No Child Left Behind, is probably, in my opinion the worst thing Bush ever did while in office, and today when at my daughter's speech therapy appointment we got to talking about the program, and while I don't agree with many things Obama has done, I have to say scrapping this program or overhauling it is probably something that is long over due.
I for years, since before Bush was in office and implemented this program have battled school districts in Special Education Schools for services for my kids, and its been a nightmare. For a normal student or a student that may struggle with one subject the idea of No Child Left Behind isn't bad.
But too many kids have been misdiagnosed, and learning disabilities have been ignored.
The Speech therapist has talked to more parents than just me who have battled for years for their kids, and it took one set of parents SEVEN YEARS to finally be told that their son is on the high end of autism, when in the past he was labeled ADHD, well gee I know what that's like. The system doesn't allow for children and overlooks the kids who need the most help.
Special needs kids. Whether its Autism, mental retardation, brain damage from a head injury, it doesn't matter, the school system pushes these kids aside and so often they are overlooked. I spent years begging for an autism test, it wasn't until I moved to a new district and homeschooling and had to explain why my kids were so far behind, for 3 of them I agreed to assessment testing, well I'll be dang, i called it right on for 2 of my kids, and its been a world of difference, even with homeschooling that i've been able to get services that have helped my younest son, and my oldest daughter.
There are so many parents like me, and this family that have battled with labels, testing and been ignored.....I can't tell you the times I've emailed senators, or congresspeople, or the governor of my state itself to be stonewalled.
Do you think its comforting to be told that you child isn't covered by the No left behind program and will be 'left behind'.......As a parent you want the best for your child, even though you know they won't every graduate high school, you want to see them receive services, and instruction, you want to find someone that will sit with your child and work with them either on an instrument or with voice lessons because you know that's the one area that your child excels at. You get frustrated when the school sends home, STUPID, meaningless homework that you have been working on with the child for more years than you can count, and then gets mad when its not done right. This is where no child left behind falls apart, and as a parent that have THREE kids that got left behind by school systems, I chose to homeschool, this is where the education system breaks down.
So to shock you all who think that I don't normally agree with Obama, this time I do, shocked myself...but with the schools not doing the testing seeing what they want, and basically making parents feel like their kids are being used for federal funding, or to get kids medicated into submission, I have to say one thing......I'm sick of it......I've been down all the roads in the past. I put my daughter on medications in the past pressured by social workers, and schools, but it was worse on us and on her.
Now we actually have some options, and we have a school system that is not only battling for us, but for my childs rights.
Lets hope if another program is put into place it will be better thought out for the kids.
This subject hits home for more parents than we know about, and for us that go through it, and hear about others going through it, its frustrating....so frustrating, and for once, I really feel that someone, anyone is listening, even if its someone from a party that I normally don't agree with......I think so much more needs to be done for kids of special needs, and help for parents......because for almost 16 years, I've been waging my own personal battle and struggles....
Even people in a former church that my husband went to, said I was off my rocker, that my kids were not autistic, that they were just bad behaved, or that I didn't know what I was talking about because my kids who I believed one thing were nothing like their kids who had what I believed they had......I've cried bucketful of tears because I have been told I'm a bad parent and that I have not been able to get my kids the help they need, the help they deserve.
And Finally I hope Obama and politicians realize the challenges that parents like me face every day of our lives. That there needs to be more emphasis placed on not just education, but education for kids with special needs......