theebrandenburgs blogspere

This page is designed to share information about our struggle to gain equity for our unique children and their learning styles in a public education system that is designed primarily to teach a single type of learner, and which is increasingly sidelined by fiscal and philosophical issues that challenge the core of its collective existence. We are especially interested in unique learners, and the talented people who teach them, their families, and our shared value as human beings. We seek the end of discrimination, the end of seclusion, separation, and isolation, as well as an end to chemical and physical restraints that are commonly used to assault our children and our unique interpretations of the world.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Comments from "National Inclusion 'Weak'"

What follows is the thread that followed Tony's blog on inclusion. Yes, these are real people, many of the people are the parent bullies we have dealt with since September, 2010. These cowards hide behind their anonymity for whatever reason, and try to utilize subterfuge and lies to justify their cowardice and hypocrisy.  Believe it; these are real people. They are our neighbors.

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Tony Brandenburg

Joanne Louisa

" there will never be 100% of our students meeting proficiency in their respective growth and target areas"
Truer words were never spoken. We are not born with equal aptitudes and abilities, and we therefore will not all achieve equal scores on a bubble test of a very limited slice of those abilities. That education is built around pretending we can reach that goal, or that the goal itself is a worthy one, is a sad, sad thing for all our students.
I am not sure what world you are living in. Where I live, there are children who can't use language to communicate. They will never test above "far below basic" on a test of English Language Arts.

Tony Brandenburg

so, is the solution the removal of that population from 900 api schools? move them someplace else- maybe somewhere out of your world and into mine? only include the ones who hit the watermark? send the rest to another school?
one test doesn't fit all; that hardly implies that children can't meet realistic goals. the ability to use language to communicate? what language would that be? spoken? written? gestural? you seem to have the ability to communicate, yet you are hardly clear in your statement. does that make you basic? does that define who you are and where you should be allowed to learn?

Edugreat

The phrase “one test doesn't fit all” is true. That is why after years of complaints the state finally, a few years ago, implemented at all grade levels the CAPA Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA), and the California Modified Assessment (CMA). These alternate versions of the regular CST allow for a better fit for the child who needs them. The parents in the IEP must agree these to, otherwise the regular CST would be given. These tests still test the grade level core content (3rd grade math, 10th grade history…) but offer it with shorter reading passages, fewer answer choices, and less complex problems. If a child who takes either the CAPA or CMA scores Proficient or Advanced on them they count just as much toward the schools API/AYP score as anyone else. There is no “penalty” for taking the alternate assessment. So there is every incentive for all schools to have students correctly identified and an IEP held to allow for these more accommodating assessments to be provided.
Is it a perfect solution, by all means NO. But it is a step in the right direction. But some parents block even this on some misguided moral high ground that their child needs to be “included” in everything including a mismatched test and so force their children into a testing situation they are bound to fail.
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Mary Brandenburg

@"Edugreat"- Nice try.......um, "misguided" moral high ground for parents expecting their children be included?
Why's it misguided moral high ground to expect all people to be treated equitably, fairly, and to be respected- and not to be excluded based on group think and assumptions of abilities.
When people make statements, circulate petitions of exclusion (or should I call it the Sierra Madre School Letter?), congregate on school property to publicly crucify a child.......and then hide behind their "anonymity", rather than owning their words and actions- that looks like pure cowardice, hysteria.......and yes, bullying.
So if you're going to judge those "misguided" parents who have the guts to own their principals and beliefs, perhaps you should examine your own moral high ground, and where it has sunk to??
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Edugreat

Mary - I have gone back and reread your attached PDFs on the other blogs and in reality I don't see that anyone ever said anything about wanting to remove your child due to his disability. (I am sure if it is ther you'll let me know). All I read were parents talking about not wanting their kids subjected to physical attacks, or the disruption of the classroom. Those same letters could have been written about my own child if he exhibited the behaviors they are saying your child of doing. The only difference is that because your child has autism the process to a resolution was different. My son would have been expelled. As many christians say - "they love the sinner but hate the sin" Your son was not focused on because he is autistic, but because of his behavior, and that is not prejidice or bullying.
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Mary Brandenburg

