Sep 8, 2008

The Miseducation of DC Special Education Students...


Earlier this month, I wrote about the lack of special education teachers and educational aides in No Special Education Teacher for You ! More emails pour in about the problems we face in DCPS due to the lack of appropriate staff and resources to educate our students. Other complaints have surfaced from Davis, Ferebee Hope, Garfield, Kimble, and Smothers Elementary schools and Anacostia Senior High amongst a host of other programs where self contained classrooms still lack special education teachers, educational aides, related service providers and textbooks still.

A DCPS service provider makes a poignant appeal in her recent email: “Hi Candi. It is truly a travesty, the disservice that our young children, especially black males, are being subjected to across this city. The E.D. (emotionally disturbed) programs are grossly understaffed and in total chaos and disarray. The conditions at Shadd are widely known, which is why central office personnel have been detailed; but the local school citywide programs are just as bad. Examples include Ferebee-Hope, which has a primary and intermediate class on paper. Only one teacher and no aides have shown. The school is supposed to have a full-time social worker but does not have one at all. The classes for students with an emotional disturbance are combined and the atmosphere is extremely confrontational. Students are aggressive with one another and the teacher. Davis, Garfield, Kimble, Smothers, and Thomas are also under staffed. My concern is that we are on the brink of a major catastrophe. This is a class-action lawsuit waiting to happen. Do we really wait until someone, child or staff, gets seriously injured before we address the issue? Unfortunately there are multiple issues of equal importance within the school system that need to be addressed. Please give this one some thought before it erupts and encapsulates us all.”

If you know of a program that lacks special education resources, please drop me a line c/o saveourcounselors@gmail.com Posted by Candi.

10 comments:

Jessica said...

Hello Candi,

I am wondering what the save our counselors organization has to do with the lack of special ed teachers? Why is the save our counselors group collecting information on this? School counselor positions that were eliminated are not the same as special ed teachers are they? Just wondering.

Anonymous said...

Jessica,

Does the title of a group limit the discussion? Since when?

Part of the problem is that we want
to believe that these issues are not intertwined, when in actuality, they are all part of the same "master plan"--and I don't mean "master student achievement plan" because that does not exist as of yet.

...just wondering?

Candi said...

Who ever said that save our counselors had anything to do with the lack of special education teachers? I know I didn't.

jessica said...

Hey again,

Well, I don't think that it is a crazy assertion to think that save our counselors is working on this special ed problem since you give the save our counselors email address as the contact point for this problem. So, essentially, you are saying that you there's no connection, but, if the contact point is save our counselors, then there is a connection. The reason I want to know is because I was asked to sign a petition for Save Our Counselors, and I would like to know exactly what a group is doing, or purporting to do before I associate my name with it. So, I don't think it is unreasonable to wonder about that.

The Union Girl said...

Jessica, it's a freaking e-mail address, not a sponsorship or an indication the two subjects are connected. It's just an e-mail address.

ms. mindless said...

Union Girl,

You may think I am overreacting, that's your prerogative. It's also mine to ask a question and to want to know what the purpose of an organization is. I don't think I need to be jumped on for it. Especially when I made a logical inference. If Candi says that Save our Counselors is not working on the lack of special ed teachers issue, I to believe her. Thanks for clarifying. I don't think there was ANYTHING wrong with my asking. Take a chill pill Union Girl.

ms. mindless said...

by the way, I was totally agreeing with Jessica, I forgot to write that part first! Howdy, I am new to commenting on this blog. I've been reading for a few day, I read DC Teacher Chic a lot to, and wanted to come over to this side of the aisle and see what was going on!

Candi said...

For those interested in finding out more about Save Our Counselors, feel free to go to the website @ www.saveourcounselors.org There is an entire website devoted to this cause and there you should find the answers to your questions. The saveourcounselors@gmail is my email address. Any additional questions regarding the save our counselors issue and any other matters on this blog, feel free to email me. No hidden agenda, really.

Peace said...

GS 94-192 is not isolated to only DC schools.Counselors are like angels in the hallways!It's a citizen, grassroots call to action responsibility and we all unite for support.

Peace said...

GS 94-142 ! ! We make mistakes, but mistakes don't make us !We need counselors after reading all these issues going on ! Send in a rescue ship ! What do you think about,The Gang Abatement and Prevention Act ?