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43 minutes ago, EKS said:

Why does it have to be "racist"?  

 

It is a very fine line.   There was a documentary done on LA City schools and it highlighted how there used to b 3 tracks in high school in CA......vocational/trade, high school diploma, and college prep.    I may be getting the name/labels wrong but it was something similar.  

Students of color, poor, inner-city, limited English speakers, pretty much were assured of being tracked to go the vocational schools.   Many of them later admitted they were very smart and would have loved to have gone to the college prep but didn't really understand it was an option for them.

So, as many cases go.....they swung the opposite direction and EVERYONE had to be college prep, even if they didn't really have any desire to go to college at all.

Here is some of what happened during the late 60s.   I worked at one of those high schools (not in the 60s!) and the feelings were still strong.   A couple of the people named in this article became educators and I worked with them many years later.

https://daily.jstor.org/the-activist-students-of-1960s-east-los-angeles/

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7 minutes ago, DawnM said:

 

It is a very fine line.   There was a documentary done on LA City schools and it highlighted how there used to b 3 tracks in high school in CA......vocational/trade, high school diploma, and college prep.    I may be getting the name/labels wrong but it was something similar.  

Students of color, poor, inner-city, limited English speakers, pretty much were assured of being tracked to go the vocational schools.   Many of them later admitted they were very smart and would have loved to have gone to the college prep but didn't really understand it was an option for them.

So, as many cases go.....they swung the opposite direction and EVERYONE had to be college prep, even if they didn't really have any desire to go to college at all.

Here is some of what happened during the late 60s.   I worked at one of those high schools (not in the 60s!) and the feelings were still strong.   A couple of the people named in this article became educators and I worked with them many years later.

https://daily.jstor.org/the-activist-students-of-1960s-east-los-angeles/

This, exactly.  And not just in East LA either.

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1 hour ago, JumpyTheFrog said:

I'm not sure the football analogy works. If I understand your analogy correctly, the football coach represents the parents who don't know how to help their kids educationally. Only in this case, the parents presumably went to school as children. It seems like a better analogy would be you played football growing up from age 5-16+ and then were hired later on as a coach. You might be a terrible coach, but you'd have at least some idea of the rules, how to throw, etc.

No, in my analogy, the parent is the quarterback who can't do their job because no one has taught them, or given them to knowledge they need to find solutions on their own.  If they went to school from 5 - 16, and many of the parents I work with did not make it that far, but if the did then what they learned at school almost certainly that school makes no sense, and that advocating in that system doesn't work, and that what you need to do is to concentrate on getting through with a little damage as possible.  

Because, let's be honest, if a kid is enrolled in Algebra 2 and English III classes, and has a schedule that says they're a junior enrolled in those classes, it's not an illogical assumption that the kid passed sophomore year and Geometry and English II.  In a school system that was functional in any meaningful way you wouldn't need to check 20 places to see if the kid passed.  You'd be able to assume that they did from the fact that they were placed in the next grade, and the next level. 

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6 hours ago, SKL said:

And I agree that his class rank is concerning.  But is that class rank for the 9th grade or the 12th grade?  I'm guessing 9th grade based on the number of credits he finished?  And if that's the case, it could be partly explained by the fact that a lot of new high school kids are learning the hard way, especially with this past year's Covid disruptions.

It's for every class he took, whether he passed it or failed it. 

5 hours ago, SKL said:

I have this, except that it's up to the teachers to post the assignments, and some of them have a huge lag time (more than a month).  And the kids know this, so they play around and lie to their parents.  (Ask me how I know.)

That would still just affect one quarter, though. And of course, back in the day (she mutters from her rocking chair), our parents were not given a list of our assignments to begin with. 

 

3 hours ago, Sneezyone said:

When I was in HS, 90s, and in the area we lived, all of that would have been possible without a team meeting. We even had a smoking quad and kids used chewing tobacco in class.

You had a smoking quad in the 90s?? It's like Arkansas wants people to make fun of it. 

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11 minutes ago, katilac said:

 

It's for every class he took, whether he passed it or failed it. 

That would still just affect one quarter, though. And of course, back in the day (she mutters from her rocking chair), our parents were not given a list of our assignments to begin with. 

 

You had a smoking quad in the 90s?? It's like Arkansas wants people to make fun of it. 

Yep. It was shared by students and teachers. Kids had spit cups at their desks. This was the best school in that part of the state too. I learned sooooo much from my time there but not from my actual classes.

