(I’m probably going to get flamed for this but…)
The Individualized Education Program (IEP), mandated by the “Disabilities Education Act”, is supposed to address kids who have delayed skills or other disabilities that make learning or functioning in a school environment difficult.
I’ve subbed classes with IEP kids before and I truly feel for the well behaved 4th grader that tries real hard to do the “individualized” 2nd grade math problems and still doesn’t “get it”. The more serious disruptive behavior cases often have a personal aide that attends class with them and will handle the issues that come up.
But, like any government program, I suspect that the “IEP” can be misused as an excuse for just plain lazy, careless work.
I just completed a 2-day stint with group of friendly, good natured, cooperative 5th graders at the country club school. But there always seems to be at least one “goof ball” who isn’t quite with the program. Let’s call him “Dave” for anonymity reasons.
Dave is also friendly, cooperative, and good natured but doesn’t do any work. If pressed, he can do the work with constant prompting but on his own, when my back is turned, he spends his time in class drawing posters. He has an IEP.
His IEP (briefly explained on the lesson plan) allows him to complete only about half the homework and/or class work. The problem with Dave is that he hasn’t done even the half he is supposed to do.
Now I’m only guessing but given the nature and make up of the school, I suspect that Dave’s low performance isn’t up to the expectations of his highly successful parents and therefore it must be a bad school or some medical condition as a reason for their son’s poor performance. Since the school is one of the highest rated schools in Calif, the problem must therefore be “medical”.
No one is simply allowed to fail anymore.
For more on (possible) misuses of the IEP program, check out the Untouchables on Buckhorn Road