do so is a shining example of what we all hope to achieve as a public school system and should become expected rather than exceptional. Frankly, I'm ambitious for those with cognitive disabilities as well.
Anonymous said…
Geary promoted herself as an advocate for SPED and referenced her child many times in support of her candidacy.

It was Geary who elaborated on the issue in a way that I felt she was trying to dial back her SPED/2E experience. "My student just needed extra time to fully express the answers" is what I believe she said when pressed for details on 2E.

Historically, SPED students fully participating in an IB program is NOT typical in SPS and graduating a year early is almost not heard of 2E or Gen Ed.

Draw your own conclusion on Geary.

Dirty Bird
Anonymous said…
Dirty Bird,

You may not be familiar with the IB program at Ingraham. There are quite a few 2E students in that program, some in SPED & some with 504's. There were about 80 students who completed the diploma in junior year this year, not sure how many of those have IEP's or 504's but certain of some that I know personally. They are able to graduate early in that case, though most choose not to.

-2E Parent
Anonymous said…
The term twice exceptional, often abbreviated as 2e, has only recently entered educators' lexicon and refers to intellectually gifted children who have some form of disability. These children are considered exceptional both because of their intellectual gifts and because of their special needs.

SPED is not 504, to be considered SPED in SPS you must be on an IEP. I would be interested in the data on SPED students with learning impacting disabilities that attend IB classes, graduate with an IB diploma and especially those who graduate early.

To get an IEP, there are two requirements:

A child has one or more of the 13 specific disabilities listed in IDEA. Learning and attention issues may qualify.
The disability must affect the child’s educational performance and/or ability to learn and benefit from the general education curriculum.

To get a 504 plan, there are two requirements:

A child has any disability, which can include many learning or attention issues.
The disability must interfere with the child’s ability to learn in a general education classroom. Section 504 has a broader definition of a disability than IDEA. That’s why a child who doesn’t qualify for an IEP might still be able to get a 504 plan. 504s usually define access to education like requiring an elevator or wheel chair ramp and even assistive technology for DHOH, blind or others.

I think you are possibly exaggerating the "quite a few" part. I don't believe in counting the socially introverted or Asperger's Syndrome when considering if a child suffers from a learning disability, but many people do. I would be shocked if there are very many IEP students that graduate period let alone from the IB program. In raw numbers SPED students fail to graduate at the highest percentage of all group in SPS. It just seems a stretch to believe it would be possible for them to graduate from the IB program.

I also happen to know Ingraham has had several civil rights complaints and OSPI complaints regarding discriminatory practices around its IB program. It's not so inclusive as people claim.

Dirty Bird
You don't consider Asperger's to include a learning disability? You don't know Asperger's then. (I say this as a parent.)

If you think someone is exaggerating what they say, I'd then like to see your evidence of civil rights complaints for Ingraham's IB program.
Anonymous said…
Simply, do a FOIA request and voila.

No disrespect around Asperger's it's just the spectrum is wide and I did add in a second qualifier.

I do know many people at Microsoft in the category of Asperger's. It's really common here and in the computer science field. (you know this). I would not consider my co-workers disabled in the academic sense at all. I would consider them gifted and highly focused.

Many lack developed social skills, a sense of humor, and ability to cope with major change, they are not learning disabled.

Dirty Bird
Again, my experience (in a group of parents of Asperger's students) is that there are difficulities in learning related to the inability to organize and focus on subjects beyond what the student may want to just focus on.

And sorry, that "you go do the work," way too much. So I'm taking your statements on civil rights complaints as something you heard.
Anonymous said…
Dirty Bird, clearly you do not understand the impact that weaknesses in executive functioning can have on school performance and how debilitating it can be. Common in students with ASD or ADHD

2E Mom
checking in said…
The people with whom you work are clearly not representative of the full range of Asperger's Syndrome. Not at all. My school has had children with Aspergers Syndrome that will probably never be accepted socially or even have any sort of employment such as you're describing. Dirty Bird, you are simply not well informed on that topic.
Anonymous said…
I think you are confusing ASD and Asperger, I think I will now school you on Asperger's;

Asperger syndrome is one of several previously separate subtypes of autism that were folded into the single diagnosis autism spectrum disorder (ASD) with the publication of the DSM-5 diagnostic manual in 2013.

Asperger syndrome was generally considered to be on the “high functioning” end of the spectrum. Affected children and adults have difficulty with social interactions and exhibit a restricted range of interests and/or repetitive behaviors. Motor development may be delayed, leading to clumsiness or uncoordinated motor movements. Compared with those affected by other forms of ASD, however, those with Asperger syndrome do not have significant delays or difficulties in language or cognitive development. Some even demonstrate precocious vocabulary – often in a highly specialized field of interest.