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They presumed that teachers were paid to do their jobs and left it at that. I can only remember 4 times in all of K-12 where my parents had any interaction at all with my schooling. They didn’t even come to my graduation and couldn’t have told you what high school I attended. Partly bc I am a girl (my father would often say the dumbest thing men did was teach women to read and let them vote) but mostly bc they figured it wasn’t their job, that’s why they sent me to school

My parents had a similar stance, so I get what you’re saying, but schools are (at least where I live now) much better about not allowing kids to fall through the cracks as opposed to when I was in school. In my case, it was definitely too laissez-faire on the part of the school. I remember failing a math class because I didn’t have a protractor and I was guessing at angles. Nobody at all investigated what the issue was; neither on the school end nor on my parent’s end. But my experience now (where I live; where my kid goes to school) is totally different. I just got an email last week because my son did not click “Present” on a Google class and they followed up to see if he was actually present or not. 

I have actually thought before that it would be difficult for a kid to fail a grade at my son’s high school, or, at least, it would be difficult for that to happen with the parents having no idea. 

One thing I do find galling about schools in Maryland - and this article exemplifies this - is that really incredibly nice schools are often just a few miles away from absolute dumps. This is true even within the PS system, let alone all the great private schools here for those who can go that route. Baltimore is not far from me, but “my” schools are top-notch, some of the best in the nation; meanwhile certain areas are, as you aptly put it, Murphy, not fit to be daycares. 

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8 hours ago, EKS said:

Why does it have to be "racist"?  

It doesn’t have to be racist. It could just be classist and it just so happens a lot more of darker shades tend to be in the lower classes than the lighter shades.

I was that kid who knew beyond a doubt that my teachers had written me off by 3rd grade.  I was the kid they knew who was never ever getting detention bc buses don’t stay late to take kids home and my parents were not coming to get me. I was the kid that never ever turned in any homework that required after school time in the library and I never ever had any extracurriculars bc my parents never gave a single dime out of pocket bc that’s what taxes were for. Not one art class, music class, or sport or any other type of thing k-12. Those weren’t options for kids like me. And I went to what was considered a wealthy school district back then!

4 hours ago, Quill said:

My parents had a similar stance, so I get what you’re saying, but schools are (at least where I live now) much better about not allowing kids to fall through the cracks as opposed to when I was in school. In my case, it was definitely too laissez-faire on the part of the school. I remember failing a math class because I didn’t have a protractor and I was guessing at angles. Nobody at all investigated what the issue was; neither on the school end nor on my parent’s end. But my experience now (where I live; where my kid goes to school) is totally different. I just got an email last week because my son did not click “Present” on a Google class and they followed up to see if he was actually present or not. 

I have actually thought before that it would be difficult for a kid to fail a grade at my son’s high school, or, at least, it would be difficult for that to happen with the parents having no idea. 

One thing I do find galling about schools in Maryland - and this article exemplifies this - is that really incredibly nice schools are often just a few miles away from absolute dumps. This is true even within the PS system, let alone all the great private schools here for those who can go that route. Baltimore is not far from me, but “my” schools are top-notch, some of the best in the nation; meanwhile certain areas are, as you aptly put it, Murphy, not fit to be daycares. 

I know lots of kids in the public school system here and in a couple other states and I assure you many are falling through the cracks and frankly, it’s starting to feel like many are being shoveled into those cracks. A few years ago the stats were that 60% of our graduating classes in Oklahoma needed remedial language arts and mathematics before they could handle any college or trade classes. I know kids personally who have graduated high school with B and A grades and thought hey they could go to higher ed - seems a reasonable thought, right? Nope. They have to take at least a year of remedial classes at their own debt expense before they can even start taking college classes. The trade schools here add remedial instruction time into their programs (which means those programs take longer too). It’s really hard for those kids to not feel lied to and resentful about the the extra time and debt they then have to incur to do whatever others take for granted just because they lived in a place that actually gave them an education. Because they aren’t entirely wrong that they’ve been misled. 
 

I’m happy to agree that teachers aren’t awful humans in those horrible schools. Sure they have my sympathy that their job sucks. But at some point we all need to quit pointing the finger and demand change. We need to offer free college to any teacher who spends 4 years teaching afterwards. We need to build cottage school and make them flexible to accommodate the community attending them. We need to teach presuming all kids having some kind of learning issue at some point and have a plan to handle it as the kids progress instead of having it hold them back while a committee decides what to do. And there should not be 7 figure paid do-nothing union bosses and administration staff when there’s kids in kindergartens who need crayons. I do not care where the school is - I think that would be a great start. 

