Susan's Blog

Sunday, February 11, 2007

SPED, The Whipping Boy

Sometimes I feel
Like I been tied to the whippin post
–Allman Brothers Band

Lately in these here parts, there has been a revival of public education’s favorite whipping boy: special education, also known as SPED, or the blood-sucking parasite that steals the lifeforce from the far more deserving regular education kids, the ones who can actually do something with their lives.

Yes, this is the line of reasoning that came across my email this morning, from one of the email lists I am on which serves those in local government. Basically he asked me to “stand outside of myself for a moment,” and consider the pure economic reality of the situation. He said that SPED does take away from regular education, surely I can see that, because there is less money. And the return we get on our dollar might not be worth it, he suggested or implied or maybe I inferred.

After the red cleared from my eyes, and I went and reattached my popped-off head, I fired back the following reply:

You assume I don’t stand outside myself, but in fact I do. But I will never, ever agree that the way we educate people should be dictated by economics that are dictated by politicians who cut education funding and fund unnecessary wars and oil companies instead. Think about that. Why is there less money available for all education? Not a big enough pie. Why not? Because the federal and state governments’ priorities are all wrong.

This is a civilized society. We have to do better for all of our people, regular ed and special ed and stop thinking so narrowly about what “reality” is and go to the powers that be and demand a bigger pie for ALL education. Until then, I am sorry to hear that some people will resent — or blame — the victim of this system.

I am also starting to hear the drumbeat of “That greedy SPED That greedy SPED.” This is the way the song goes:

That greedy SPED
That greedy SPED
Takes everything from Regular Ed
My kid gets screwed
By your struggling dude
Who doesn’t count
When all’s done and said

That greedy SPED
That greedy SPED
Turns education on its head
Puts more staff in the class
So even those kids pass
So my kid’s A is more like a Zed

That greedy SPED
That greedy SPED
This can no longer be unsaid
Our wars count more
Than your slow kids’ score
So maybe just leave him home in bed?


Makes perfect sense to me, afterall I believe we live in the wealthiest ‘civilized’ nation in the Western world.
Best wishes as always

— added by Maddy on Sunday, February 11, 2007 at 3:03 pm

Don’t give up this fight girlfriend!!!!!!!!!! rrrrrrrrggggggg!!!! People who can’t see past themselves drive me crazy!! Good reply.

— added by Laura Cottington on Sunday, February 11, 2007 at 4:13 pm

Yes, the wealthiest country in the world is too cheap to educate all of its citizens but is always willing to write billion dollar checks to fund that quagmire in the middle east.

Too cheap to save ourselves, yet again.

Right on.

— added by Someone Said on Sunday, February 11, 2007 at 6:51 pm

Right now our local school is bursting at the seams with kids. One of the rooms at the school is taken up by SPED.

Another parent related to us how she had heard parents complaining about why “those kids” were taking up room in the school (couldn’t they just be shipped elsewhere?).

It was fortunate that I didn’t hear that comment.

— added by Club 166 on Sunday, February 11, 2007 at 8:27 pm

I have since had some WONDERFUL follow-up conversations with that guy! He totally gets it, after all, I’m thrilled to say.

— added by Susan Senator on Monday, February 12, 2007 at 6:40 am

RIGHT ON! i love it!

— added by kyra on Monday, February 12, 2007 at 11:06 pm

Fighting for our kids seems to never end. Our government is so backasswords. They give you a $9000 tax credit for buying a Hummer, the biggest gas guzzler on the road, but people have the nerve to complain about the disabled? The attitudes of this country are backwards. It’s so easy for the self-reighteous to pick on the weak, elderly, disabled, poor because they can’t defend themselves. They are bullies and cowards in my book.

— added by MarkZ on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 at 9:06 am

I apologize, I was wrong about the Hummer. The fact is, as a result of the Jobs and Growth Act of 2003, if you purchase a Hummer H2 for $102,581, your first year on your taxt return you will get a tax credit of (I’m not kidding) $101,111.64! And people complain about our kids? Makes me sick.

— added by MarkZ on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 at 9:48 am

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