Boyhood disorder

Schools shortchange boys by labeling their aggressive, rational natures as behavioral disorders, writes teacher Gerry Garibaldi in the summer issue of City Journal.

Special ed is the great spangled elephant in the education parade. Each year, it grows larger and more lumbering, drawing more and more boys into the procession . . . Special ed now is the single largest budget item, outside of basic operations, in most school districts across the country.

Boys know exactly how little they can get away with doing — or having the special ed aide do for them, he writes.

About Joanne


  1. Wayne Martin says:

    Special Ed expenditures range from 15%-25% of school district budgets, but the number is generally not clearly called out in most budgets.

    In my school district, there is a very agressive “special education” lobby that makes its presence known frequently.

  2. widebody says:

    It used to be that “Special Ed” had only negative connotations. But today’s parents are fighting to get their children into Special Education programs. Increasingly, this is not because of any specific learning or behavioral disorder, but because these programs are usually less demanding academically and include a multitude of special accomodations. If the parents are tenacious enough, they get their way.

    At my school, we’re no longer permitted to refer to it as Special Education — it is now to be called “Exceptional Education.” Yet another example of upward mobility through language (“I grew up on a dead-end street, but now I live on a cul-de-sac.”).

  3. The linked article is really negative on IEPs. So whaddya think Joanne Jacobs – is getting a young boy into an IEP a good thing or a bad thing?