Supreme Court Rules on IEPs
The Supreme Court has ruled on the case of Endrew F. vs. Douglas County School District, a case that gave the Supremes a chance to rule on just how much education is "enough."The case was brought by the parents of Endrew F., an autistic student whose education was, according to his parents, not nearly enough. But Douglas County Schools (Colorado) took the position that they had provided "de minimis" which is what some folks believe the law requires and what they interpreted to mean "the absolute least we can get away with, even if it's not very much."
How Douglass decided to let itself get dragged all the way to the Supreme Court is beyond me, but once the case arrive, many many many people decided to chime in because the case potentially had huge repercussions for schools across the country.
The court decided the case unanimously, and in a mere sixteen pages. Chief Justice Roberts wrote the decision, and it doesn't hand a full win to either side, but it does provide some clarification for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) which will no doubt result in memos flying to and from special education directors across America.
Roberts referred back the case of Amy Rowley, centering on "starkly different understandings" of Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) and another case in which the parents and school disagreed; the court somewhat split the difference saying essentially that the district wasn't obliged to provide every single item that parents demanded, but it couldn't just slack off, either. He also notes that in Rowley, the court was deliberately avoiding inserting itself as an ultimate definer of educational programming.
In the case of Endrew, the parents had placed him in a private school after feeling he was stalled in the publics, and feeling that his IEPs were simply recycled same old same old. That was apparently even more problematic after the private school employed some strategies that helped with some of the behavior issues that had gotten in the way of his education (screaming, running away from CURMUDGUCATION: Supreme Court Rules on IEPs:
Don't They Understand...?
The attempts to do away with teacher tenure. The work to break the teacher unions, resulting in lower pay and less job protection. The initiatives for driving down teacher pensions. The legislative moves to take away sick and bereavement leave. The continued scapegoating of teachers. Lots of teachers look at all that and ask--
Don't they understand that this is making teaching less attractive? Don't they understand that this is making it harder to recruit and retain good people in the profession? Don't they understand that they are pushing people out the door?
Do they get it? Do they get that making teaching a profession that provides less and less job security, less and less ability to support a family, and less and less respect makes it less and less likely that people will choose teaching as a lifetime vocation?
There are, I think, three answers:
No, because teaching is a calling...
Some folks believe that teaching is such a calling and teachers are so closely identified with their profession that a teacher can't choose to not be a teacher any more than a tall person can choose to be short. It simply does not occur to these folks that a person has a choice, that a person can decide to enter the profession or leave it (and if the person does choose to leave teaching, well, that just Don't They Understand...?