Walking on the treadmill this morning because there is literally a blizzard of snow fall out my window I found my mind racing, running, and spewing. A week of babysitting special educators and administrators at one of the state’s highest ranked high schools left me mentally exhausted.
One would think the fucking standardized tests that take over the building once a year would require a great deal of planning. Ts to be crossed, Is to be dotted – yet in the enormous amount of preparation my child did not receive the accommodations detailed in his IEP. The special educator who I suspect was in charge of putting his name on a list for extended time and use of a keyboard during these stupid tests forgot him. That is the only logical explanation I can come up with. FOR-FUCKING-GOT him!!!
I asked son after day one of testing if he received extra time. He didn’t know. He doesn’t often “need” the time, but definitely NEEDS the illusion of extra time as a stress reducer. I sent a brief email to special educator verifying his standardized test accommodations. She responded, like a coward, I will forward your question onto our vice principal in charge of testing.
He responded, “We have been monitoring students use of accommodations in the regular classroom and since your son has not requested extended time this year he will not receive the accommodation.”
My first thought was, well he also has an accommodation for a quiet place to regroup if he has an emotional breakdown, he hasn’t used that this year either.. is this no longer available too?” Email back to vice principal was sent after I called my son out of school on the day they would be testing for reading and writing, asking if he would also not be allowed to also use a keyboard – an accommodation he has received since fifth grade. Vice principal calls district testing coordinator who verifies that my son does actually get that one.
Son goes back to school and completes the rest of his testing in a private room with keyboard and extra time. WHAT THE FUCK! What a huge, fucking crack my son just fell through. This makes me question every single moment of his day and if he is receiving anything at all from this highly ranked, award-winning high school. My next question, will he receive accommodations on his ACT? Oh, that’s a different story. We need to document that he has used extended time on exams/assessments during the regular school day. My question, one of my child’s IEP goals is in self advocacy. Do you think we would even have an IEP if he were organized enough to schedule a room with extended time for each test or quiz? This would be one hell of an accomplishment for a kid with executive function issues. They could cross that goal off the list immediately.
So, next week I learn more about ACT accommodations from the vice principal and apparently a room full of other professionals at the school. I am pissed, I am tired, I’m broke and I don’t want to babysit anymore!
A scene from the movie Terms of Endearment keeps running through my head. Shirley McClain’s character is at the hospital with the dying Debra Winger. It’s time for her pain medication and it is not coming. She runs through the hospital screaming, “GIVE MY DAUGHTER HER SHOT.” I feel like that lunatic mother screaming, yelling and demanding what her child needs and DESERVES.
Rant over. Thank you for letting me also include some much-needed curse words. ROAR!