Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Academic Egypt

I met a modern Pharaoh today. Blond haired, on the other side of the middle age peak, friendly in that "Nice to met ya'll" way, and powerful, if unassuming, in her domain . This woman decides the fates of finances which decides the fates the academic world, if not the whole entire world. The Pharaoh said the reasonable things and made politician promises and I felt lost in the wilderness of Special Education and I had yet to be freed from it. Maybe I actually felt enslaved or rather that my child is enslaved.

My son's needs outstrip the public school system's willingness to meet them. That is to say, he is being taught last years curriculum and is next year smart. After having another congenial
Academic Review with the various prelates and pilates, I went straight to the top. Pharaoh professed concern but little power outside of funding, which is to say she had all the power.

When I got home, my daughter gave me the results of her recent testing. We made the decision to put her in school at a reasonable age for a generation ago. She is a year younger than most of her class. And while she did well she is not above the 96th percentile. And accordingly, she is not G.T. (Gifted and talented, for non-parents.)

On this day, these results felt oppressive and wrong. My primal urge was to pull both of my gifted and talented children out of school where they could be taught by a teacher who viewed them as above average in all ways. Or, I wanted to move to Lake Woebegone where my kids could fit right in.

A friend talked me off the ledge. Smarter and with more children and thoroughly savvy in the ways of Egypt, she warned me of the mean masters ahead and had me counting my blessings for the now.

Is there an academic promised land filled with milk and cookies? I'm just wondering if I should let my little people go....home.


Antoinette said...

A Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise has been my guide in homeschooling. Why don't you read it? Whether you decide to homeschool or not it will deffinitely give excellent ideas on education.

Dr. Melissa said...


Thank you for the advice. My sister-in-law recommended that book, too. I'm worried about Home Schooling because of me. I'm not particularly structured. I worry about not stimulating the kids enough. I worry that I'll leave gaps in their learning. I worry that my neurosis will get transferred to them undiluted.

So my worries have stopped me from Home Schooling.

Anonymous said...

My child was diagnosed with a learning disability around the 3rd grade. I kept him in Public schools, we got iep's every year which WE DEFINITELY ATTENDED. I had a problem with ONE woman in particular telling me she would not let my son take Algebra something unless i did such and such. They begin to think that THEY have all the power and they are the parent. I put my foot down. And said, 'He is MY son and he WILL go into that class next year'. That was all i had to say. Schools pull such dirty little tricks. He got help yes and it was wonderful but they pulled him out of important, really important classes like HISTORY and SCIENCE to give him that help. THEN, I was told that in college he would continue to get this academic consideration. HE DID NOT. His university was full of the most hateful, ritalin pushing, birkenstock clad, long grey haired, dirndl skirted, special ed hippies I have EVER had the misfortune of running into. He STILL made it in spite of them. Have i got stories! c