Pushing Through

I have a student in my English class. She's well-behaved and she does her work ... well, she TRIES to do her work. I've observed her throughout the year, and she just doesn't seem to have the comprehension skills that she needs to succeed at this level.

I spoke to the assistant principal about her today, and apparently Ms. AP has heard my student's name before. "She came to us from [an inner city] school," she said, "and I guess they were just trying to push her through."

This upset me so much that I went back to my room and stewed about it for a long time. If it is obvious to me--and I hasten to say that I have NO SPED training whatsoever--that this child is struggling ... no, not struggling, SINKING, why didn't her other school notice? Or is it simply a matter of not caring? Or not having the resources?

The [Inner City] School system is notorious for passing everyone, regardless of achievement levels. Part of this is that they don't want to lose their funding, and part of it is that they are just unable to concentrate on student ability when they are trying to make sure that no one dies during the school day. While I certainly don't condone their methods, I can understand why my student may have slipped through the cracks.

Ms. AP, another (reading) teacher, and I are going to work together to recommend my student for SPED classes. I feel like it's going to be too little, too late. But at least it's something.

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