@Edugreat- the public records I attached are just the beginning of what we've found out in this whole ugly matter.
The "Action plan" with the parents/principal, but not us? Yes, we have the information, and a corresponding timeline.
The Sierra Madre Parent Letter (aka petition)? Yes, we know.....who sent it, and who it was sent to......
That the SME PTA rewarded this Principal with a building dedication for kowtowing under the pressure of the parent "elite", rather than supporting the civil rights of a child- makes this "honor" a farce.......kind of like the idea that Sierra Madre School is an "inclusive" school....when anyone outside of the school microcosm knows what it really is: elitism, exclusion, denial of responsibility.......etc.
The core value of a "safe and nurturing" environment applies only to some of the children, not mine.
My son had his private area grabbed by another child, his mother saw, but only threatened him with the possible loss of a donut. No apology to my son, nor to me- we don't warrant that level of respect. Rather than turning it into a ugly situation, going to the principal asking for suspension, filing assault reports, etc. I simply told the child that it wasn't ok to grab anyone like that.
You mentioned that my son was not focused on for having autism. You're right, they thought it was something else. This focus, or TARGETING, was on the behaviors associated with the autism. Targeting someone for their disability IS bullying.

Tony Brandenburg

which misguided parents would that be, "edu-lou"? since all three of my children score proficient and above on the cst (not the capa, do you value them more now?) you can't be referring to me, so which misguided parents are you referring to?
how about those inclusive education activities? i bet they were a huge hit and worked volumes towards progress. be sure an upload them for me. you have to hit the send button. who knew?
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Edugreat

If you feel a little threatened that is your problem, I was addressing Joanne’s and your comments about the tests. I agreed the testing situation and school rankings don’t serve any child well. I point out the misconception that there is just one test version and all students must take it.
The parents I referred to are at a school I work with and the child was in 2nd grade last year. Parents refuse to have him assessed or serviced in any way. While the school psych cannot make official diagnosis, the child is very much on the autism spectrum. Because he has not been identified he had to take the full CST last year. Due to his triggers and outbursts - tearing papers, screaming, hiding under desks. (he never attacked other kids fortunately) it would not be possible for him to remain in the room and allow other students to do their best. The parents insisted that since he was in a regular class he must take the regular test same as everyone else. I was able to give it to him over the course of 6 days. He tried very hard, cried a lot and broke many pencils. On the last two days I insisted that his mom sit in with us and observer him. I was hoping she would see and understand that his “inclusion” was torture for him.
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Edugreat

(Pt.2 if posted out of order)
She didn’t see it that way and this year he is included with not support again, but has begun to hit. If he makes it till April, I am sure I’ll be testing him again, but on the 3rd grade test he has to read it all on his own. While we have may positive inclusion stories as well as SDC settings at the school, it makes me very angry at these parents who fear the “label” so much they deny their kids a supportive situation where they would be able to be more successful and have less stress put on them.
When the scores came back he received B in math and BB in ELA. And yes the child would have and continues to have outbursts in class, to the detriment of the other kids learning at least once a week. He often self selects to come visit me when I am in my office and I truly enjoy talking to him. He was rather down in Sept. because his parents were upset at his low scores on the CST. Because he has no aide to help him, and the teacher has 25 other students to monitor his unique needs are often not met. We all have been very patient with him since we all know it is his parents misguided views that are preventing him from getting the support he needs. He has a behavior plan, but with his increased aggression toward others and no IEP, the district has begun to suspend him. Hopefully the parents wake up and get their child the help and support he needs.
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Tony Brandenburg

why would i feel threatened, 'lou'........ should i?
i asked you a question, i asked you if my children are more valuable because they score in the upper 85% on some b/s bubble test.
let me ask another question. maybe two or three. why are you telling me about someone else's child- why do you gossip about other people's children?
what is it about parent choice that makes you 'angry' as opposed to concerned? i mean, personally i save my 'anger' for parents who walk out of their children's lives, not for the one's who advocate and stay active within.
let me toss you a coin lou
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Edugreat

Tony - It is not my problem tha you ask a question and don't like the answer - you have already asked and I answered them: "which misguided parents would that be, "edu-lou"? since all three of my children score proficient and above on the cst (not the capa, do you value them more now?) you can't be referring to me, so which misguided parents are you referring to? "
I told you the test and rankings are stupid, the 100% by 2014 and related cutpoints and penelties harm kids, teachers and parents more than they help. The state, not myself places the API value higher on students who score Prof/Adv. also stated that the CAPA and CMA were put in place to valadate the reality that students with disabilities often (not always) need additional considerations, but that a Adv. on the CAPA or CMA has the same STATE value for the API.
You asked which parents I was referring to and I told you.
I agree with you that parents of the child I shared about are "within their rights" to deny services for their child, I just feel it borders on neglect and abuse just as some fringe christian groups deny medical help and allow kids to die from lack of medical treatments. Just because some one has the right doesn't make it right.
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Tony Brandenburg

skiptomyedulou, you don't answer questions, i dunno if you even read through them.
it sounds like you changed the administration of a standardized test, or at least that is implied in your post. did i misunderstand something?
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Edugreat

