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A Consequence of Testing ALL Students
Alexis Shuban, a high school special education supervisor is shocked when a student earns an unusually high score on an eleventh grade achievement test. His score is so high, in fact, that he would be eligible for an academic scholarship if he had taken a college preparatory program of study. Unfortunately, this student, a high school senior, has been in special education classes since the 5th grade and has not taken a college preparatory program.
Estella is a first year teacher of students with learning disabilities at an inner-city elementary school. Being a white female in a predominately African American school, the principal openly acknowledges that he was forced to hire her but would have preferred to hire an African American male teacher. Unfortunately, none had applied. Feeling unwanted and unsupported by the administration, she struggled to deal with a difficult and aggressive student and his mother.Diploma For What - ESOL Samantha Green, with six years of experience as a teacher in a residential program, begins her first year as a special education teacher at Tanglewood High School. She quickly learns her 15-year-old bilingual student, Maria, can read only four words. Both teacher and student are frustrated by the obstacles they face.
Falling Between the Cracks
Marrissa is a bright child who is friendly and empathetic. Ms. Churchill, her special education teacher, is concerned because she believes that Marrissa is in special education classes only because of her family situation. Although doing well academically in both her general and special education classes, Marrissa is often left with irresponsible relatives where she is severely neglected while her mother goes out of town.
Is It Fair? - ESOL
New technology is currently available to partially restore hearing to children once profoundly deaf. Optimally the implants are done by age two - Rosa Hernandez is now five and the only school to help her adjust is three hours away. A language barrier seems the largest obstacle to hurdle but the sacrifice may be too large.
Hang In ThereAs a teaching coach for probationary teachers, Nancy's job is to support and assist new teachers in their first two years. She becomes concerned when one of her promising young teachers, frustrated by severe behavior problems in her classroom, confides that she is thinking about quitting.
Is This Child Mislabled? -ESOL Serge Romanich, a third grade student and refugee from Serbia, spoke limited English and had seen war first hand; his father killed and mother maimed. His education had been sporadic at best and the new elementary school he was attending had tested and classified him as learning disabled
Let it Go -ESOL Helen accepted a position teaching special education at the Brokenstraw Reservation public school, but the experience was frustrating. She experienced the public schools on Brokenstraw as bureaucratic and self-serving. The public schools were having difficulty competing with the Catholic missionary schools. The Catholic school had a total student enrollment of 250 Native American children. Meanwhile, the public school where Helen worked had only 40 students in grades K through 12 (all of whom were Native American). It was a struggle to keep the school operating. Helen wanted to be an agent of change, but as she began to make progress with her students, she encountered obstacles.
The New Kid
Jared is a welcome addition to Ms. Dennisons class at a special school for students who are emotionally disturbed. He is the only student in the class who smiles continually, shows concern for others, follows directions, and is generally a likable character. Ms. Dennison, disagreeing with the psycho-educational reports that placed Jared in her class, is concerned that Jared is mislabeled.
Thats Not Fair!
Ms. Taylor and Ms. Jones co-teach a middle school class in which children in special education programs are included with general education students. When Katy, a student with a behavior disorder, is particularly disrespectful and Ms. Jones dismisses it lightly, another student objects and points out that other students in the class would be sent to the office for such a remark.
The Problem With Simone -ESOL
Simone was struggling in Lisa Flannerys second grade class despite Lisas efforts to adapt her lessons and support form the bilingual department. Simones family immigrated from the Philippines with high hopes of Simone becoming a doctor one day. Lisa suspects Simone is having learning problems but her family is unwilling to accept a special education label for her.
Train WreckAs Cheryl Atkins reflects on the family circumstances of a former student, she wonders what she could have done to change the outcome. Did she do enough or did she do too much? What is a teacher's responsibility as far as her student's home life is concerned? Was she too involved?
Youre a Disgrace
Ms. Stanley and Ms. Diaz are co-teaching one period together, and the classroom they are sharing has been Ms. Diazs for 15 years. Unfortunately, the two teachers have very different teaching strategies. Ms. Diaz, believing that a certain percentage of students are destined to fail, is strict and unyielding. Ms. Stanley has spent two years working with "at risk" students and believes that all students can succeed with support. Ms. Stanley has tried to talk to Ms. Diaz about their differences, to no avail.
What is Going on Here?For seven years Toni Hicks, one of four African American teachers at Ridgeview Elementary, had truly enjoyed teaching third grade. This year, however, parents begin requesting that their child be transferred out of her class. Although, she tries to rectify the situation and address their complaints, the exodus from her class continues with no support from the administration.
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