The following behaviors are often associated with Asperger syndrome. However, they are seldom all present in any one individual and vary widely in degree:

• limited or inappropriate social interactions
• "robotic" or repetitive speech
• challenges with nonverbal communication (gestures, facial expression, etc.) coupled with average to above average verbal skills
• tendency to discuss self rather than others
• inability to understand social/emotional issues or nonliteral phrases
• lack of eye contact or reciprocal conversation
• obsession with specific, often unusual, topics
• one-sided conversations
• awkward movements and/or mannerisms

In the fields of computer science it very difficult for the most people to recognize Aspergers, the average person simply refers to them as Geeks.

Dirty Bird
Anonymous said…
Charlie - I have to say, as a parent of a student with a significant disability - you are off base here. Your notion of disability is quite whimsical. The district does not regularly publish the types of disabilities nor the cognitive disability status of its students. So, it is really not known whether "most students with disabilities have" normal intelligence or not. What we do know, that the most common qualification of disability, SLD "specific learning disability" have a discrepancy between their measured IQ and the academic achievement. This does not mean that they do not have cognitive impairments. Some do. Some don't. A student with an IQ of 80 could have a learning disability. This makes academic achievement difficult. Many students have impaired cognition which prevents qualification in other domains. Impaired does not mean disabled. And finally, many people rightly resist a category of intellectual disability - and opt instead for a learning disability if they can get it. And usually they can. The district does not seek to stigmatize.

Furthermore - intellectual status does not mean that "given the right instruction a person with normal cognitive ability can and will learn at standard". That happens nowhere in the country. Or, in the world, that I know of. And, therefore, there is no evidence that this is a true statement even though we might all wish it was true. There are many autistic people, for example, who have normal IQs but who still have grave impediments to their academic performance - who will not "reach standard" no matter the instruction. And, this is true for other disability categories too. In some states (California) - IQ is not even permitted in evaluation because it is not predictive of anything. The district is still obligated to provide students, regardless of cognitive ability, a free and appropriate education, in the least restrictive environment. This does not mean that there will be equal achievement - even amongst students who are not cognitively impacted. Many factors, not all of which can be mitigated through education, affect academic achievement.

Lynn said…
Dirty Bird you don't know what you're talking about. You may have had coworkers with Asperger's but that does not mean all people with Asperger's are working with a skill set that makes them employable. Many are more seriously affected by the symptoms of this type of autism. (How did you know your coworkers had been diagnosed?)
Lynn said…
That data used to be published as part of the report that Carol Simmons has asked the district to update.

Take a look at page 36 of the 2010 report. In that year 14.5% of students were identified as having special education needs. The categories were:

5.3% Specific Learning Disability
2.2% Developmentally Delayed (Preschool)
.7% Emotional Behavioral Disability
3.9% Health Impaired
.3% Intellectually Disabled
.1% Multi-Handicapped
1.7% Communication Disordered
.1% Hard of Hearing
Anonymous said…
2010 report is nearly worthless - but if done right might be interesting. For example:

There is nobody in the district qualifying in the autism eligibility category? I know this to be false and that we've got a lot of autism in SPS. But they aren't in the document. Why not? Where is the traumatic brain injury category? (according to this very old document, there isn't any of that either) The numbers here do not add up to 14.5%. Furthermore why is (Preschool) included in a percentage? The district does not have a universal preschool mandate. Including disabled preschoolers in the count as a percentage gives a bigger overall disability percentage number than it should.

And to the point of "cognitive ability". The intellectual disability category has only 0.3%. ??? Intellectual disability is defined as 2 standard deviations below the norm - or about 2%. ???? This means SPS is missing about 90% of the students with intellectual disability! Where are they???? Is this the Lake Woebegon Inverse HCC phenomenon? The truth is - students with intellectual disability are actually categorized in other categories. (my earlier point) Furthermore - many students who are in other categories actually have cognitive issues, perhaps not in the lowest 2%, but still impaired.

So. Even if the district published this regularly, and fixed all the errors - it would say nearly nothing about cognitive abilities that we could make predictions from. It would be very illuminating for demographic reasons though. The 27% Native American disability rate - points to huge problems with RTTI, equity, and regular education. Problems that should absolutely be addressed.

Lynn said…
Can you help me understand the reason you state that the high Native American disability rate is indicative of problems with RTTI, equity and regular education? It's not an SPS-specific problem.

