A Delaware teacher responds to a handout extolling full inclusion of disabled students in mainstream classrooms. As the handout puts it: All teachers are “given the opportunity to fully teach all students” when students with different needs are “not placed in segregated settings.”
Isn’t it nice that we’re being “given the opportunity?” . . . like they’ve been withholding some kind of privilege. And how about the fact that students are put in “segregated settings” (love the civil rights language, by the way) because they need more intensive help than the regular classroom teacher can provide and not bore the rest of the class that’s learning at the expected pace?
Here’s more from the handout:
This relatively new knowledge substantiates what many excellent educators have “known” for decades: that allowing for learner differences does not give students unfair advantages – learning is not a win lose situation, but gives teachers the opening to “level the playing field” of education so that all students have the best opportunity to learn.
The teacher wonders how to level a playing field when her class mixes honor students with special ed students.
And you’ve gotta love how they’ve spun the line about subtantiating what excellent teachers have known for decades. Like we’re wet-behind-the-ears, inexperienced know-nothings if we disagree with their theory.
When I was in elementary and middle school, I was bored most of the time because the class moved too slowly for me. I’d read surreptitiously; the teacher would leave me alone. And yet the class wasn’t slow enough for the slowest students. There was no racial or ethnic diversity, and very little income diversity. We just had normal human diversity, and it was enough to make a teacher’s job difficult. Mixing kids with radically different needs, abilities, achievement levels and English fluency doesn’t level the playing the field. Too often it levels the teacher.
Via Number 2 Pencil.