Too many waivers means too many kids leave unprepared

Our position: Restrictions are needed to combat the overuse of waivers from passing the state's graduation exam. Full Story
First Prev
of 4
Next Last
History Teacher

Chicago, IL

#1 Jul 28, 2007
First of all, let me say that I do agree with the premise, that there are WAY too many students granted waivers. However, once again the lack of intelligence of the Star Editorial Staff is apparent. Remember, folks, these are the same people who told us earlier this week that Illegal Aliens are not criminals...remember that one?

So here's the paragraph that set me off:

" There's little evidence that those getting the waivers are special education students: Some argue that most of the students being granted waivers suffer from either a learning disability or are in special-education classes. While there is no breakdown currently available, that would be statistically unlikely."

OF COURSE there's "little evidence" because you just admitted that, "While there is no breakdown currently available"!!! DUH. It's kind of difficult to find any evidence of ANYTHING when there's no available information about it, isn't it genius?!?

But I disagree anyway---statistics don't work in this case. The vast majority of Special Ed kids simply can't pass the test--aren't ABLE to pass the test--that's why they're in Special Ed classes to begin with. Their numbers shouldn't even be included with the main student population in the first place, and if it were't for Teddy Kennedy (who wrote it) and George Bush's (who approved it) ridiculous "No Child Left Behind Act" they wouldn't be.

In the future, Star Editorial Staff, please don't bother using "logic" in your editorials, because you obviously don't have that gift.
Mike

Detroit, MI

#2 Jul 28, 2007
Throw more money at them, build a new foot ball stadium, or olympic pool, that seems to improve education otherwise why would we continue to do it ?That wouldnt be logical RAISE PROPERTY TAXES TO FUND IT or did we already do that?
Little E

United States

#3 Jul 28, 2007
Mike wrote:
Throw more money at them, build a new foot ball stadium, or olympic pool, that seems to improve education otherwise why would we continue to do it ?That wouldnt be logical RAISE PROPERTY TAXES TO FUND IT or did we already do that?
Way off topic. This isn't Ben Davis Junior College that got its wealth from IPS busing funds. This is just trying to maintain the same facilites past mayors have neglected. When the price of fuel, gas or health care goes up for the rest of us, it goes up for IPS too. Throw in older ineffienct heating systems and poor, old drafty windows and we end up wasting more money. Go into any township school with their fulltime registered nurse, school counselor and air conditioning and tell me that the IPS kids don't deserve the same? Yet we test them as if they are on the same level playing field.(In some states, where educatiuon is a priority, and not a distraction like it is here, poor districts have sued the state and won on the grounds of a fair and equal education. It was shot down here by a judge before it could get far- who would've thought)? The public schools are being demonized for the property tax problem when, actually, on most people's bills, school spending between last year and this year stayed the same. The huge increase was when Mitch and some clever politicians shifted state social services to the counties. Now the stae says, "Hey we're in the black." Yeah you passed the bill to the counties. The largest increase was in social services from last year to this year. Schools have always been 50% of the proerty taxes and no one said a thing.
Little E

United States

#4 Jul 28, 2007
Mike wrote:
Throw more money at them, build a new foot ball stadium, or olympic pool, that seems to improve education otherwise why would we continue to do it ?That wouldnt be logical RAISE PROPERTY TAXES TO FUND IT or did we already do that?
IPS schools are the same if not better than they were 30 years ago. FACT Maybe better! While the schools aren't broke...the families are. Giving an ISTEP test to a kid who doesn't speak English after being in the country for a year is the stupidest thing the Indiana DOE can do. When crime stats go up we don't penalize the police and people want to throw more cash at them. However when we don't like our test scores we penalize those schools and teachers. Strange logic. Both cops and teacher have organized unions representing them. How about this fact, most teachers don't belong to ANY union because they don't see the benefit. They have a good point since most have been stripped of any negociating power years ago. There is no negociating , it is a take it or leave it situation. People get too much misinformation from talk radio and they don't see talk radio's private agenda like they see other hidden agendas out there.
Special

AOL

#5 Jul 28, 2007
The article is right on target and waivers need to be looked into. Special Ed students are not getting a high percentage of the waivers in IPS. One would be shocked if they actually saw the portfolio that was submitted, who and how it was put together and approved as demonstration of 9th grade level work. While I agree that Special Ed students should fall into a different testing system, there should be accountability for all students leaving high school and at least having basic, life skills.

