Comments About Loss of Special Education Teachers (in B.C.) & Increases in # of SN Students

Thank You–for posting my comment A.C.! View original post @

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: 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 @

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).


Filed under Classroom Management, Curriculum and Instruction, Education, professional Development, School Reform Initiatives & Professional Development Strategies

2 responses to “Comments About Loss of Special Education Teachers (in B.C.) & Increases in # of SN Students

  1. This resonates with me so much. When I was six I had a friend in school (In Zimbabwe, in a school based on the British system of education) and we always used to get in trouble together. I managed to disguise my hyperactivity but he got sent to special education and we never really spoke again. Whenever we did meet he always seemed like an intelligent fellow, but he was in special ed and I wasn’t. After we were 12 and left primary school for high school I never saw him again.

    Even though it was many years ago and I was too young to understand what special ed was I am still ashamed because I left him there while I could feel in my heart that he was exactly the same as me. I could not have done much, but I should still have been a good friend, however the system separated us so well. I hardly ever saw him outside of assemblies. Here was a fellow who was just like me but because he could not hide/lie as well as I, he was put in a different class.

    The funding system was not the same as parents had to pay for education in Zimbabwe, but in many instances the children in special ed were held back for a year or more and the parents had to pay for those years. I do not know if they also had to pay extra for special ed.

    For me this indicates that the current education systems are a money making machine for some people who wish to abuse it.

    I think we really need to change the way we approach education for all. Not just those who need more help, but we need to improve the quality of education for all.

  2. I agree with you so much. ” There are no incentives to remove students from SN programs.” I had a sister in this program and she worked to get out and graduate with a diploma. I knew there wasn’t anything wrong with her but my biological parents got money from the government for this was considered a disability. Now you have absolutely normal kids with natural energy who are diagnosed with all kinds of issues such as ADD, ADHD, and etc., they all think something is wrong with them. I personally think it’s sick, but that’s another way to make money in America.

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