RECENTLY ON TOL:
- A tumblr site dedicated to the people and places that make up Oregon and Southwest Washington.
on Left Behind
I can't speak for all dropouts, but from my experience a significant contributor to the dropout rate is the PPS fundamental inability to accommodate and respond to kids with learning disabilities or with learning styles that do not fit well within the mass-production format of the existing system. My step-daughter with a non-verbal learning disability required creativity and siginificant accommodation to stay within the public school system- things like e-mailing assignments to the teacher, posting assignments on a web page, relief from strict tardiness requirements. The PPS could not accommodate these needs. (Her NLD required tremendous effort on her part just to accomplish normal everyday tasks. She could not track paper, or function timely in the distraction of school hallways.) She dropped out and got her GED. My son was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome and had similar difficulties, and although he stuck with the system, the system did not help much.
PPS personnel are not trained to recognize learning disabilities in those kids whose parents may not be as attuned or have resources available. Teachers do not have the flexibility, and PPS does not provide the creativity, to meet the special needs of kids outside of the bell-curve of the mass market education population. The special education programs and IEP programs are unimaginitive, ineffective and, quite simply, a joke. In my experience as a parent, the only value of an IEP is that it gives a parent guaranteed access to a meeting with the teacher and the administration. Beyond that, the accomodations offered were inadequate, unimaginitive and ineffective.
From my observation, a high percentage of dropouts and poor performance among students relates to the inflexibility of the educational program, and the inability of the system to engage the distinctive learning styles of students who do not function well in the standard "sit and listen" format of the classroom. Until the educational system attains the flexibility to engage the natural abilities of all of the students, it is doomed to fail.
posted 4 years, 1 month ago
view in context