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High school SPED teachers are coaches and PE teachers


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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
Posts: 69138
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Posted Aug 06, 2003 at 6:33:01 PM
Subject: High school SPED teachers are coaches and PE teachers

In Santa Clarita the norm seems to be for sped teachers to be coaches and PE teachers. The teachers have a couple of periods of teaching a special day class and the rest are PE or coaching.

At first I was surprised by the difference in quality teaching that my son had in elementary vs junior and high school. His teachers now seem to know very little about teaching students with special needs. Finally, another teacher explained that it is common practice for principals to use their special ed positions to hire more coaches. Sometimes certificated teachers are turned away in favor of someone who has no experience with special education but who can coach.

I don't know if this is legal, but it sure doesn't seem to have the best interests of the kids in mind. I don' think the students needs are being met in the true spirit of IDEA.

Is this common in other places and should or can something be done about it?

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bgb
Joined Jun 13, 2003
Posts: 330

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Posted:Aug 08, 2003 9:45:49 AM

Well, its not the norm here. That's for sure.

I may have an issue with the turn-over and lack of specialized training her but nothing to this degree.

If you haven't, I strongly suggest you post this question in both the parenting and teacher forums.

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Anonymous
Joined Dec 18, 2014
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Posted:Nov 29, 2003 8:15:47 AM

Your school system must have replicated the program in our District because this is certainly the norm in central California. In fact, according to the 25 year veteran director/teacher of the remedial reading program at our local high school - back in the early 90's the District decided they didn't have the $$$'s to keep up with the influx of resource referrals – of course the main learning challenge for many of the students referred to the resource program at that time was English as a second language, but that’s another issue.

The District’s solution was that ALL PE coaches were told they had to pass a test and cover a resource class - or not coach. None were qualified - nor wanted to be - according to the director, but he was required to help them cram to learn ONE component of a THREE-component remedial reading program so they could squeak by and meet the minimum requirements to call themselves qualified. Once the half-assed program was technically satisfied, the other two components of the remedial program were abandoned. As for the competence of the PE coaches to teach remedial reading skills, the director says not one knows a diphthong from a digraph.

You have EVERY reason to be concerned about the likelihood of your child receiving educational benefit in such a program.

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Anonymous
Joined Dec 18, 2014
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Posted:Dec 01, 2003 10:43:41 AM

In the best of all possible worlds, something should be done about it and people like you who consider such things are heroes to the rest of us. I'd only gently advise you though to realize that few changes happen fast and in schools it's often slower. The good things that you might bring about might happen after your son is no longer in school but other people's children could certainly benefit from your good work.

Teachers are easily offended too so rather than tell anybody the quality of instruction is poor, what about getting a spec. ed director to educate the teachers/coaches on how better to teach? The worst of teachers can become a better one with guidance, help and support.

I'd go to somebody high up and gently tell them that you've noticed a remarkably high percentage of coaches teaching spec. ed and ask - in feigned innocence -why is that and go from there.

I wouldn't start from assuming anything about the true spirit of IDEA. Sadly I don't think our society intends our schools to be a level playing field or coaches for spec. ed teachers wouldn't be happening.

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Anonymous
Joined Dec 18, 2014
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Posted:Dec 01, 2003 9:34:42 PM

Sara is right that change is slow to come. A student in high school today could be close to retirement age before any real progress is made in this area - or special ed in general.

Anyone who shares the vision of systemic change (or advocates for a student/child that doesn't have the academic time to spare waiting for their teachers to come up to speed in research-based instructional methods) will probably find more tools to spearhead change with No Child Left Behind than those found in IDEA.

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