I love my kids’ elementary school, I deeply dislike the bureaucracy of a public school. I’ve been there a lot, volunteering over the last five years, my face is known there. The paraprofessional (a para is basically peon who is paid to do what needs to be done at the school, help the kids, make phone calls, do officey stuff) just called me to remind me that my son’s IEP is today. She’s one of my favorites and we always chat.
She says, “I know you already know, but the IEP is today.” Yep, yay! With a new IEP, changes can be implemented. But not until I sign the plan, so no changes for today. Heck, not even any changes by next week. I said, “T, does my kiddo have TCAP testing today?” And she said, “Yes, I was working with him yesterday.” And I said, “You are the absolutely perfect person to talk to then!” with joy in my voice.
He came home yesterday after dealing with this standardized test and said, “This was my worst day ever! I want to DIE!” This is unacceptable. It was all because I signed off on an accommodation on his current IEP that says that he is allowed extra time on all testing. Because of it, his class got cookies and recess and he stayed in the whole time feeling like a prisoner, doing this f*&$ng test that doesn’t help him at all. Oh hell no!
She and I had an informal chat about the best ways to help him. I told her that he has my permission to take a break from the test or or completely walk away. She explained that if he doesn’t finish the test, he gets a zero and the school gets a zero. It’s all about the funding. And I smiled and said, “Well, he gets a zero if I keep him out of school, too.”
Luckily, she and I see eye to eye and we’re in complete agreement about the effectiveness of this testing model. We’ll see how the principal and his teacher take it when I say the same thing. 😀 Joy! T told me that getting an exemption from this state mandated test practically requires an act of god. That doesn’t frighten me.
T is WONDERFUL and I am blessed that she’s the one who made the call! She said she wasn’t working with my son today, but she’d go let the other paras know some of the coping techniques I shared with her.
UPDATE: I just spoke with the doctor’s office. If nothing else, she’ll write a note excusing him from school!