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Haley23 Haley23 is online now
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 5,746
Senior Member

Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 5,746
Senior Member

Old 04-14-2019, 04:31 PM
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As far as I know, SDC is only a thing in CA. That's the only context I've ever heard of it in. I'm on year 9 so IDK if things were different previously, but self-contained has always only been for severe disabilities here. My district does have a "moderate needs" program where previously kids got more pull out time- about 15 hours per week.

A few years ago, they switched to a co-teaching model. My understanding is that this was spurred on by some of the sped staff at the school. If at all possible, I no longer refer my students there because I don't believe co-teaching is anywhere near intensive enough to meet their needs. I would rather them get the pull outs that we can provide in my program over nothing.

I have seen the expectations for resource change over the years. When I started, it was about keeping kids learning and making growth. I do remember hearing some absolute nonsense from a state department of education person my 2nd year, but at the time, no one actually in the schools seemed to be falling for it. A few years later, I was at a state level training about standards-based IEPs and they made a big speech about how kids who don't have cognitive disabilities can and should be performing on grade level, including passing state tests. My sped director actually stood up at that training and basically told them they were idiots- most of those students have cognitive weaknesses even if their overall IQ is normal.

Things have gotten worse and worse each year as far as expectations. I don't know if higher-ups are really buying into this nonsense, or if they are just worried about losing their own jobs. Every year, the pressure for my kids to perform as if they don't actually have a disability gets worse and worse. To qualify as LD in my state, one has to be performing at or below the 12th percentile and show a non-response to research based interventions. If they didn't make enough progress with the research based interventions prior to getting an IEP, what's going to make them suddenly start responding differently, just because they now have a pile of papers attached to their name?

Likewise, they're not going to massively bomb a test that's way easier than state testing (scoring at or below the 12th percentile on something like the Woockcock Johnson) and then turn around and pass a state test. If they do magically start performing at that level, one they were probably incorrectly identified in the first place, and two, they will no longer qualify for sped. Therefore no longer counting as a student with a disability who is doing well.

Somewhere in the middle of all this, someone got the idea that the "problem" was resource/special ed settings. Full inclusion put gen ed on a pedestal and vilified sped settings. The gen ed classroom is the best place to be and has the best teachers while the poor kids who spend any amount of time in a sped classroom aren't getting access to all of this supposed wonderfulness that is happening in gen ed. And then they wonder why the burn out rate for sped teachers is 2 years and they have such a hard time filling positions.
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