Saturday, January 05, 2008

On my little sop box about Public School

(I know I have a few friends that don't home school and I hope I don't offend. This is mainly about the school system we live in. I'm hoping to inform people, not cut anyone down.)
Some of you know I pulled my children out of school 3 years ago. One of the reasons was that I was tired of fighting the school system over KB. At the end of that school year the teacher came to me and told me if I didn't intervene with KB she would fall through the cracks. Shortly after I pulled them out of school I found out that they all 3 had dyslexia. DJ's dyslexia is only mild, but JB & KB's is very severe. I was very green about home schooling and took all the help I could get. When I pulled them out Jb still qualified for speech, mainly because he had nodules on his vocal cords. We went to speech the 1st 2 weeks of the next year, then the next 4 months they would call and say the speech teacher was out of town. One week I called to let them know that JB was in the hospital and we couldn't make it. They told me if I couldn't bring him not to bother bringing him back, so I didn't. In the mean time I heard from someone that the only reason they wanted me to sign him up was to get money, but they wasn't really interested in my child. I had made up my mind not to do speech the next year. But when the next year rolled around the new speech teacher called me and promised me that she would make sure JB got what he needed and she did. She was very helpful to us. She would give us all kind of stuff to help with our home schooling. We didn't get to finish out year with her because my mom got sick and it got to be too much on me. At the end of that school year I found out that a teacher had went back to school to learn how to help dyslexic children, because so many kids were falling through the cracks. She went to the superintendent 3 times and asked if she could have these kids that needed extra help. At first he told her the school didn't have enough money, I'm not really sure what he said the 2nd time, and the 3rd time he told her that he didn't want these kind of kids in his school system. She turned in her noticed and opened a center for dyslexic kids. I haven't had the money to send mine to her to get help, but through these 2 years I had found ways to help them at home. This made me mad and with momma's history of getting sick I had decided not to send JB to speech this year, but the speech teacher this year talked me into signing him back up. Plus Dan Dan's mom has talked JB in going back to public school to play foot ball next year. The school had agreed to tutor JB and do a full speech therapy among with helping him with is nodules, but we had to go to the Dr 1st and have him check to see his nodules had grown or not. When I carried him to the Dr he said JB's nodules were gone. I sent the Dr's note the the school and waited 3 weeks for a letter to tell me when they were going to start working with JB. They sent me a letter saying that since the Dr didn't find nodules they couldn't except JB in to the program. I called for 2 weeks to ask why they couldn't do the rest of what they had told me, but never got a reply, which in a way was okay with me.
(Okay! Here is were my gripe really begins)
JB has his mind to go to school and so many teachers and others have told me because of JB's dyslexia that he would probably put in this new program they have to help kids not fall the cracks. It's not called special ED and it's different than special Ed. It would make sure he gets all his basics necessary to graduate. I was sorta okay with it and still not feeling good about sending him to school, but have decided to wait till next school year to deal with all this and ask God to guide me.
Well, the other day my nephew that had went through this program everyone has told me about, went to ICC to go to college, only to find out that the sheet of paper he got when he graduated was not even equivalent to a GED. So, I went to a lady in our church that has a son that is graduating this year and is in this program. I asked her about him getting a diploma, she said that he would get a sheet a paper saying that he went 12 years of school. I told her about my nephew and now she is as up set as me. They say they have a NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND ACT, but what good is this ACT if if only the school gets funding from it, but it don't help the child in the future! I still don't know how to handle this with JB because he has his mind set to play football, but I think it's a crying shame that the school system that really don't want kids with learning problems will prey on them just to get funding! It's really sad.
So, if anyone out there has a child like my JB and the school has that child in this program, I would look in to it! Because in the end you will still have to go get them a GED to be able to go through college.


Ami said...

I don't know enough about title 1 funding to be of help, but title 1 is a federally funded program, and I know you can get the school district in trouble if they're not providing the program to kids who qualify.

But Kitten, a GED isn't necessary for college attendance. Contact colleges your child(ren) are interested in attending and ask them about the requirements for homeschoolers entering their school.

My oldest is attending community college and will get his associate's degree next spring. Then, he can transfer to a 4 year school if that's what he decides to do.

No GED. All he did was take the placement test.

Pamela said...

College isn't the answer for all questions. Perhaps he would be more fulfilled in a trade school.

(I encourage you to let him play football... otherwise he may be angry with you for years to come.)

It's been a few years since I had kids at home and was involved in the local education system. I remember being angry at the incompetence and inefficiency they presented.

Joy T. said...

A lot of years ago now my son was deemed 'gifted and talented' at his school. There were about 10 children all given this title. Nice. But that was the end of it...or so the school thought. Some of us parents got looking into what it meant to have a 'gifted and talented' child at school and we found that along with the title, the school receives 'extra' money for having these children at their school. The money given to the school was 'supposed' to be used for giving these children extra things to stimulate them and challenge their minds, extra field trips, etc. The school neglected to share that part with the parents. To make this story shorter then what it could be, I will just say the parents of those 10 children rallied together and were very pleased when the school complied to use the money as it was intended for. If we as parents don't take a stand, it's our children who miss out.

Robinella said...

Kitten - I'm so sorry you've had such a struggle with schooling AND having to do so much with your Momma.

Ami is right on! When your son turns 16 (at least in VA, it's 16) sign him up for Community College level classes instead of homeschooling him for all of his classes if that would work for the two of you. If not, finish HS as home and then have him enroll.

Anonymous said...

I think it is pretty much the same here. When a child registers with a school and school board, the school board gets funding from the government, and the school gets funding from the school board. If the child transfers after a time, the money doesn't go with the child. If their is special needs, the school gets more funding to implement aids. It is a money grab. There are provincial achievement tests that grade the teacher. The kids are taught to the test, some kids are requested to be 'sick' when the tests are written so the class average becomes higher and the teacher and school and school board look better so more kids enrol there, and more parents move to the area and more kids enrol there. It is a money grab. Did I say that already? I don't have a problem with people putting their kids in school and in some cases it is a good thing the kids are in school, but I have issues with the system, so I home school. Each family has to decide what fits with them and make their choices. I do agree with the others, check the requirements with the colleges, trade schools etc and see what options are available if you home school or if he comes out with the other piece of paper.

kitten said...

Ami, I know if you go through the home school approach, you don't have to have a GED, but if he goes to public school and not taught enough for it to be equivalent to a GED, then you have to get a GED. That's what is making me so mad.
Pamela, I agree. That's what I had decided until I found this out, but still may go a head and let him, because he probably is my child that would rebel.
Thanks Joy T for the info, I'll look into that.
Robin, You have to be 17 here. He has done so much better at home and I just don't feel like fighting the system anymore, but he wants to play football. If Dan's mom had kept her mouth shut I may not be having this problem. I had him geared to play baseball and here you can play on the American legion without being in school. The same goes for our Tennis team.
Dawn, I prefer to home school, but because he wants to play foot ball. Well, it just stinks if you ask me.

Holly said...

Geez, Kitten, I'm really sorry. I wouldn't let them put him in the program where he won't get a diploma. If he wants to play football, then he has to get a degree. That would just be me though and you know your child. Good luck.