Now look at those that went on to college, had to take remedial courses and/or failed because they were not prepared but yet had a transcript that was glowing. NCLB is only producing schools that find clever ways to get around the law. Education must get back to teaching and not testing.
Ron Willett

New Bremen, OH

#6 Jul 28, 2007
"State education officials could exercise far greater oversight in this area but they haven't, claiming that there's no law explicitly saying that they must." The unchecked curse of S.R. and "Mitch the dull knife."

It is certainly not a mystery why Indiana is challenged in its educational systems. What is a mystery, is why a state having other human resources with both wits and courage, eschews both in addressing its K-12 degradation?

www.newbremenjournal.com , K-12 Education, Parts 1-3.
Bravo

United States

#7 Jul 28, 2007
History Teacher wrote:
First of all, let me say that I do agree with the premise, that there are WAY too many students granted waivers. However, once again the lack of intelligence of the Star Editorial Staff is apparent. Remember, folks, these are the same people who told us earlier this week that Illegal Aliens are not criminals...remember that one?
So here's the paragraph that set me off:
" There's little evidence that those getting the waivers are special education students: Some argue that most of the students being granted waivers suffer from either a learning disability or are in special-education classes. While there is no breakdown currently available, that would be statistically unlikely."
OF COURSE there's "little evidence" because you just admitted that, "While there is no breakdown currently available"!!! DUH. It's kind of difficult to find any evidence of ANYTHING when there's no available information about it, isn't it genius?!?
But I disagree anyway---statistics don't work in this case. The vast majority of Special Ed kids simply can't pass the test--aren't ABLE to pass the test--that's why they're in Special Ed classes to begin with. Their numbers shouldn't even be included with the main student population in the first place, and if it were't for Teddy Kennedy (who wrote it) and George Bush's (who approved it) ridiculous "No Child Left Behind Act" they wouldn't be.
In the future, Star Editorial Staff, please don't bother using "logic" in your editorials, because you obviously don't have that gift.
Most schools have been taking kids off of or are being discouraged from placing kids in special ed or getting them help because they would creating a sub group. If that sub group of 30 or more students ISTEP scores don't increase every year, as per NCLB, then that school goes on AYP and gets further sanctions for those 30. Regardless if the rest of the school has a 90% passing rate. Special ed kids are only going to do so well. Let me see, where would I most likey find special ed kids? Would it be in poor and urban areas? I've even see critics complain that a certain group of minority boys are being placed in special ed.unfairly. That practice stopped 20 years ago, but if it walks like a duck...most likely it's a duck. Doesn't take a genius to prescribe extra help for a kid that can't do the work that the STATE and the FEDS say he has to know.We don't test them differently. So fewer and fewer kids are not getting the special help they so desperatly need because schools are trying to escape sanctions. I wonder when parents are going to get involved and see where these kids are getting cheated and that they deserve all the help they can get? Where is the vocational classes? Oh I see that would cut into IVY Tech's profit margin? It could be done at the school level where kids could see why they are in school by actually leaning a job skill that will make them self-sufficient. I think that most would agree that college is vastly over rated yet we try to put ALL of these kids on a college track. Special ed kids deserve better than this,no wonder they drop out.
JCS

United States

#9 Jul 28, 2007
When local schools accept money from state and federal government agencies they are forced to do certain things. These things are mostly not good for each local school situation.(Inclusion is a good example.) And each school system is different than the one next to it or across the state.

Along with this problem, teachers have been allowed less and less input into education over the past 25 years or so. Many administrators ( many of which started out teaching with the idea of getting out of the classroom as soon as possible) do what is best for public forum or keeping their jobs and never have a serious open discussion with teachers to see if his/her idea works.(This is not the case with all administrators but true for way too many.)

