We have a national education crisis. We have politicians making decisions about education and the quality is slipping. Teachers are frustrated, a few students and parents struggle. Education in its entirety should not be treated as a business; for one, the outcomes vary due to many factors such as home life, experience of teachers, teenage personal issues that are excessive and not enough food.
While all this is going on, let me tell you of an alarming red flag that the national education crisis has and for most of our nation this is insignificant.
1975 - Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in its original form was established to have children with disabilities receive the best education with their regular peers. In the beginning, it was great; however, as time goes, chinks are seen and nowadays the quality of education for those children are to blame for the grades of the school, in some cases the only blame.
Fast forward to approximately 3-4 years ago and let's narrow our focus on a disparate group, a group that is a linguistic minority even if there is a disability. New York and California had bills that could change the landscape for our deaf children. New York's battle was broad; it included other groups who had independent specialized schools (Least Restrictive Environments when you think about it, which is a strong component of IDEA).
California sought to remove the very lives of deaf adults whose experiences would be greatly beneficial for parents with deaf children. “Deaf people don't know what is best for their babies.” This is commented by Karl White of Utah State University, a proponent of the oral method. This bill is called AB2072. It failed.
The following year, Indiana was attacked because they receive state funds (a public school) and the statewide early intervention program is based at the deaf school. This bill HB 6713 passed; however, reality struck after the passing and concessions were to be made. Currently Florida is going through the same thing, removing the deaf experience from parent resources.
If you have watched 'Switched at birth' recent episode 'Uprising', reality strikes again....
Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind in Tucson and Phoenix Day School for the Deaf in Phoenix are protesting; why? Vote of no confidence in the current superintendent and board, return of a few teachers and administration and return a program which has shown a rate of success and well being for students.
Students started to protest sometimes last week and continued to do so at risk to their education. The very same education that the superintendent told the media and parents that it is the 'norm' that deaf people have third grade reading levels. A n appointed leader of the school willingly propagates the idea as a fact that deaf people have third grade reading skills? That would earn a vote of no confidence from me, a deaf person with beyond twelfth grade reading skill.
To follow what is going on at ASDB, go to www.asdbreports.com (a reporting site written by a parent of an ASDB student) or if you are in Facebook, follow FE: Butterfly Effect
Why should education be threatened by ignorant people in positions that they do not support the people who are employed under them?
To Be Whole
Currently I am an ASL teacher at a local college and at an high school. I received my Masters in Sign Language Education from Gallaudet University. At home, I am an activist within the community, Northwest Indiana. My son is in first grade and my daughter goes to E.C.L.I.P.S.E. ASL Preschool. Change begins with you and change is effective with a team.