BUSSES ARE NEXT IN THE PLANET’S SIGHTS … meanwhile …!!PLANET EXCLUSIVE!! PART 2 IN OUR SERIES OF THE FRAUD BEING COMMITTED IN PUBLIC EDUCATION … TODAY, THE SCAM THAT IS “SPECIAL ED”
By DAN VALENTI
FIRST ADD 1, JUNE 25, 2011 — Part three of our school department expose shall focus on the phony bus purchase deal. We will say for the moment that “APPROVAL OF BUS BID” was agenda item VI-a from the June 22 meeting. Naturally, wanting to work from the facts, we went to the School Department’s web site, School Committee, Agendas and Minutes. This being Pittsfield, no minutes were posted.
“Unfair, PLANET,” some will howl. “The meeting was just last night. How can they post them that soon.” Okay. We will relent, but tell me, then, why is it that there are no minutes posted for the June 8, May 25, and May 11 meetings? Is that the best the committee can do, which is to keep citizens and press six weeks behind the times? Again, just as the $10,000 theft of the junior class’s prom money gets dismissed as a “prank” and disappears from the radar, the School Department has little to no accountability with the taxpayers.
Voters, during this election cycle, are you going to simply sit back and not start a ruckus? If there is ONE SINGLE ITEM that DESPERATELY NEEDS IMMEDIATELY ACTION, it is the financial scam that is public education in the city. Press candidates on how they will vote — for taxpayers or the special interests.
Incidentally, the $10G heist at PHS included alcohol and drug use in the building that night, involving both adults and minors. Up to 200 people roamed the corridors, vandalizing and having their way. This came with the permission of both the PHS principal and vice principal. Ah, but all is well. ‘Twas only a “prank.”
A PLANET EXCLUSIVE & EXPOSE!
This is the second in our series on the fraud and scam that has become public education in America, and, by extension, in the City of Pittsfield.
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, Thursday, June 23, 2011) — All it takes in Massachusetts, and many other states, for a child to receive pricey Special Education status is that an “expert” diagnose the student to have a “learning disorder.” Oh, check that: they call it a “learning disability.”
If a psychologist, administrator, doctor, teacher, or the parents’ bartender (just kidding)
declares a pupil has some form of learning disability, the children can be and usually are placed in the district’s Special Education program. From there, the odds are that they won’t graduate, pass MCAS, or receive a diploma. In fact, for many of these students, who cost far more to educate than the typical student, being placed in Special Ed dooms them to failure. They remain unemployable and a constant drain on public resources. They become takers, not givers, in the net-sum-loss game that every citizen plays.
Special Ed: A Case of The Blind Leading the Not Blind
In the Pittsfield Public School, most Special Ed students aren’t blind, deaf, in wheelchairs, or in any common-sense definition of the word “disabled.” Most simply have trouble learning.
The Special Ed financial disaster that has strapped reeling taxpayers’ is the result of the misapplication of the nation’s Special Ed law of 1975 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that followed 25 years later. Both laws started with good intentions but have been pounced on by bureaucrats, politicians, teachers’ unions, and other special interest groups. As always, taxpayers get stuck with the bill. Today, countless tens of billions of dollars are wasted nationally on this scam.
Special Ed students include the mentally retarded, emotionally disturbed, the developmentally delayed (whatever that means), and the “otherwise learning disabled.” The latter is a broad category with practically no definition. Boys make up approximately two-thirds of Special Ed students, which The American Spectator calls “an oddity given that learning disabilities should occur naturally among [sic] both genders.”
Here is a link with the definitions of disability under state law in Massacchusetts, taken from : //www.doe.mass.edu/lawsregs/603cmr28.html?section=02#star
As you can see, under these loose designations, practically any child could be diagnosed with a “learning disability” and put into Special Ed, where they generate far more state and federal dollars for the local school district.
Commonwealth Laws: Another Money-Making Racket
A review of the entire state Special Ed legislative package reveals a massive program hopelessly vague, incapable of swift response, and one that actually represses the education of most pupils in the jurisdiction. Why would the Department of Education and school districts such as Pittsfield allow this? Money.
From a much-needed reform to help those with actual, sensory impairment (deafness or blindness, for example), Special Ed in Massachusetts has morphed into another money making racket.
There are about 7 million special education students in the U.S. In Pittsfield, almost 20% of the 6,016 student population wallows in Special Ed. Teachers unions love “the new” Special Ed with extremely loose qualifiers because it creates layers of unnecessary bureaucracy — and the jobs that go with it — that otherwise would be unnecessary. For it’s true, according to almost all neutral and objective assessments, that most Special Ed students “are capable of the kind of academic performance expected of students in regular classrooms.”
Dirty Little Secret of Special Ed in Pittsfield Schools
The dirty little secret in Pittsfield and elsewhere is this: Kids are often placed in Special Ed simply because they are out of control. That’s a function of no discipline, love, or care in many families, who pass along their wild and unsocialized children to the schools. Teachers are afraid to discipline classrooms because of litigious parents and administrators who lack backbone. These out-of-control brats, who are that way through little fault of their own, provide “one reason for the nation’s abysmal levels of educational achievement.”
As The Spectator points out in a recent issue, President Barack Obama has made the situation worse by “unwisely deciding to toss even more money into these boondoggles.” Obama “has thrown [school] districts $11.3 billion in new subsidies … without requiring any accompanying accountability for their activities.”
Some Inconvenient Truths
Some other facts from the U.S. Department of Education and other sources:
- Between 1976 and 2006, the nation’s Special Ed population increased by 63 percent.
- Special Ed now accounts for about 15% of the nation’s school children.
- Half of the Special Ed population are labeled as having a “specific learning disability.” That is a vague, catch-all category that allows virtually any child to be put there. Simple misbehavior in the classroom resulting from lack of ordinary discipline can put a child in expensive Special Ed.
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder has mushroomed exponentially. The “disorder” is ill defined. Many consider this “diagnosis” another catch-all category.
- Also in the “catch all” class is “emotional disturbance.” Again, there are no definitions on what this is.
- Still another “toss in” category is “developmentally delayed.”
- Most of these students would not have been considered Special Ed cases 20 years ago, before the Special Ed scam hits school districts in full force.
- Most Special Ed students do not need special accommodations to pass MCAS and other standardized testing.
- Most of Special Ed cases today stem from poor parenting at home.
- Boys are far more likely to be diagnosed Special Ed because “their natural rambunctiousness is of great contrast to the more-docile behavior of their female classmates.” (Spectator)
- Special Ed means $$$ for school districts. In Pittsfield, a Special Ed student brings in three times more in state money than a “normal” student receives. That includes gifted and talented students. This fits in with a system that rewards failure and punishes success, as do the city’s schools.
- States do not wish to reform this because they received from the Feds Medicaid funds for the Special Ed population. Forbes magazine writes: “Schools see a financial incentive to designate low-achieving students as disabled, while they may not actually be disabled at all.” (Forbes, August 2009 issue)
THE PLANET does not suggest that children with genuine special needs should not receive it. You will find no greater advocate of truly needed help that at this address. We do argue, however, that the Special Ed racket be stopped. Taxpayers and public-sector budgets cannot afford to keep the gravy train going.