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6 hours ago, Murphy101 said:
15 hours ago, EKS said:

 

It doesn’t have to be racist. It could just be classist and it just so happens a lot more of darker shades tend to be in the lower classes than the lighter shades

(Sorry for weird quoting.)

Except we can trace the reasons schools like this example run “darker” and lower income, and those are racist. And taking the specific example, the city has an enormously overwhelming historic and current problem with racism, and “problem” is putting it way too lightly. 

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one of the moms on a PDA group  to which I belong, just posted about something similar.

Her child has been in school refusal for 18 months, hasn't been in school or  done any work of any kind. - but is doing well in geography class, and has good class participation . ..  . 

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11 hours ago, Murphy101 said:

  I know kids personally who have graduated high school with B and A grades and thought hey they could go to higher ed - seems a reasonable thought, right? Nope. They have to take at least a year of remedial classes at their own debt expense before they can even start taking college classes.  

sometimes it's the curriculum whomever is in charge of decides to use.    our district was using a math curriculum that another district had parents suing to stop using.  what prompted that lawsuit was the number of kids graduating who couldn't do math- but they had excellent grades in math from that useless curriculum.    including the child of a math professor.    one math teacher had the chutzpah to tell a friend that "we're not concerned with whether the math is correct, but how they do the problem."  - his rejoinder to that was "i'm an engineer.  if the math is wrong, the plane will crash."

the curriculum switched after 1dd, but before 2dd.  (1dd was trying to help 2dd one night, so looked through her book.  she was cursing at it because it was so bad.)  2dd was wanting to major in math in high school - it was pretty stressful for her when she found out she didn't know as much about math as she thought.  She ended up in her profs office doing tutoring for the higher math she should have had to do her chemistry.  (very small school. TAs were rare.)  1ds - stopped doing math in high school because he was missing so many foundational principles.  (he eventually went back on his own and did khan academy from first grade to introductory calculus prior to starting a mech eng transfer AA.  (he's working on a MS now.)

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Honestly, the surprise to me here is that apparently the school isn't putting pressure on the teachers to give half the kids a passing grade in the classes. My experience isn't that kids end up unable to graduate because they have only passed a handful or less of classes, but that No one gets below a 70 in English 1, so are passed to English 2, and so on, even though some of those 70's were closer to 0's.  They never fail, but they never learn the content, either. I've known kids whose transcripts should be shelved in the popular fiction section.  And they often end up the students with crippling student loan debt and no degree because they are not capable of passing college courses, but have a good enough GPA to get accepted. It sounds like this school was actually honest. 

 

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What an awful situation.

If this were just one student's grades, I could see blaming the student or the parent.  But in this case, half of this student's grade has a gpa of less than 1.  That is the failure of the school.  Failing half of your students should not be acceptable to any school, even if the students are partly/mostly to blame.  The school needs to help figure out a solution to this problem.

If you go to about the 1:22 mark of this video from a Baltimore news station, you can see part of his transcript.

He had close to a passing grade in Algebra 1 (58) and was apparently promoted to Algebra 2 -- without earning the Algebra 1 credit.  You cannot expect a student to pass Algebra 2 if he has not yet passed Algebra 1.  The school should have never enrolled him in that class.

Also, why is he enrolled in a SAT Math Prep class?  That class period would have served him much better if it had been a group math tutoring session.  Teaching more advanced concepts when a student has not passed Algebra 1 is really setting the student up for failure.

Yes, this particular student was late or absent 50 percent of the time.   What we don't know is if these were full day absences or if the student was skirting into homeroom 30 seconds late.  (At my high school those would have been counted equally as tardy/absence.)  If he was absent an average of 90 days each year, it should be on all of the parties (student/parent/school) to figure out a solution.

 

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7 hours ago, Carrie12345 said:

(Sorry for weird quoting.)

Except we can trace the reasons schools like this example run “darker” and lower income, and those are racist. And taking the specific example, the city has an enormously overwhelming historic and current problem with racism, and “problem” is putting it way too lightly. 

Yes but that school is not the only school this is happening at. I know families dealing with similar situations that are whiter than white. The common denominator? Class. Or class origin. So maybe parents have somehow managed to move up the socioeconomic class they were born to but the affects of their upbringing or where they live are still impacting their children. (Such as my personal experience 30 years ago.)

None of which makes it better or worse. It shouldn’t happen regardless. I was just explaining that sure, I guess sometimes it is not just racism, it is always classism.  But it’s really hard to separate racism from classism because as I noted, there’s a lot more darker shades in the lower classes than lighter shades. 

