Thursday, December 24, 2009

Dying, Mothers & Fighting For Your Ideas In Texas

That's Jonathon Morrow you're looking at. He is a famous blogger.

I'd not heard of Jonathon Morrow til today. I was telling someone about another blogger's most recent blog and it's boneheadedly annoying premise, that being that the No Child Left Behind policy, as practiced in Texas, was causing the education level to be drug down to the Lowest Common Denominator.

As in the smart kids were being held back because the teaching had been dumbed down to the LCD level.

This blogger's solution was to separate the smart from the not so smart, so the not so smart would stop hindering the smart from getting smarter.

This blogger seemed to have no concept of the reality that being the top student in your class does not necessarily mean you are also the smartest student in the class. There are all sorts of things to be smart about, in addition to being able to process a complex math problem.

In days gone by, for the most part, kids with Dyslexia would get labeled stupid because they could not learn to read.

I don't know for sure why I found the LCD blogger's blogging about LCD so disturbing. Maybe it was the arrogant, elitist attitude behind it.

On the same day that the LCD blogger was being boneheaded, the Queen of Wink told me about a problem out in West Texas where a student with a slight learning disorder was being denied special help. The Americans with Disabilities Agency is coming to the rescue.

Speaking of Americans with Disabilities and why we collectively need to help those who need special help brings me back to Jonathon Morrow.

His mother had to fight hard for Jonathon, first off, to live, second off, to get to go to school. Read Jonathon's blogging about Dying, Mothers and Fighting for Your Ideas and then tell me that we should separate those with special needs from those blessed with fewer problems.

Now, the LCD blogger will insist that this was not what he meant. What he doesn't get is who gets to decide who is smarter, who's special need gets helped? Who sets the criteria? If I were the dictator I'd separate those with a Low Social IQ from those with a High Social IQ and put the LSIQ's in a different school from the HSIQ's. This would put me in a different school from the LCD Blogger.

The person who told me about Jonathon Morrow has a High Social IQ. So the story could not be told without a few tears flowing. It's that inspirational. So, read it.


Jovan Gonzales said...

Dangit. I had a whole amazing comment typed and lost it. Stupid interwebz. I'm gonna try again so don't judge.

I think if everyone in the world learned from Mr. Morrow there would pretty much be no one with a low social IQ. Maybe HE should be runnin Texas. Haha. I feel so inspired by him! Thanks for directing me to his page! I also feel a little selfish for leading a priviledged life an not already being governor or something. Lol.

Now. As far as boneheaded blogger is concerned, some (if not most Texas schools) already separate the smartest kids from the average kids. He must not be from here. I only know this because I was one of the "smart" kids. They sent us to a different school twice a week and when we were in our own schools we had our own classrooms. It was called "Talented and Gifted" in Greenville and "Academcially Challenging Experiences" in Sulphur Springs. I won't lie to you Dango, that might have been the best thing ever for me. Those programs are what made me a lot of what I am today. I've been in TAG since I was in 2nd grade because I wasn't being challenged enough in school. I learned so much from those classes and did so many things that I would have never done in any other classes. I also learned some not so useful stuff like Latin in 5th grade and Greek in 6th grade. Anyways. My point is that it was kind of a great thing that I was separated ... My only concern is if other kids were being denied the best teachers and resources as a result of our small group being advanced. I only recall there being about 20-30 kids total being in the program from each grade. So that's about 10% of the kids in my grade. It's pretty weird that the same 10% graduated at the top of the class.

I suppose I can see the upside and downside. I happened to enjoy the upsides but I'm sure it made a lot of the other kids feel less than intelligent. I don't really know. Now that I think about it, a lot of teachers(normally the stupid football coaches/history teachers) always mentioned that we "thought we were better than everyone else because were smart."

Now you've got me all twisted up in the head ponderin all this!!! Aaaaaahhhhh. :p

janneba said...

quite a story.Thank you

Cheap Tricks and Costly Truths said...

Durango, I loved reading Mr. Morrow's blog, thank you for the introduction. A truly inspirational story and I'm sure his mommy has had her share of Proud Mommy Moments.

Jovan, you were blessed to have those experiences and I wouldn't take those away from you ever. In most schools these days, GT is no longer a pull out, it is part of the class via enrichment activities. These enrichment activities are enjoyed by all students now. I once observed in a magnet school in Odessa, elementary. It was in a low income neighborhood and it was very unique. The students rec'd instruction in French, German, Spanish and English. Once they got through with 6th grade, the goal was for them to be quad-lingual. These kiddos weren't GT, but they sure made it seem easy speaking in all those languages. At the end of my observation, I was able to attend a multi-cultural, multi-lingual program. The kids were singing songs in all four languages...they ended the program with...Love In Any Language...well, you know how that ended for me...blubbering.

Durango said...

Sorry I got you all confused and perplexed. I too was put in Special Education in Washington for 2 years, 3rd and 4th grade. It was several hours every day. We got to go on fun field trips to Seattle and Vancouver. I have no problem with giving a special boost to kids who show promise. The problem I had with the LCD blogger was the arbitrariness of it. At age 12, take a test, your score determines the rest of your life. That just ain't the American Way. Here we get multiple chances, changes in direction, suddenly being discovered, suddenly bankrupt. I think, maybe, the LCD blogger got on my nerves due to the sort of Fascist underpinning, you know, weed out the weakest, and I get to decide who is weak, type of mentality.

And on another note, I am sort of annoyed that you aren't already the governor of Texas. Get on the fast track, boy.

Jovan Gonzales said...

Psh, we went on fun trips, too! Though we ended up going to places like Washington, D.C. and NYC. It was amazing. When Texas does something, we do it big, lol.

I do now understand what was meant by all that. I guess when I was reading I felt a little weird about my GT and such, haha!

Oi! You listen here, I would LOVE to be governor, but it seems I need to get more support first, haha!