May 27, 2008

Turning kindergarten into "Survivor"

According to the Sun-Sentinel Sunday and a South Florida TV news report yesterday, a Port St. Lucie, Florida, mother is complaining that his kindergarten student's teacher allowed the other children in the room to vote him out of the class. (Hat tip.)
After each classmate was allowed to say what they didn't like about [Melissa] Barton's 5-year-old son, Alex, his Morningside Elementary teacher Wendy Portillo said they were going to take a vote, Barton said. By a 14 to 2 margin, the students voted Alex—who is in the process of being diagnosed with autism—out of the class.

If that report is accurate, it's a sign of serious problems with that particular teacher; you don't address behavior problems with votes of 5-year-olds. Moreover, since the district has to obey the same federal law on special education as everyone else, the district could be at legal risk of failing to provide positive behavior support for the child. I don't know what the obligations are for a student who is in the middle of the eligibility assessment process, but this is definitely a "what the heck is going on?" story.

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Posted in Education policy on May 27, 2008 7:57 AM |