Friday, November 02, 2007

What Does It Say on Your Shirt? Why can't she read?

It’s the Administrators Fault

I received an Email the other day from a mother of an Autistic boy in second grade. Her son is about to be mainstreamed and she asked me what I thought was the most important thing he should learn? It is a timely question because today a10th grade student asked what it said on my shirt.

It’s a good question, what was your first thought? Mine too, yes “Reading” It is not only the most important tool an autistic student should learn but also any student.

We are all aware of the problem. You probably know someone who can’t read. If you don’t drop by your local public high school or ask your child or someone who is in education.

Being able to read should be a pre-requisite for ALL other learning. There should be a special mandate that says in order to pass 5th grade (I’m being gracious) one must be able to read at third grade level and above. Those students below grade level reading must have a “measurable” and “meaningful” plan in place to emphasize reading until the student catches up with his/her peers. I’m including autistic children who are mainstreamed in this proposal.

If the student has not caught up by 7th grade 75% of the classes scheduled should involve some manner that teaches Reading. Why because when they are sent to high school they might be good athletes in gym and can draw great in art and can sing in choir. They need these type of classes to provide self-worth as they continue to learn to read before they leave high school.

To me “Reading is the gateway by which all learning takes place and it is the input for all outputs."

We need to snare reading problems by the time a student is entering second grade. I know by now most of you are saying tell us something we don’t know.

OK, I’m tired of copying notes for high school students who can’t read. However they are experts at copying. They sit and stare at books and fret the chance they may be called on to read. If they sense it, they will cause a disruption even if it requires them being thrown out of the class. I wonder if anyone has done a correlation study to determine if students getting expelled or thrown out of class can read?

What will these kids do when they graduate? Oh yes, I don’t care what law or requirements you put in place there will be special compensation given for most if not all the students who can’t read. So what will they do? READ your newspaper and see where your tax dollars are going, or better yet, go for a walk and see … The next time a high school educator tells me I’m getting to close or the student is being dependent on me to get his/her work done I’m going to tell them someone should have worried about that problem a long time ago. Your system has allowed these students to fail and by the time they get into high school it is too late.

The administrators know it’s too late and just want you to keep pushing the student through because there are too many coming up behind.

I’ve got to go now and type up a paper for a student who can’t read or write a paragraph. However, the student was able to verbally tell me his thoughts on the question or what the answer should be or provide information on the topic at hand. Yes I will type this report and yes I will copy the notes (not for studying but for getting points toward a grade).

I will ensure the students that I work with get some “Joy in Learning and some Self-Worth.” Please don’t get in my way. These students have suffered enough.

For all you Administrators who allowed and continue to let children go through the system should be ashamed, but your not, you think it is someone else’s fault.


Another example from qualityg that shows “The Demise of American Management.”

Oh yeah, my shirt said Lady Monarchs Basketball.

For more examples on the "Demise of American Management (quote from Dr. W. Edwards Deming) click on the label below this post.

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