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20 hours ago, katilac said:

 

It's for every class he took, whether he passed it or failed it. 

That would still just affect one quarter, though. And of course, back in the day (she mutters from her rocking chair), our parents were not given a list of our assignments to begin with. 

 

You had a smoking quad in the 90s?? It's like Arkansas wants people to make fun of it. 

I live in upstate New York and in the late 90s the local high school had a smoking quad(it might have been unofficial, but that’s what it was and the adults overlooked it). That was on my parents’ list of reasons why I was homeschooled lol. 

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54 minutes ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

I live in upstate New York and in the late 90s the local high school had a smoking quad(it might have been unofficial, but that’s what it was and the adults overlooked it). That was on my parents’ list of reasons why I was homeschooled lol. 

We had that in San Francisco.  It was illegal but unofficially there was an area where everyone looked the other way.  Over by the drama/arts area.  Figures.  

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1 hour ago, Murphy101 said:

Yes but that school is not the only school this is happening at. I know families dealing with similar situations that are whiter than white. The common denominator? Class. Or class origin. So maybe parents have somehow managed to move up the socioeconomic class they were born to but the affects of their upbringing or where they live are still impacting their children. (Such as my personal experience 30 years ago.)

None of which makes it better or worse. It shouldn’t happen regardless. I was just explaining that sure, I guess sometimes it is not just racism, it is always classism.  But it’s really hard to separate racism from classism because as I noted, there’s a lot more darker shades in the lower classes than lighter shades. 

This is very true.  Blue collar rough spoken white kids were channeled into trade school routinely in most of the rust belt back in the day.  That is one of the reasons for the demise in Voc. Ed.

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1 hour ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

I live in upstate New York and in the late 90s the local high school had a smoking quad(it might have been unofficial, but that’s what it was and the adults overlooked it). That was on my parents’ list of reasons why I was homeschooled lol. 

That is just crazy to me! I was in high school in the early 80s and didn't have anything like that, and I thought it was crazy when my older siblings said they used to have a senior smoking lounge (they are 5 & 7 years older). 

I'm not saying no one ever smoked at school, but there definitely wasn't an official or unofficial area for it. If you wanted to smoke, you could by God do it in a disgusting bathroom stall, frantically waving the smoke away! 

I'm in the deep south, and I would have thought it lasted here longer than other places, but apparently I thunk wrong. 

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On 3/3/2021 at 8:03 AM, historically accurate said:

I don't know what to think. Top part of the article says only one teacher in the last 3 years contacted her. Article doesn't say if she talked to that teacher though. But then it says a home visit was done due to chronic truancy? So which is it? Did they not say at the home visit he wasn't going to graduate or did they just say, "Send him to school"? I'm confused.

Mom dropped the ball, but the school dropped the ball too. Kid failed Spanish, Algebra, and English, but he was then scheduled for the next level. Um, almost half of the class has a GPA BELOW .13?!? That school needs to be shut down; it's not educating. 

As I read it, the parent and the administrator who spoke off the record both say there was no contact. On the record, the school system is saying that their policy is to place robocalls and make home visits, but that they can't speak about this particular case.

I am inclined to believe the administrator who spoke off the record, and the parent, because they agree with each other, and that the home visit didn't happen.

Having said that, where I teach, home visits for truancy are made by CPS.  A CPS worker is not going to know or be able to comment on something on a transcript from previous years.  So, even if a home visit were made, the person making it wouldn't be able to share information about his pathway to graduation. 

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Also, a lot of people (of all kinds) routinely block numbers with reputations for launching robocalls, or mistake them for spam calls if they do receive them (simply from the tone of voice). Some people even block calls from numbers they don't know, so if the truancy-related calls weren't done on the main school line - something large schools sometimes do - and didn't tell the parent that was possible, there'd be no way for the parent to know the call was attempted. Indeed, in the latter case, the higher the level of the person doing the call, the more likely a problem the latter situation would be (since a head of grade, for example, almost certainly wouldn't use the reception phone system to call out).

So the call could have been attempted but blocked/misinterpreted, leading to the discrepancy between accounts. (After all, a call that never receives a reply or doesn't even connect is only contact in the loosest sense of the word).

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I remember when I was a freshman in high school they ended the senior smoking lounge privileges. (Western NY in 1988?) This was a Catholic school and the parents were furious. Their students had waited for the senior privilege and now it was being denied. Seems so crazy! 

