Special Needs Kids - Urgent Question
I didn't want to disrupt the other thread and Seeking's great news, but I really need some opinions here regarding my son's IEP. Sorry it's so long...
Last year he was in 4th grade, and was learning math on a 2nd grade level in the resource room with a very capable special ed. teacher. The material was challenging for him, and he was learning it in a solid way. Though he was way behind, we all agreed it was appropriate for him, and that the next year should see him push ahead with another grade level's material. So in April, when we developed his IEP for this year, I insisted that a clear and specific goal be included to teach him basic 3rd grade topics: specifically that he master core multiplication facts. There was some resistance to the specificity of the goal, but since I pulled the wording directly out of the state's guidelines and even cited the source, they could hardly argue that it was inappropriate. So in the goal went.
So this year, in 5th grade, our state is operating under some new guidelines that specify that even children with disabilities who are working below grade level will be tested on grade-level material. In other words, the state-mandated standardized test upon which the school's performance will be rated tests my son on 5th grade math. (politicians...) So that is what they taught him -- 5th grade math. In all of our progress meetings (3 so far) I stated that I thought it was totally inappropriate to have skipped basic multiplication and division, yet be working on fractions, decimals and prime numbers, and that his understanding of the material was only 'flickering' at best. They've countered with how well he's doing (and surprisingly, he is), that he'll pick up multiplication and division as he learns the more advanced material, and that I can work with him at home on the basic multiplication and division facts. I counter that I'm willing to work with him to reinforce what he learns at school, but that I want the school to teach him basic multiplication and division. They counter that they're teaching him the grade level material, and that they can't take time away from that. And we just end up going around in circles!
This same circular discussion happened again last week at John's IEP meeting: Grade-level math -- missing foundations -- he'll pick it up -- no he won't -- I should teach him -- they should teach him -- thay can't because they're teaching him something else.
We've had the meeting and resolved everything else, but we haven't signed the paperwork. They need the paperwork signed stating that we agree. We don't.
How can I get them to teach him basic multiplication? They've been really good about everything else and we have a good relationship, so I don't want to get all 'legal' if there's another way.