The inclusion debate, HQT, CC and teaching Special Education

HQT Highly Qualified Teachers has been a major focus and challenge to unravel for the last two years. This is both in personal interest and relevant to my situation in that my child has not had what I consider to be HQT for the past two years. His academic progress has been largely a result of his development and exposure, rather then curriculum based learning. His cognitive abilities are above grade level and his capacity to learn is also above grade level in quite a few subjects. In spite of this “gift” there has been very little done by his teachers to develop through “instructional support” and individualized curriculum development (that would also consider and benefit his classroom peers ) that would empower this gift. Utilizing the individual student’s talents to enhance and develop the curricula should be the teachers primary focus.

We could put some blame CC (common core) on the standards but teachers and I have seen this happen are creative enough (or should be) to supplement till the state approved books arrive.  Depending on the school delivery is usually (especially the science and ELA books) later in the year. This is when the teacher can practice and showoff most of his/her creative freedom and show off his/her teaching style.

In fact special education teachers have this (should) ability throughout the school year.  If you read Paula Kluth’s book “You’re Going To Love This Kid” Teaching students with Autism in the Inclusive Classroom Chapter 3 The Role of a Teacher she mentions  Subversive Pedagogy.  She writes” When working with students with Autism, then, subversive pedagogy may involve challenging the IEP’s reports that contain insensitive or negative language; resisting behavior programs and plans that are undignified, hurtful, or fail to consider the individual students needs  and strengths; rejecting curriculum that does not engage or challenge the learner; or pursuing inclusive education when administrators discourage such actions” (54)

I honestly do not remember ever at any IEP meeting having a Teacher do this (not to say there are not some) for my child.  In fact most of the time the school CSE meeting is dominated by the district rep who may or may not even know the student!

Check out her book its great and at the library or amazon

HQT (Highly Qualified Teachers) have been a major focus this week for me. It’s motivating to know that HQTs out there that love learning and teaching.

Now empowered and considering my child’s last two and current classroom setting experiences; I have been determined to get answers on who is by (local state and federal) law allowed to teach my child with such unique needs including HFA (High Functioning Autism).

After spending significant time on the phone with my regional associate we worked together looking at the Regs in to find answers to our questions about special education teaching certificates, internships and programs that are outlined as a state requirement in 200.1 definitions it defines Special Education Teachers :

” (yy) Special education teacher means a person, including an itinerant teacher, certified or licensed to teach students with disabilities pursuant to Part 80 of this Title who is providing special education to the student. For a student who is being considered for initial placement in special education, a teacher qualified to provide special education in the type of program in which the student may be placed may serve as the student’s special education teacher.  ”

 Now part 80 is not as clear or easy to read compared to Part 200.

See part 80

compared to part 200:

What we found so far (and I have more research to do) shows that we certainly are  heading in the right direction. She also pointed out Part 200.2 (b)3 and 200.2(b)12.

(b)Written policy. Each board of education or board of trustees shall adopt written policy that establishes administrative practices and procedures:

(3) for appointing and training appropriately qualified personnel, including the members and chairpersons of the committee on special education and the committee on preschool special education, to carry out the functions identified in this Part;

(12) that identify the measurable steps it shall take to recruit, hire, train and retain highly qualified personnel, as defined in section 120.6 of this Title and 34 CFR 300.18 (Code of Federal Regulations, 2009 edition, title 34, section 300.18, Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402-0001; 2009 – available at the Office of Counsel, New York State Education Department, Room 148, State Education Building 89 Washington Avenue,  Albany, NY 12234), to provide special education programs and services;

If your child has an IEP and lives in NYC I highly recommend reaching out to your regional associate (RA). They handle parent questions and state complaint ( long process).  You can find out who  your RA is  is by calling and visiting the following website. . I am quite happy with my RA who is new but very responsive and always calls back. Since the leadership reorganiztion in NYC has changed from Networks ( see my old blog on networks) to district field borough offices ( still seems to be in the works) RAs have been reassigned new Local districts. NYC is one whole district comprised of 31 school districts not including D75 and D79 (still researching these two in terms of leadership organization). At the RA level the 31 districts are broken down by regions so one RA will oversee 3-5 local districts. When the Networks were in place the the number that they were called were significant in that Network 612 and Network 602 were overseen by Region 6 cluster 2. Since that has changed I have yet to learn the new structure. My resources say that the cluster position has been expunged.

Will update soon


3 thoughts on “The inclusion debate, HQT, CC and teaching Special Education

  1. My favorite part of the year is when the crappy Common Core books haven’t been delivered yet. You’re right, it’s an opportunity to be creative once again. However, sometimes the school shoves garbage down our throats while we await delivery. As a general education teacher teaching alongside a special education teacher in an ICT setting (18 general education students and 12 special educations students), I agree with the necessity to allow peers to learn from one another. Each student has a special skill set that no other human being has; schools need to spend time nurturing this instead of feeding the machinations of politicians.

    It’s hard to define a HQT because BS science is behind it. Just like it’s hard to say a kid is a “1” because they are not good at taking state exams.

    One (of many) thing that drives me nuts is when a teacher is absent, a proper sub isn’t sent in. A proper sub would be a sub that has a proper license. If it’s a SE class they are covering, schools need to make a real effort to put qualified teachers into the classroom.

    I am learning a lot through my co-teacher, but there’s still so much to learn…I look forward to learning through your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lucky you! Currently my son is getting ICT services, however I found out a few days ago that the special ed teacher has a internship certificate and the Gen Ed teacher was licenced since 1988, that being said after parent teacher night I have a feeling that in his class its the other way around in that the Intern is learning from a Gen Ed teacher. Not that she won’t learn anything, but this hardly seems appropriate or legal.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s