So off I slogged to school this morning, to talk with Joey's teachers. Here in the Old Dominion, special ed kids are sent home report cards like everyone else- and based on the "norm" of a regular classroom performance. Kind of. So although Joey is reading on a first grade level, writing sentences, and doing simple subtraction, he is not assigned a grade of "successful", but instead a line of "progressing with effort." The other choice is "needs improvement." Why is he not considered "successful"? Because he cannot answer questions consistently.
Remember that my kid has a serious expressive communication disability.
This is kind of like giving a blind child a poor report in reading because the child cannot see the page, even though they can read braille fluently. Give the kid in the wheelchair a poor report for phys ed, because the child cannot walk, even though they have a wickedly good throwing arm. No, I have a better one. Give the deaf child a poor report in language arts because, although they can both sign and speak, they cannot maintain consistent pitch or always pronounce a sound clearly and at consistent volume.
In other words, this piece of paper is, for us, trash. Wasted pulp. Someone call in the police, we have murdered a tree with malice aforethought. All it tells me is that Joey cannot perform at the same consistent level of a non-disabled peer in areas where he must use spoken language to prove his understanding of the material. Nuh.
But that's not why I'm blogging about this.
In the middle of this discussion, and the discussion of how to explain to Joey's family that this piece of paper tells us exactly nothing, another school employee wanders in, and notes that if Joey does too well on this piece of paper, they will start talking about taking him out of the self-contained setting.
Now, that is likely very true. And if he was getting really great grades, maybe it is something that ought to be considered. We are certainly thinking about giving him more time in an inclusion setting. However, it was not the bare statement that's really the problem- its the way this person says these kinds of things. It's like she's saying we shouldn't be striving to help and support Joey, because then "they" are going to yank service. The only person who has tried to yank service based on a piece of paper has been... well, her. There is a tone of "if your kid does too well, then he's going to get tossed." Excuse me? Because support is working, you're going to try to yank it?
If that's a warning, thank you. If not, shut your mouth and be civil for once.