More is not better it’s just more

February 7, 2014 § 3 Comments

I have been writing a lot of IEPs lately. Each time I have to decide how much pull out academic service a child needs vs. this same service delivered in the classroom. The stakes are higher than most people realize. I will say most referring teachers and parents want their students/child to have more! More! More! But seldom do people stop and think about the price their child pays when they are pulled out. Some pull out services are without a doubt necessary and when implemented in moderation can really have a big impact academically. So what about major pull out – substantially separate settings for core areas like reading and math? It appears at the time when the decision is made that this is the right choice but it’s not. Well at least I don’t think so. Even though in the past I’ve recommended it and implemented it I now see it as a a bad idea especially in the early elementary grades. When we remove a child from the regular curriculum (for entire core areas – they never have math with the general education class ) with the idea that it will “help them catch up” we are wrong. It is nearly impossible for these students at any point to reintegrate back into the mainstream with any confidence whatsoever. I am sure it has happened and turned out well for some but I’ve never seen it. As far as I can tell once your “out” your out for good. Is that what we really want for our students? What purpose does this serve to teach them in a bubble? But again referring teachers and parents often want their child to have more and more isn’t always better !

§ 3 Responses to More is not better it’s just more

  • Meredith Greene says:

    Love the thought Michelle – it is a hard line to see. Parents want the individualized attention of pull-outs but at what cost? there are benefits for our children as well as the typical peers they are learning with to see the different learning styles in action!

    Great new blog!

  • But what if your student would be completely lost in the classroom in these core subjects? I fear mine would fall even farther behind and her confidence and self-esteem would suffer consequentially. But I am afraid that she’ll never be able to integrate back in and how will she ever pass the MCAS??

    • Successful Exceptional Education (SEE) says:

      Integrating back in is virtually impossible – and in some cases being pulled out is the right choice. I made this choice for Ari in math and it’s been ok – can’t say she has learned a heck of a lot because I feel the stakes got lowered too much but she just can’t make it in mainstream math class. The biology of her brain is such that it prevents success in this area. But I see people make sweeping judgements and say a student needs intensive support because they are not performing a certain way on tests – in young grades kids deserve more time, more intervention, more effort on in class supports but many teachers don’t want to work that hard or their schedule does not allow the child to be supported and it is the kid who ultimate loud the price. Just not being exposed to the natural discourse in this setting sets them back. I’m not say that at certain points it’s not the right thing – I’m just saying teachers need to think about the long term impact . On the MCAS – did you ever meet a person who was super successful because they were good at standardized tests – ultimately what difference does it make?

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