Grading on “student skills” and behaviors

I attended a 2 hour session Friday to determine if my grandson qualifies for
an IEP. There were 5 classroom teachers, a reading specialist, a spec ed
teacher, the spec ed coordinator for the district, the school psychologist,
the counselor, and someone I’ve forgotten. Having worked many years in a
children & family psychiatric clinic, I am in some position (long time ago, though, remember) to make some judgments about how these professionals
handle this touchy situation. Everyone performed admirably. My concern was with bone-head types I worked with in my schools who think
accommodations make kids lazy, that aspergers and other “syndromes” are
excuses for laziness, that we aren’t preparing kids for the real world if we
don’t let them flunk out of school, etc. I saw none of that (that was my
concern as my grandson moves into jr hi – that some idiotic “zero tolerance”
policy would be enforced against him if he misinterpreted a comment or a
gesture and got upset). And these folks assured us that the staff at the
school next year are very professional and works closely with them in
receiving their students. WITH ALL THAT, teachers are not in a position to affect a student’s grade based on the student’s behavior. And many of the teachers I have worked with are absolute disasters in this area, applying all the moralistic claptrap of puritan America to kids. That’s what private schools are for (believe you me, I know) and I highly resent, as a taxpayer, my taxes going to these “fundamentals” schools set aside in districts to satisfy what are primarily religious views about child rearing. Terry has expressed very well here the pitfalls of teachers ranking kids on their study skills and behaviors. We all see them, we all know them, and we all put procedures in place to teach kids these essential abilities, but grading them???

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