This is why many small schools with few administrators and more teacher input have some of the best classroom results in the state.
Concerned Parent

United States

#10 Jul 28, 2007
Concerning Special Ed students: ISTEP forces standardized testing on students who don't have standardized brains. Some students who are tested for reading comprehension will never be able to improve it, regardless of remediation. It's just the way their brains are wired. Yet, often these students have above normal thinking and reasoning skills, which is why they can achieve at least passing academic grades. Offer these students a verbal testing alternative for thinking and reasoning skills, or drop their requirement for testing altogether.
Gary Air

Marysville, OH

#11 Jul 28, 2007
I'm disappointed to see the Gary numbers are highest in Indiana. Use of waivers at Lew Wallace High School is 50%??? Wow! It appears that the philosophy of the Gary school system is "push them through, regardless of knowledge level."
Words of Wisdom

Marysville, OH

#13 Jul 28, 2007
I'd like to know how many parents of non-ISTEP passing students have told administrators and teachers that their child or adolescent suffers from the overused excuse of "test anxiety." What a cop-out! Rather than spend time on what the student CAN DO, it's what the student CAN'T DO. Unfortunately, the parents are enablers to a growing education problem.
TimZ

Radcliff, KY

#14 Jul 28, 2007
Thank you so much for bringing attention to this.
Take a schjools graduation rate (my local school's is 72%) and subtract the waiver percentage (17%) and that yields a qualified graduation rate (55%).
That is tragic.
First thought

AOL

#15 Jul 28, 2007
Little E wrote:
<quoted text> Way off topic. This isn't Ben Davis Junior College that got its wealth from IPS busing funds. This is just trying to maintain the same facilites past mayors have neglected. When the price of fuel, gas or health care goes up for the rest of us, it goes up for IPS too. Throw in older ineffienct heating systems and poor, old drafty windows and we end up wasting more money. Go into any township school with their fulltime registered nurse, school counselor and air conditioning and tell me that the IPS kids don't deserve the same? Yet we test them as if they are on the same level playing field.(In some states, where educatiuon is a priority, and not a distraction like it is here, poor districts have sued the state and won on the grounds of a fair and equal education. It was shot down here by a judge before it could get far- who would've thought)? The public schools are being demonized for the property tax problem when, actually, on most people's bills, school spending between last year and this year stayed the same. The huge increase was when Mitch and some clever politicians shifted state social services to the counties. Now the stae says, "Hey we're in the black." Yeah you passed the bill to the counties. The largest increase was in social services from last year to this year. Schools have always been 50% of the proerty taxes and no one said a thing.
"Yet we test them as if they are on the same level playing field."

"Go into any township school with their fulltime registered nurse, school counselor and air conditioning and tell me that the IPS kids don't deserve the same?"

Are you saying these things make for smarter kids or are you saying they're on a different level due to mental deficiencies? Should we raise taxes and raise test scores or give up on the stupid. Or is stupid an attitude problem for 99% of the failures? In which case we shoul lower taxes, give up on the bad attitude stupid and they can one day do the jobs the illegials won't do anymore?
Jim Falls

Claypool, IN

#16 Jul 28, 2007
I live in Jeffersonville -- mentioned in this op/ed as allowing 17 percent of seniors to recieve diplomas without passing the GQE. I find this percentage staggering and it is no wonder that 2,100-student Jeffersonville High School is on probation. The old saying,"If it ain't broke, don't fix it" does not apply here; Greater Clark County school system: correct this problem. We do not need unprepared graduates without basic life tools flooding the area. They don't have a chance. We need graduates who can contribute and make a difference in our society.
Carl Scott

AOL

#17 Jul 28, 2007
You obviously don't understand much about schools and students. Not every child is college material. Many students, both Special Ed and General Ed may not pass the GQE, but will have training which will allow them to lead very productive lives. The students have completed their Individualized
Education and or Learning Plan, and deserve to graduate. We cannot treat all students like they are exactly the same. Every student is different, with different abilities, and they all deserve to graduate if they are giving it their best effort.
Madman

