Posted by: Unworthy Bum | May 14, 2009

Political Semantics and Public Education

“Three groups spend other people’s money: children, thieves, politicians. All three need supervision.”

– Dick Armey

“Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong.”

– John G. Diefenbaker

I’d like to share what happened to our son before he had a simple modification for TAKS. He aced the practice test. He failed the actual test. The actual test was not a reflection of his knowledge. It was a reflection of his inability to concentrate with the multiple stresses of an unfamiliar environment, surrounded by people he didn’t know (strangers), a large group, having to transfer information with a pencil – dysgrafia issues. So he failed.

In a small group, he passed. Same test. In a small group that was even more appropriate – not with other kids he deems “weird”, but with the small group testers that were in for other reasons such as severe asthma or fluctuating blood sugar, he did even better.

It still wasn’t a completely accurate reflection of his knowledge, because there was nothing to account for the poor impulse control – meaning he might find an answer that works, but if the question is looking for the best answer, he will choose the first thing he sees that works and move to the next question. He knew the answer to 1. but he’s moved onto 2. before getting through the list of options.

Without modifications, he failed. And that reflected poorly on the school. He could have been held back if the school had not given him the minor modifications he needed to succeed on the test, whether he knew the material or not. A huge shot to his fragile self-esteem, and a quick way to set in his mind that he is stupid and worthless and should not even try. That this is his lot in life.

That’s quite an education.

Allen Vaught approached someone who works with autistic children at a fundraiser just before the elections. Since I am involved in the autism community, this got back to me, because the person Representative Vaught approached is a friend of a friend. He told her wants to help autistic kids. Yet he’s not approaching an autism parent he knows in the district?

What’s up with that?

Could it be that District 107 autism families will not allow him to dole out under-the-table deals for their child and call it a day? Could it be that District 107 families expect him to do what it takes to get our kids back in public school, safely, where most families would like them to be? Could it be that he has learned that District 107 families have figured out that Allen Vaught supports the system, not the families impacted by the system’s tax-funded version of hell?

The system is set up so that our kids will fail. The system is set up to scare families who have a way of removing their kids from the system. The system benefits when our families are cleansed. This is what Allen Vaught means when he says he supports our public schools.

By supporting public schools/the system that systematically cleanses itself of children with disabilities, Allen Vaught is actually opposing education for an entire population of children.

Look through his bills, District 107.

See anything good in there that shows him helping autism families? See anything that would do anything substantial for education – not the system, for EDUCATION.

How can Allen Vaught help autism families by ignoring autism families?

He can’t. And he won’t.

I and the other special needs families of District 107 would love for Representative Vaught to prove me wrong.

Meanwhile we will watch and wait as we scrounge around for private school tuition and money for therapies, home school in relative isolation or deal with the repercussions of our kids who are hopelessly tethered to a neighborhood school.

Hopeless.

Vaught was re-elected thanks to straight-ticket voters who were after Obama’s message of hope.

You’d think he would be a little more appreciative of that message.

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