From a 2015 US DOE report to Congress:

American Indian or Alaska Native students ages 6 through 21 were 3.8 times more likely to be served under IDEA, Part B, for developmental delay than students ages 6 through 21 in all other racial/ethnic groups combined. The risk ratio for American Indian or Alaska Native students ages 6 through 21 was larger than the risk ratio for the students ages 6 through 21 in all other racial/ethnic groups combined for all disability categories except autism (0.88) and orthopedic impairments (0.95).
Anonymous said…
A chosen category for SDI does not give a full picture, a student may have two or more areas but usually the Team will chose one that best fits or describes the student. autism may be under OHI, DD is often used up to age 9 until (and required) a more definitive category can/must be chosen. Not sure why preschool is next to DD since it is an allowed category to age 9, but yes, most students start there to avoid "labeling". Ame deficits in executive functioning, social skills, behavior, motor delays can all cause delays in academics. Everything is connected.

Anonymous said…
Under IDEA - cultural and environmental opportunity and prior education are specifically excluded from categorization as "disabled". When such a wide swath of one population is labelled disabled, predominantly SLD, it points to cultural and environmental reasons for failure to perform. From the law itself

Disorders not included. Specific learning disability does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities, of mental retardation, of emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.

If you can be educated back to non-disabled functioning - some would argue you don't have a disability, you have a failure of general education to do what is necessary to educate all children, which is still the obligation of general education. RTTI is a vehicle for that. This is not to say that students failing to thrive, shouldn't be served. The question is who should provide the service.

A few years ago, Hispanic students made up a huge percentage of students with "Communication Disorder". Does that make any sense? The most likely explanation is that students with ELL needs were being referred to special education because they have not been taught English. You are not "Communication Disordered" because you haven't learned a certain language.


Dirty Bird, you are going to school me? My son has Asperger's and my late husband worked in a computer science department but thanks anyway.
Anonymous said…
ESA - SDI has nothing to do with the disability category a person has qualified in. Under the DSMV (not an educational document), people with autism are not supposed to get a diagnosis of ADHD, mostly qualifying under OHI. All services are supposed to be available to all students who qualify. But the reality is, some disability categories, like autism, have led to more extensive programming. And other disability categories have been woefully neglected. EBD is likely to lead a student to programs leading to prison outcomes. Intellectual Disability is a license for the district to do nothing at all. This is why parents want certain categories and not others. DD is not a federal category, it is a state category up until age 9.

Anonymous said…
No, you are nu-school able (?) The original topic was Geary and I think she purposely exaggerated the severity of the situation and when pressed she backed off and re-stated the true nature of the situation.

ASD has a range with Asperger's being on the highly functional end, I'm not sure Asperger's has it's own scale like the ASD model, but it could.

I find most Asperger's students can do the work and more without impediments, that is not true for the majority of SPED.

Dirty Bird
Anonymous said…
Speddie, you're right, I meant IEP, not SDI (which goes hand in hand most of the time), and you cannot get an IEP without a qualifying area. And of course, since we are talking about a WA school I included DD (which is allowed for States under IDEA). And it's true you will find many students being put under DD that have other issues, especially autism, CD, and SLD, since you need either a diagnosis (which for many reasons can take years to get) and/or documentation and many psych's won't dx CD and SLD until after 1st or 2nd grade since (wrongly, IMHO), they use a discrepancy model. Don't even get me started on the dire situation for Dyslexia.

Anonymous said…
Dirty Bird - Aspergers no longer exists as a diagnosis in the DSM V, and it never was a federal qualifying category for anything. Aspergers doesn't exist because studies proved there was no clinical differentiation between Aspergers and Autism in adults. If a child had no language at age 5 - but his language developed in late childhood, that child as an might appear clinically indistinguishable from an adult diagnosed with Aspergers. I know of quite a few people with Aspergers disabilities who are also quite disabled, and some who even have significant cognitive issues. A diagnosis does not give functioning level or imply outcome. Which is my complaint with Charlie's comment. All of SPED qualification is based on a discrepancy model from standard. It's not surprising that students with disabilities struggle to do the work - that is why they are qualified in the first place. And that is true for students with issues in areas that may not appear to have an academic impact, social, organization, specific learning areas. You only qualify for special education, if these areas actually impede academic progress. The level to which any given student can achieve is not known and shouldn't be assumed. It is always good to assume the most capability - and then dial it back when you have to.

"I find most Asperger's students can do the work and more without impediments, that is not true for the majority of SPED."

Are you a teacher? Because if not, what is the basis for that statement?

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