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At my high school (40% dropout rate) we had teachers bribing kids to come to class.  "Just come 1 day a week and I will give you a C". 

My brother in law surprised his mom with the news that he would not be graduating unless she wrote him notes excusing his absences for the semester.  He had 40.  She declined and he graduated the following semester.  

 

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1 hour ago, ieta_cassiopeia said:

Also, a lot of people (of all kinds) routinely block numbers with reputations for launching robocalls, or mistake them for spam calls if they do receive them (simply from the tone of voice). Some people even block calls from numbers they don't know, so if the truancy-related calls weren't done on the main school line - something large schools sometimes do - and didn't tell the parent that was possible, there'd be no way for the parent to know the call was attempted.

When I enrolled my homeschooled kid at the enrichment school (public school classes designed for and only open to legal homeschoolers taught by public school teachers at a public school campus a couple of days a week) parents were given the phone number from which the school would make robocalls and call parents if a child became sick and needed to go home. It's no secret people don't answer calls from numbers they don't recognize, so my guess is every public school out there has a policy of telling parents to keep that number in their contacts list. If a school hasn't figured out that simple solution yet, well, they really shouldn't be in charge of anything.

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41 minutes ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

When I enrolled my homeschooled kid at the enrichment school (public school classes designed for and only open to legal homeschoolers taught by public school teachers at a public school campus a couple of days a week) parents were given the phone number from which the school would make robocalls and call parents if a child became sick and needed to go home. It's no secret people don't answer calls from numbers they don't recognize, so my guess is every public school out there has a policy of telling parents to keep that number in their contacts list. If a school hasn't figured out that simple solution yet, well, they really shouldn't be in charge of anything.

You would be shocked to know there’s hundreds of schools that really shouldn’t be in charge of anything then. 

And this doesn’t address the ridiculous overuse of that system either. I know people who do not get a number. And I know people who do but still block it bc they literally get dozens of cal and texts every day per students. God help the mom of more than 1. I have a friend in what is considered the best/most expensive district in the state with 3 kids - she said she blocked the numbers bc she was getting literally nearly 50 emails and or text/calls PER DAY. And her kids are doing well. There’s no big deal. There’s a fundraiser. They send something out. Football practice is moved 5 min forward or back - a message. Test grade posted. A message. And that was before covid. She said she briefly unblocked when her kids had to do virtual and she got so fed up she blocked it again. She said it was so overwhelming and stressful to try to keep up with it that she’d rather her kid flunk. She is a lawyer herself so it’s not like she lacks the ability to value education or organizational skills. She was showing me all the stuff that comes to her phone before she re blocked and it was nuts. I think my blood pressure went up just looking at the amount of communication to filter through in a day. 

I cannot imagine how a less educated single mother working 2-3 low wage jobs could cope. 
 

I rarely give my number out bc of this. I’m the contact for a lot of people. Just thinking of all those generic appt robo reminders alone -  x9? 😳 just. nope. 

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From a recent conversation with someone, there are good high schools in my area who are awarding 50% on assignments not turned in. Some of this comes as directive from admins, so (pause for my moment of outrage) if student A turns in nothing all semester and then finally does one assignment, depending on grade averaging, they could pass the course. 

This conversation was in context of preparing students for college, where *surprise* if you don't turn in work they get a zero, at least in department for sure and seems to be true for most others. I'm not even talking about deadlines and writing skills which were some of the other concepts addressed. 

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43 minutes ago, Murphy101 said:

You would be shocked to know there’s hundreds of schools that really shouldn’t be in charge of anything then. 

And this doesn’t address the ridiculous overuse of that system either. I know people who do not get a number. And I know people who do but still block it bc they literally get dozens of cal and texts every day per students. God help the mom of more than 1. I have a friend in what is considered the best/most expensive district in the state with 3 kids - she said she blocked the numbers bc she was getting literally nearly 50 emails and or text/calls PER DAY. And her kids are doing well. There’s no big deal. There’s a fundraiser. They send something out. Football practice is moved 5 min forward or back - a message. Test grade posted. A message. And that was before covid. She said she briefly unblocked when her kids had to do virtual and she got so fed up she blocked it again. She said it was so overwhelming and stressful to try to keep up with it that she’d rather her kid flunk. She is a lawyer herself so it’s not like she lacks the ability to value education or organizational skills. She was showing me all the stuff that comes to her phone before she re blocked and it was nuts. I think my blood pressure went up just looking at the amount of communication to filter through in a day. 

