In our current educational system, standardized tests are used to assess the quality of the student-products as they move along the 13-year conveyor belt within the education factories commonly referred to as schools. Students who have test scores that fall below a certain percentile ranking are thought to have a disability. Additional standardized tests are then given by standardized testing experts to confirm and diagnose the cause of the disability. Very much like a disease, a “special” standardized treatment is then prescribed for this disability.
These students are then sent off to Special Ed World. This is a purgatorial “special” place apart from the general education classroom where students are given the prescribed special treatment by special treatment experts. In the segregated setting of Special Ed World, the special treatment experts implement the special treatment with fidelity. However, one of the many problems with Special Ed World as currently configured is that once students become entangled in the special education machinery, they are lost forever. They rarely return.
This podcast examines four interconnecting elements within Special Ed World: (a) reading instruction, (b) data-resistant theoretical constructs, (c) paradigmatic parochialism regarding what is considered “scientifically-based” research, and (d) manipulative approaches to teaching.