Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Higher Graduation = More Remediation?!?!?

I am not sure how they can explain this one away! The Denver Post reported last week that while High School dropout rates have dropped and more students are graduating, colleges are reporting that they are now having to provide more remedial classes.

This doesn't make much sense to me. But then again neither does the teacher changing a grade because the administration put pressure on them for failing too many kids or because the parent called to ask what all those extra special education classes are for if the child isn't succeeding in the classroom. Instead, it seems that the schools are lowering their standards rather than figuring out how to teach these children. However, I am not sure that is the only thing going on here. In our label happy, over medicated, and over stimulated society, I think we have hyped up disability as an excuse.

Yes, I did say that. I work with children and adults who have disabilities on a daily basis. It is very real and for some it impedes their ability to live independently. Yet, I see some families and therefore their kids using that excuse as an explanation for their failure. They become apathetic and no longer want to take personal responsibility for their own actions. It is something that has become more and more prevalent in our society and it makes me sad.

In my generation, Special Education was just beginning its movement. It was about bringing those kids and adults, who were hidden in the shadows, out to shine in the spotlight! Yet children who didn't fit in the mainstream had to find their own way. Hundreds of children went undiagnosed with Aspergers, AD/HD, sensory, or processing disorders. They had to forge ahead like those before them. Many of those people went on to be our best scientists and out of the box thinkers.

So how do we change the mindset? How do we get kids back on their feet, confident in themselves and their own abilities? I know that I don't have all the answers, but I am sure going to try everything I can to make every child and adult I work with see the value of wanting to learn, setting goals, and reaching for the stars! For my students, there is no excuse for not trying their hardest and working towards their goals.

Oh, and one more thing, it is  ok  fantastic to be different! That is what makes you special and uniquely who you are.


  1. It is so true that it's fantastic to be different. Each child has potential to achieve and teachers and parents should inspire them to be the best they can be.

  2. I think this has a lot to due with the fact that schools just want to boast that they have a high graduation rate. Not everyone wants to go to college, but popular opinion has it that everyone should attend higher learning and the government should pay for it. Translation, people who don't want to go college or people who would not benefit from going will be subsidized by the American taxpayer. This is just another piece of the the ongoing saga of wasting resources and not giving people the education that they need to be successful in society, rather the eduction that is politically correct.