Thank You–for posting my comment A.C.! View original post @ http://andrewchernoff.wordpress.com
I commented: I’m not sure we should label (many) students as “special needs” (i.e. S.N.). Let me explain; all students ought to be treated equal! When we label children (for life) — then, we actually perpetuate their needs. I taught in a maximum security, juvenile justice setting and my students definitely had special needs. How did I respond (as a vocational/technology education instructor)? I treated all of my students just like I would a student at the college level. –(that is to say)– I had “high” expectations for their success.
I think that (in many cases) — once the SN label is applied to students “our” (collective) expectations for their success in the world decreases. Thus, “they” are doomed to fail as productive members in our society. LET ME CLEARLY STATE: I am not saying that “some” students will not succeed in overcoming their disadvantages! I am making a general statement regarding the harmful effects of setting low expectations for special need students. OK!
Then, there is the issue of funding SN students; (with budgets tightening) most administrators cannot afford the loss of funding for “their” special needs population (and that is a problem). Before I made this declarative statement, I checked out the facts. Source: http://www.ehow.com/facts_5962286_financial Under the section: Cost per Student–it is stated that: “States vary in the amount of funding per student. In the state of Washington, each school [district] receives over $3,500.00 per general education student and more than twice that amount for each special needs student.”
There are no incentives to remove students from SN programs into mainstream classes within the “general” student body (and society). Yes, I know many of these students do succeed via mainstreaming “policy initiatives”! However, I believe that — the incentive to declare “more” individuals as having special needs — “is tempting”. Let’s reconsider the term special needs and focus on educational reforms that take into account the needs of all students. My recent post dated Nov 21st-2013 (“Adapting Instructional Mechanisms to Accommodate Students with Special Needs”) is available @ https://kennethfetterman.wordpress.com
I believe that all educators ought to become proficient at adapting their instruction to accommodate students with special needs. We don’t always need a “special education” teacher to address this need. $$$ I shall not even go into the role that poverty has played in the lives of (otherwise normal children).