I cannot imagine how a less educated single mother working 2-3 low wage jobs could cope. 
 

I rarely give my number out bc of this. I’m the contact for a lot of people. Just thinking of all those generic appt robo reminders alone -  x9? 😳 just. nope. 

Wow.  Then that's the school's own stupid fault and they can't ever complain that parents block them. 

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31 minutes ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

Wow.  Then that's the school's own stupid fault and they can't ever complain that parents block them. 

I agree. Teachers hate it too I’m sure. 

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On 3/4/2021 at 11:26 AM, Carol in Cal. said:

We had that in San Francisco.  It was illegal but unofficially there was an area where everyone looked the other way.  Over by the drama/arts area.  Figures.  

Ours was the baseball dugout 

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4 hours ago, teachermom2834 said:

I remember when I was a freshman in high school they ended the senior smoking lounge privileges. (Western NY in 1988?) This was a Catholic school and the parents were furious. Their students had waited for the senior privilege and now it was being denied. Seems so crazy! 

Even worse parents: one of the boys' Catholic schools around here had a strong 'hazing' tradition, which translates into seniors bullying freshmen. A new priest came in as principal and said the tradition was inappropriate for any school, much less a religious school, much less a Salesian school (the motto of Salesian schools is reason, religion, and loving kindness). 

Parents lost. their. shizzle! Yep, their kids had been waiting for the senior privilege of bullying freshmen, and they felt it was completely unfair that they were denied this chance. People just make me despair sometimes. 

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25 minutes ago, katilac said:

Even worse parents: one of the boys' Catholic schools around here had a strong 'hazing' tradition, which translates into seniors bullying freshmen. A new priest came in as principal and said the tradition was inappropriate for any school, much less a religious school, much less a Salesian school (the motto of Salesian schools is reason, religion, and loving kindness). 

Parents lost. their. shizzle! Yep, their kids had been waiting for the senior privilege of bullying freshmen, and they felt it was completely unfair that they were denied this chance. People just make me despair sometimes. 

I wish this was unbelievable but it is not. People are crazy.

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19 hours ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

When I enrolled my homeschooled kid at the enrichment school (public school classes designed for and only open to legal homeschoolers taught by public school teachers at a public school campus a couple of days a week) parents were given the phone number from which the school would make robocalls and call parents if a child became sick and needed to go home. It's no secret people don't answer calls from numbers they don't recognize, so my guess is every public school out there has a policy of telling parents to keep that number in their contacts list. If a school hasn't figured out that simple solution yet, well, they really shouldn't be in charge of anything.

None of the schools in my area do that. They give the reception number and that's it. Primarily due to individual staff members worrying about lots of people contacting them for any reason or none, which from their perspective defeats the point of a reception. A place with a fully-configured switchboard system could have all those numbers appear as a single number when calling out, but that takes considerable expense to fit the system, and it's just not in some schools' budget.

 

On the other hand, if the situation had got anywhere near as bad as described in the original post, they'd use standard mail, with computer ink on paper, in an envelope with a stamp. Eventually accompanied by similar letters from the council issuing fines for truancy and/or compulsory social worker/legal intervention (as appropriate). Not sure what the solution would be for people who had no fixed address or other types of post trouble, admittedly...

 

Partly because there are laws about how that sort of situation is handled (which requires a provable paper trail, and takes into account the number of parents who don't have internet). Partly in preparation for university, where failing to hand in a single assignment typically means failing the module (even if the scores on the other assignments and exams were perfect) and requires either a successful appeal, or a resit later on.

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I’m wondering if y’all can shed some light on something a friend of mine shared with me that relates to this. This friend is black. She is married with 2 kids and lives in a good school district. She and her husband both came out of inner city situations. The husband was actually in prison for a number of years. Anyway...they have/had several middle school aged boys that they were sort of mentoring. These boys were in “failing schools”. And failing themselves. When I asked her about evals for learning disabilities, she said, “Oh, no. That doesn’t happen.” I can’t remember how she worded it, but she was saying that the parents won’t allow it. They don’t want their children labeled. She wasn’t speaking specifically about their few boys—she meant generally speaking, parents in those communities are vehemently against having evals, getting a dx etc—too much of a stigma. 

Just one piece of a very complex issue. 

I just feel for the mom and her kids. I mean she’s working 3 jobs. That’s an impossible cycle to break without some drastic policy changes.

