Many special needs families are told in not so many words that they should not hold out too much hope for the future of their children. They should be content to get them through school and into a low-paying job following high school. However, many of these children should expect much more than this out of life. Many have the capabilities and determination not only to graduate from high school but also to go on to college and meaningful careers that will support them for the rest of their lives. The question in many people’s minds should be how and why the U.S. public school system is failing these special education students.
There can often be a huge disconnect between what parents and their children want and need and what the public school system is willing to provide. In some cases, parents beg for additional resources or tools for their children, but the school simply does not see the need.
In other school systems, teachers and school administrators want to help, but they lack the training in dealing with special education students. This is often due to a lack of funding that limits districts from hiring the right teachers for the jobs.
Unlike accommodations, modifications actually change the material that the student is learning, often keeping them from graduating on time with their peers. They may be placed in easier classes or may not be taught the soft skills they need to succeed in college.
Many times, teachers downplay the mental abilities of special needs students. Instead of pushing them to stay with their peers and graduate on time, they often recommend skipping college-preparatory classes.
Many more parts of special education have been relegated to the states since Education Secretary Betsy Devos began making changing to federal policies. While state oversight can be good in some cases, it can leave other students with disconnects in their educations.