Rockford, IL

#18 Jul 28, 2007
What I want to know is why I have to be asked to help fix Center Townships schools???? I personally took the initiative to live where I live so my kids could go to a decent school. Then I worked hard for the last 19 years since I moved here to afford the home that is in the area I live in. It has never been easy. I am self employed so I find all the work that I do.
Now another study comes along and finds that a lot of schools are graduating kids without an education. Then people try to blame the building they are teaching in. Come on people , you know its not the buildings fault.
Why isn't the building in better shape, is it because people aren't paying enough in property taxes to keep up the buildings, is that a product of the people who live there. Why are those people living there. Moving trucks start out for rent at $19.00 per day. Why don't they move???
We all know the real reason scores are bad and schools are bad but no one will say it for fear of being branded racist, or callous or non caring. Guess what, its the crack whore parents and the guys running around making babies but never take care of them. Welfare and the war on poverty which has spent 7 Trillion dollars on this war and what is the result. 50% graduation rates. That proves money is not the problem. The problem is the parents , the lazy no good for nothing parents.
I know this all personally because my daughter taught for a while in IPS and it almost made her give up teaching as a career. She told me teachers can barely keep control of the kids, parents won't even come in for a conference, 12 year olds roam the halls with impunity in a school that only goes to 4th grade. When I was i.4th grade all the kids were 9.
bill

Brooksville, FL

#19 Jul 28, 2007
Madman wrote:
What I want to know is why I have to be asked to help fix Center Townships schools???? I personally took the initiative to live where I live so my kids could go to a decent school. Then I worked hard for the last 19 years since I moved here to afford the home that is in the area I live in. It has never been easy. I am self employed so I find all the work that I do.
Now another study comes along and finds that a lot of schools are graduating kids without an education. Then people try to blame the building they are teaching in. Come on people , you know its not the buildings fault.
Why isn't the building in better shape, is it because people aren't paying enough in property taxes to keep up the buildings, is that a product of the people who live there. Why are those people living there. Moving trucks start out for rent at $19.00 per day. Why don't they move???
We all know the real reason scores are bad and schools are bad but no one will say it for fear of being branded racist, or callous or non caring. Guess what, its the crack whore parents and the guys running around making babies but never take care of them. Welfare and the war on poverty which has spent 7 Trillion dollars on this war and what is the result. 50% graduation rates. That proves money is not the problem. The problem is the parents , the lazy no good for nothing parents.
I know this all personally because my daughter taught for a while in IPS and it almost made her give up teaching as a career. She told me teachers can barely keep control of the kids, parents won't even come in for a conference, 12 year olds roam the halls with impunity in a school that only goes to 4th grade. When I was i.4th grade all the kids were 9.
So true. If we could get the thugs, criminals, druggies, etc. out of the schools, then maybe we could teach the kids that really would like to learn. We have way too many administrators that won't do their jobs. The are afraid of doing anything that might upset the parents of the riff-raff. They are afraid of lawsuits. It's amazing what a teacher can do in the classroom with kids that are sent to school with the proper attitude( instilled by their parents), nutrition, rest, and self esteem(also instilled by the parents). Parental support is one of the main factors for success in the classroom. For the most part our public school systems are failing.
Problem

Marysville, OH

#20 Jul 28, 2007
History Teacher wrote:
First of all, let me say that I do agree with the premise, that there are WAY too many students granted waivers. However, once again the lack of intelligence of the Star Editorial Staff is apparent. Remember, folks, these are the same people who told us earlier this week that Illegal Aliens are not criminals...remember that one?
So here's the paragraph that set me off:
" There's little evidence that those getting the waivers are special education students: Some argue that most of the students being granted waivers suffer from either a learning disability or are in special-education classes. While there is no breakdown currently available, that would be statistically unlikely."
OF COURSE there's "little evidence" because you just admitted that, "While there is no breakdown currently available"!!! DUH. It's kind of difficult to find any evidence of ANYTHING when there's no available information about it, isn't it genius?!?
But I disagree anyway---statistics don't work in this case. The vast majority of Special Ed kids simply can't pass the test--aren't ABLE to pass the test--that's why they're in Special Ed classes to begin with. Their numbers shouldn't even be included with the main student population in the first place, and if it were't for Teddy Kennedy (who wrote it) and George Bush's (who approved it) ridiculous "No Child Left Behind Act" they wouldn't be.
In the future, Star Editorial Staff, please don't bother using "logic" in your editorials, because you obviously don't have that gift.
Speaking of "logic," I disagree strongly with the main premise of your argument -- that special ed students can't be expected to perform on grade level (or, since the GQE actually measures 9th grade level knowledge, it would actually be three grade levels BELOW by the time they retake it as seniors). As a teacher, I hope you realize that not all students identified as "special ed" students are, by definition, performing below grade level. Students who receive services from a speech-language pathologist are considered "special ed." Are you saying that since a child can't pronounce his/her "R's" correctly, he shouldn't be expected to work at grade level? Students who receive services for a hearing difficulty shouldn't be expected to perform adequately on a written standardized test? Kids receiving special ed services for a behavioral or emotional disability aren't capable of performing at grade level? Talk about a significant logical fallacy!

