A couple of things are getting to me the last couple of days, not the least of which are the ways that the severely disabled actually end up with fewer rights than the abled, and yes, I can back that up. There are some things going on with Pearlsky, and there is the article mentioned by Lindsey in the last post’s comments (I will be talking about that soon, you need not look now) (but you can).
Instead of those issues right now (give me a day or two), here is something that came up today. I have alluded to my dismay with the No Child Left Behind laws and testing. I firmly believe the testing is a total farce for the severely disabled. The testing is mandatory for high school students in all states except California (bet you did not know that! yes, Californians can opt out, but school teachers and administrators can’t tell you that). Pearlsky and I have been on the television news, we were at the State House talking with senate leaders, etc. about how Pearlsky has fewer rights than the “normal” students and how crazy the test is. I actually got her out of it via loopholes, write to me offline if you are in such a fight and want some information.
This brings me to today. Basically, our state allows for a separate testing for the disabled, but the tests MUST still be to the curriculum for the age grade of the student. That’s right. Your severely disabled kid has to be tested on tenth grade math.
There is a young man in the sixth grade here, someone dear to me. He is severely disabled, and although he can reach and crawl, we believe his cognitive abilities are on a very low level. He has never shown communication, understanding, etc. And now he needs to take the first of many No Child Left Behind tests.
Now for the humor.
For the English part of the exam, my friend needs to be tested with this:
Determine the meaning of unfamiliar words using context clues (definition, example).
Now, dear readers, how on earth would you test one of our kids for this? How can you ever know if s/he “determined the meaning …” of anything?
Want to know how the school is doing it?
When given the prompt, the student will identify his picture in a field of two with 100% accuracy and 80% independence.
And now, hold on friends, here is the proof that this young man can “Determine the meaning of unfamiliar words using context clues” by identifying his picture out of two pictures …
That is a scan of a photocopy of the picture the teacher submitted as proof. No, I did not “photoshop” the sizes of the pictures, yes, the larger picture is a picture of him, yes, he is right-handed and always uses that dominant hand, and yes, they are serious.
Your tax dollars at work.