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A reader who comments as Gitapik writes about life in the classroom:
“I’ve been teaching kids with severe disabilities for 22 years.
“The concept of spending valuable classroom time teaching a curriculum based on a set of standards that is also meant for high achieving kids in general education to a 6 year old with severe autism who isn’t even aware of his or her own name is absurd. Or to a classroom of severely emotionally disturbed children who can’t even make it through a period without at least 2 or 3 physical fights. The practice of it is a waste of time and cruel. Holding teachers responsible for it with the possibility of losing their job goes beyond the pale.
“We used to have Home Economics rooms where the kids could take orders, help prepare and deliver food, wash the dishes, clean up, etc. Not all day…but a period a day. Honest, practical life skills. We used to be allowed a period in the morning for class meetings during which we could teach basic social skills. The kids enjoyed and profited from these classes as part of the curriculum.
“Gone. No time for it. Got to meet the standards, now. Everybody. The same standards.
“All in the name of standardization which is supposed to create a system of accountability on the parts of the teachers. It’s like someone put a machine in charge and we’re being fed into the grinder.”