We have experienced such a drastic change in our children's special education classes over the last 10 years that I find it appalling to refer to them as "special." Our children used to succeed because of attending these classes whereas now they are shuttled on to the next grade after a seemingly total disregard for their education.
Many of these students are failing tests and are not even close to being on par with the scholastic requirements for the grade level they are attending. Then they are moved or should I say "pushed" onto the next grade without being given the proper "special" attention, individual or otherwise, they so desperately need and we, as parents, so desperately expect. Some parents of these students have gone so far as to incur the added expense of hiring a private tutor to complete the tasks our teachers are neglecting.
Where is the responsibility? Why are we paying our teachers so much, if we have to afford to keep hiring tutors! We should not have to fight with the Hicksville School District's Special Education Department to get them to administer the special education classes our children are entitled to and basically require during their formative years if they are to have a chance of succeeding in the future.
When my child was entering the third grade she could not read and could barely write at the level she should have been. Both her first and second grade special education teachers were straight out of college themselves. My child "graduated" fifth grade without being able to add or subtract simple three digit numbers. How does a special education system allow a student to move forward without adequately completing basic math?
As she entered high school, she still wasn't proficient in the basic times table. It makes you begin to wonder where the experienced teachers are. It appears that they are no longer in Hicksville. I understand all new teachers need to start somewhere but when my child's education is suffering as a result of her teacher's lack of experience, you start to wonder if the Department of Education's standards for teachers have also dropped.
Hicksville once had boundless talented principals and teachers. Notice I said "once had." Why do they keep leaving our district? Are they being forced to retire? We send our children for after school tutoring in the lunchroom. The teacher attends to "other" duties. What's wrong with this scenario? How are our children supposed to acquire knowledge in this type of overextended environment? I would gladly be one of the first parents to opt for sending my child to a private school if I didn't have to pay local public school taxes.
Our children's education is being flagrantly mishandled by a glaring lack of experienced leadership. If we don't, as a community, get together and do something today by raising our special education standards and tossing aside bureaucratic complacency, then our children will suffer academically and so will their hope of a promising future.