Students with learning disabilities and mild or moderate mental disabilities, who may legitimately have problems performing well on ISTEP, make up only a PART of students in a school's special ed cohort. There is no excuse for a school to waive THIRTY-FIVE percent of its graduates!
Problem

Marysville, OH

#21 Jul 28, 2007
Carl Scott wrote:
You obviously don't understand much about schools and students. Not every child is college material.
Very true.
Carl Scott wrote:
Many students, both Special Ed and General Ed may not pass the GQE, but will have training which will allow them to lead very productive lives. The students have completed their Individualized Education and or Learning Plan, and deserve to graduate.
And IF they can show evidence that the skills they have mastered are equivalent to the 9th grade academic skills assessed on ISTEP, they should graduate. However, just because a student has completed "their plan" doesn't mean they deserve the same piece of paper as a kid who passed ISTEP and made it through four years of high school with a 3.0 GPA.
Carl Scott wrote:
We cannot treat all students like they are exactly the same. Every student is different, with different abilities, and they all deserve to graduate if they are giving it their best effort.
What is so wrong about having minimum expectations that students must need in order to graduate? We need to stop GIVING high school diplomas to kids just because we think it's the "right thing to do" if they've managed to stay in school all four years of high school. Kids need to EARN them.
Problem

Marysville, OH

#22 Jul 28, 2007
Giving out so many waivers only serves to perpetuate the cycle of waivers. IPS is having problems getting kids to show up to summer school ISTEP remediation courses. Why? They will tell you to your face, "Look, I don't mean any disrespect, but what's the point? I can just get a waiver like my brother/cousin/friend did!" So, kids aren't taking ISTEP seriously...they're not taking the concept of ISTEP remediation seriously...and they're not taking the portfolio process to obtain a waiver seriously.

Waivers need to be reserved for kids who attend and participate in EVERY single GQE remediation opportunity offered. Guidance counselors need to stop changing attendance records and stop coercing teachers into changing past grades in order to help students qualify for a waiver. The current process is a joke and is cheapening a high school diploma for all students.

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker
First Prev
of 4
Next Last

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Sellersburg Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
amy jo triplett (Jul '11) Fri srw 3
Salvation Army accepting Angel Tree application... (Nov '08) Dec 10 Lee 12
Prostitution sting at Theatair X in Clarksville... (Nov '12) Dec 9 Pan Fried 26
Pillsbury/General Mills production hiring issues? (Feb '13) Dec 9 Tcb7415 5
does anyone know tommy roby? (Apr '10) Dec 8 theonewhogotaway 19
melinda loveless wants early prison release (Oct '07) Dec 4 She Blew Her Dad 497
looking for someone Dec 4 DLS 1
Sellersburg Dating
Find my Match
More from around the web

Sellersburg People Search

Addresses and phone numbers for FREE

Sellersburg News, Events & Info

Click for news, events and info in Sellersburg

Personal Finance

Mortgages [ See current mortgage rates ]

NFL Latest News

Updated 4:00 am PST

Bleacher Report 4:00AM
Broncos vs. Bengals: TV Info, Spread, Injury Updates, Game Time and More
NBC Sports11:17 AM
Peyton Manning officially questionable for Monday night
Bleacher Report11:56 AM
Eagles vs. Redskins: Live Score and Analysis for Philadelphia
Yahoo! Sports 5:54 PM
Eagles playoff hopes suffer with loss to Redskins
Bleacher Report 6:14 PM
RG3 Showing Enough to Remain Starter in WSH