True. A close friend, pursuing her masters in education is appalled at the stories fellow students share. For example, the 4th grader in Hanover who will be passed up to 5th grade because the teacher is not allowed to recommend “certain” evaluations. The parents can ask, but the teachers can’t recommend (shhh, budget ya know). If the parents don’t know to ask, they won’t ask, therefore the town doesn’t have to provide….
Oh yes, the 4the grader can’t read, so she qualifies for a special exemption from the MCAS…HUH? Yeah, she doesn’t take the test. Good, the town’s pass rate is not affected, budget for testing and evaluation and special services preserved. Who is looking out for the child? The parents think she is fine, teacher hasn’t indicated a need for special tests or services (because teacher can’t). Teacher too is pursuing masters to get to a place where s/he can actually teach, can actually recommend necessary help.
Teachers are evaluated on their MCAS pass scores -not on how well they truly "teach" children. Teachers in MA no longer relate academic facts to real life. No connections to reality beyond the test. No wonder our best teachers leave.
Then, when Lou gets them in college, they are not prepared to think for themselves or make independent assessments of anything. Logic, applied logic - huh? Rather, Duh? Reading?
To provide a good education for your child in MA today, you must do everything possible to find an "alternative solution". Find a Charter School, a Montessori school is ideal even if only for the first pre-school years as it sets a solid base of respect, confidence and character at the individual child’s pace. Private school is necessary if your child is smarter than average in math, languages or both.
Final note: Town doesn't really matter - wealthier towns have more money, and have figured out how to classify more kids as special needs - and NEVER EVER let them grow out of that classification (more public funding ya know). Look at the recent Cohasset story about the 13 year old who no longer needed special services - family sued, had lots of professionals saying he didn't need the "special" label any more. Family lost. Family now has to move or fund private school.
Not too proud to be in Cohasset these days.