 

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5 minutes ago, popmom said:

I’m wondering if y’all can shed some light on something a friend of mine shared with me that relates to this. This friend is black. She is married with 2 kids and lives in a good school district. She and her husband both came out of inner city situations. The husband was actually in prison for a number of years. Anyway...they have/had several middle school aged boys that they were sort of mentoring. These boys were in “failing schools”. And failing themselves. When I asked her about evals for learning disabilities, she said, “Oh, no. That doesn’t happen.” I can’t remember how she worded it, but she was saying that the parents won’t allow it. They don’t want their children labeled. She wasn’t speaking specifically about their few boys—she meant generally speaking, parents in those communities are vehemently against having evals, getting a dx etc—too much of a stigma. 

Just one piece of a very complex issue. 

I just feel for the mom and her kids. I mean she’s working 3 jobs. That’s an impossible cycle to break without some drastic policy changes.

 

I know our elementary had a child who needed glasses and was being slowed down because of not having them. The school contacted the parent a few times, even gave them information for financial help to get the child glasses. But the parent never followed through -- maybe too busy? I don't know all the details. But there is only so much the school can do in these situations. They cannot take the child to get glasses. Just continue to read with them and try to teach as well as they could.

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9 minutes ago, popmom said:

I’m wondering if y’all can shed some light on something a friend of mine shared with me that relates to this. This friend is black. She is married with 2 kids and lives in a good school district. She and her husband both came out of inner city situations. The husband was actually in prison for a number of years. Anyway...they have/had several middle school aged boys that they were sort of mentoring. These boys were in “failing schools”. And failing themselves. When I asked her about evals for learning disabilities, she said, “Oh, no. That doesn’t happen.” I can’t remember how she worded it, but she was saying that the parents won’t allow it. They don’t want their children labeled. She wasn’t speaking specifically about their few boys—she meant generally speaking, parents in those communities are vehemently against having evals, getting a dx etc—too much of a stigma. 

Just one piece of a very complex issue. 

I just feel for the mom and her kids. I mean she’s working 3 jobs. That’s an impossible cycle to break without some drastic policy changes.

 

Part of tracking was placing poor and minority kids into remedial and special education classrooms at disproportionate rates. Today’s parents know/have family experience with that and do not want that label for their kids. I’ve never gotten my son an official ASD diagnosis for this reason. I will not give the district any excuse to discount his potential. He’s a straight A student. That’s all they need to know. The diagnosis is also disqualifying for military service if DS ever wanted to follow in his dad’s footsteps.

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48 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

Part of tracking was placing poor and minority kids into remedial and special education classrooms at disproportionate rates. Today’s parents know/have family experience with that and do not want that label for their kids. I’ve never gotten my son an official ASD diagnosis for this reason. I will not give the district any excuse to discount his potential. He’s a straight A student. That’s all they need to know. The diagnosis is also disqualifying for military service if DS ever wanted to follow in his dad’s footsteps.

That makes sense. Do you feel that these beliefs should change? 

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3 hours ago, vonfirmath said:

I know our elementary had a child who needed glasses and was being slowed down because of not having them. The school contacted the parent a few times, even gave them information for financial help to get the child glasses. But the parent never followed through -- maybe too busy? I don't know all the details. But there is only so much the school can do in these situations. They cannot take the child to get glasses. Just continue to read with them and try to teach as well as they could.

At the elementary school I used to volunteer at, kids were embarrassed to wear glasses.  So the parents didn’t want to waste their limited money on them.  Then the brilliant principal instituted a glasses celebration wall in the library/resource center.  At the top of a column was a big sign that said:  “You’re so smart that you get to wear glasses!” And whenever a student got new ones for the first time, they were sent to the principal’s office to get their picture taken for that column.  I think there might have been a prize involved, too.  It was so wise.

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4 hours ago, popmom said:

That makes sense. Do you feel that these beliefs should change? 

Let me rephrase that question...do I think parents should ignore their own experiences with school systems (specifically their inability to adequately assess the skills/abilities of black youth)? No. Services offered are unlikely to be of sufficient quality to balance out the long term harm of further decreasing expectations. If RTI was properly applied, you wouldn’t need a Dx anyway. You’d teach the child before you and try various interventions, regardless of what Dxs are or aren’t there, until the child was able to learn. 

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4 hours ago, Sneezyone said:

Let me rephrase that question...do I think parents should ignore their own experiences with school systems (specifically their inability to adequately assess the skills/abilities of black youth)? No. Services offered are unlikely to be of sufficient quality to balance out the long term harm of further decreasing expectations. If RTI was properly applied, you wouldn’t need a Dx anyway. You’d teach the child before you and try various interventions, regardless of what Dxs are or aren’t there, until the child was able to learn. 

