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Re: OT More pens

From:Sarah Marie Parker-Allen <lloannna@...>
Date:Tuesday, June 10, 2003, 19:29
Though it had nothing to do with why she decided to homeschool my sisters
and myself, my mother was disgusted with public education in part thanks to
the dozens (more likely hundreds, since every class had 30 kids in it and
she had 5 to 8 classes per semester) of children she had to teach in Los
Angeles and Texas public schools who had been promoted up through to middle
and high school without being able to read.  Many were sent off to "special
education" (where, at least in some school districts, they WILL give you a
diploma without being able to read) because no one wanted to take the time
to figure out that they were simply bilingual (or worse, were sent to
special education when they had real SE problems -- like dyslexia -- and
then weren't helped because it was assumed they were just another bilingual
kid) who depended too much on Spanish.  She even had students who managed to
be illiterate yet fluent in two or sometimes more languages.  And she wasn't
*allowed* to fail them out of their year, especially not if they showed up
more than half the time.  It wasn't so bad when she was their English
teacher (she worked for a long time as the person who was in charge of
getting everyone who was more than 5 grade levels behind in reading, up to
speed), but she didn't have the time or resources to help the kids she was
(trying to) teaching math to.

In my experience, I've never actually dealt with a high schooler who
couldn't read, at least one who was incapable of deciphering basic exams.
However, I've worked with a number who were incapable of understanding any
kind of lengthy written text (say, an article in the newspaper), and a LOT
more who just refuse to try.  It was socially marginal to enjoy reading in
your genuine off-time when I was in third through sixth grade (and this in a
program exclusively for children with 135+ IQs), and it got a lot worse,
from what I understand and have observed, in middle school.  Most of my
friends in my low-level college classes didn't do any of the assigned
reading -- whether it was because they were lazy or disinterested or because
they couldn't, seems almost immaterial.

Sarah Marie Parker-Allen

It's all one big conspiracy, and it's all about me.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Barry Garcia" <barry_garcia@...>

> At least here, if a kindergartener isn't up to the level of reading he > should be by First grade they hold them back. I remember teaching two > brothers how to read and what the letters were because they had already > been held back a year and were threatened with being held back ANOTHER. I > whipped those boys into shape and got them up to the level that they > should have been in about three months.
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