Friday, July 16, 2010

Inclusion Isn't Working

Imagine you're a public school teacher. You've got a class of 25 kids. The class has been carefully "balanced", so you've got 3 gifted kids, 3 kids with diagnosed learning disabilities, and 2 kids with behavior problems, plus 17 others all over the wide range in between. How much attention do you think you'll give the quiet, introverted, gifted kid?

Now add to your sorrows that NCLB is putting tremendous pressure on all teachers to prove their students are "proficient" on a state standardized test. Your state has been quietly dumbing the test down in a (successful) attempt to boost scores. As a result, any child with above average abilities walks in the door on the first day of class able to score proficient, so they don't need any more preparation. But the below-average kids, with enough coaching, might eke out a few more points on the all-important test.

And this is why teaching in the public schools is consistently aimed at below-average kids. The test that was meant to be a floor has become a ceiling. Nobody bothers to teach beyond it.

Even during my own childhood, back in the late Jurassic, it was no fun to be a bright, eccentric kid in the public schools. I was bored to the point of almost hallucinatory daydreaming. I could not bear to do the work I was given because it seemed like such an insult, so I was written off as lazy and defiant. Teachers said, "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink!" Looking back, I say, "what water?"


  1. so basically multi million dollar facilities disguise the fact that we have not advanced from one room school house education where many grades,or in this case, types are thrown together.

  2. PsychMom says:
    We'd be better off with one room schoolhouses because at least they were small. The kids might get better attention.

  3. well some where small and some were the case of education , smaller is best for sure.