What is RTI? 

What you say about services offered is true even in affluent school districts, so I agree with you. Still, your overall response has an air of throwing your hands up—as if nothing can be done.

I am personally looking for ways to be actively involved in problem solving. Hell, the “failing schools” in my metro area are successful compared to this story. But that’s not good enough. 

I don’t know what RTI is, but I think I agree w you. You don’t need a diagnosis to teach a learning disabled child to read. You just use the best methods available—not the latest and greatest, newest and glossiest. I mean...I strongly suspect that my youngest (ASD) is dyslexic, but the dx is just a formality—not necessary to literacy, but very important in leveling the playing field in college admissions, standardized testing, etc. 

Its very clear that you and I have vastly different perspectives on this which is important to me. You speak of “decreasing expectations” as a result of a dx of a learning disability. My perspective is the opposite. The dx opens doors for opportunities that would otherwise not be available to my child. There has been absolutely no decrease in expectations. Instead we have the support we need for my dd to reach her full potential. Isn’t that how it should be for all students? My question was really about that. How do we get there—for all students? 

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4 hours ago, popmom said:

What is RTI? 

What you say about services offered is true even in affluent school districts, so I agree with you. Still, your overall response has an air of throwing your hands up—as if nothing can be done.

I am personally looking for ways to be actively involved in problem solving. Hell, the “failing schools” in my metro area are successful compared to this story. But that’s not good enough. 

I don’t know what RTI is, but I think I agree w you. You don’t need a diagnosis to teach a learning disabled child to read. You just use the best methods available—not the latest and greatest, newest and glossiest. I mean...I strongly suspect that my youngest (ASD) is dyslexic, but the dx is just a formality—not necessary to literacy, but very important in leveling the playing field in college admissions, standardized testing, etc. 

Its very clear that you and I have vastly different perspectives on this which is important to me. You speak of “decreasing expectations” as a result of a dx of a learning disability. My perspective is the opposite. The dx opens doors for opportunities that would otherwise not be available to my child. There has been absolutely no decrease in expectations. Instead we have the support we need for my dd to reach her full potential. Isn’t that how it should be for all students? My question was really about that. How do we get there—for all students? 

 

Your experience with a diagnosis is great. I just have not observed that to be the case for lots of kids. Parents I know whose children have IEPs and 504s spend hours upon hours every year fighting to have them maintained, honored and/or improved. Those who can devote that time seem to receive some benefits. Those who can’t, don’t. It shouldn’t take all of that to get students the help they need. Hence, RTI. RTI is response to intervention. It’s what schools are supposed to already be doing, that is to say that as students struggle you apply interventions, progressively more involved support, until the student is able to succeed. That’s how it’s SUPPOSED to work. If it were effectively practiced, perceptions might change. I don’t think attitudes will change until people see/have a better experience upon which to base their decisions tho and that’s not a quick fix.

I’m not fatalistic, I’m all for doing things locally, but I’m also realistic about the scale of the problem and the external influences that also exist. Not the least of them is that we do not have a national consensus about the intrinsic value and potential of all students. Oh, people give the idea lip service but, in practice and fact, we do not. We don’t invest in all students like we should, we don’t support educators like we should, we don’t even trust local communities to know what their students need. One of the largest school districts in Arkansas has been under state control for half a decade now for political and, dare I say it, racial reasons, much like what happened in cities like Detroit, Lansing, Pontiac and Flint. We know how that turned out—the former Gov and friends might be going to the pokey. So, yeah, it’s complicated.

Forgive me if I’m misunderstanding your intentions but it sounds like you expect to waltz into a school with challenges, declare that diagnosis helped your child, and expect families to immediately adopt your approach AND get the same results. Not gonna happen. There’s lots of work volunteers could do to serve as advocates and mentors for parents who are going through the IEP/504 process tho. That would help.

The two pieces below provide a more nuanced perspective than identification=good/bad and delve into what differences are actually being identified in greater numbers (behavioral vs. learning deficits). The prevalence of behavioral classifications is well known among the parents I know. In some cases, it’s necessary, in others it’s not. It’s also tied up with disparate school disciplinary practices too. It’s understood to be part of push out culture—pushing kids out of mainstream classrooms, out of school, and into prison.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/hechingerreport.org/new-studies-challenge-the-claim-that-black-students-are-sent-to-special-ed-too-much/

https://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/20/03/harvard-edcast-racial-differences-special-education-identification

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