Tony here let me do it again:
"more valuable because they score in the upper 85% on some b/s bubble test."
your children are no more/less valuable than any other no matter what, but according to the state's API ranking the Prof level gives the school 4 points and BelowBasic gives 2 and the version of test CST/CMA/CAPA makes no difference.
"why do you gossip about other people's children?" well if you remember your own post - YOU ASKED WHO I MEANT.
"what is it about parent choice that makes you 'angry' as opposed to concerned?" - we all have our own hot buttons - I do get angry when I see parents make choices which put their children in situations harmful to the child (emotional or physical) to further their own agenda.
"sounds like you changed the administration of a standardized test, or at least that is implied in your post. did i misunderstand something" - yes you show your ignorance of state approved test modifications - as a teacher I would have expected you to be aware of them to better help your kids, but for your information here is the link:
http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/sr/
Testing Variations, Accommodations, and Modifications -see page 1
small group and one on one are approved for everyone if regularly used, and a parent observer in an alternate setting is ok as long as they do not see the test or coach/help the child.
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Tony Brandenburg

come now, you treat me like an........ edufool........ put up your credentials, lou. mine can be verified, you are an anonymous troll baiter. i don't ned clarification from the page, but thanks, i guess. i read protocols, i know what i am doing. you haven't proven you have the authority to test anyone, just that you think you do.
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Mary Brandenburg

@Edugreat: I don't expect you to respond to my prior comments, as they may be considered a little too hot to handle, huh?
But........re: regularly removing (eg. segregating) a child from accessing the general education environment without benefit of an IEP........I would call that a change of placement.
If the situation was as "bad" as you inferred, you should know that the District can file Due process to assert FAPE for the child.........unless the situation was exaggerated? Tearing papers, breaking pencils, crying........hey! That sounds kind of familiar!
Did anyone ever think to accommodate this child's frustration with writing tasks with perhaps an appropriate alternative rather than indiscriminately isolating him? Or did the class parents request the removal and the school acquiesced? Gee, I know of a group of parents that requested a child's designated 1:1 aide be removed and replaced with a bruiser/body guard intent on physical restraint for a 7 YEAR OLD CHILD.
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Tony Brandenburg

hey lou, so you are telling me that YOU pulled a child from class WITHOUT checking to see if it was on his IEP/504- that you brought his PARENT into the the testing situation and you think you were following protocol because...... oh, and that's because treating the kid like this is what you did all the time. oh, i get it now.
i call the testing people DIRECTLY when i am unsure, i don't interpret the law for the state. but, hey, thanks, i'll call YOU next time, lou.
but, um, lou, A PARENT CAN NOT BE IN THE ROOM THEIR OWN CHILD IS TESTED IN- EVEN IF THEY ARE TEACHERS .......... so you allowed this? really? who is the student? did you let them know that the score is now moot because you know more than the state? are you saying that this is commonly practiced?
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Edugreat

Gee Tony and Mary you accuse me of not reading things...
The child HAD NO IEP or 504 - his parents refuse to have him assessed for fear of the dredded label. he is in a sink or swim situation with no help because his parents listen to an "expert" advocate they selected. And Tony - I am the testing coordinator for this site and I did call the state and the parent sat just outside of my office open door with a view into the room so she could see the child's actions/reactions to the test. She could neither hear nor see the test. This is no different than the many times I have had to go to a home and give a child the test due to injury or illness.
Mary - his small group testing is an allowed accomodation for ANY student if regullarly used. So following your example we should have just left him in the class and screwed everyone else. The district has choosen not to force the issue and is trying to presuade the parents to agree to assessment. Didffernet districts do different things.
By the way I think you did a disservice to both your own child and the other child by not informing the teacher or administration of the grabbing incident. How can bullying be stopped if it is not reported. Maybe this child has a history or a behavior plan for past incidents. The admin can't help if they aren't told. It is all about children being held responsible for their actions, but since it cuts both ways I understand why you would want to minimize it and sweep it under the rug.
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Edugreat

Oh and Mary,
re"re: regularly removing (eg. segregating) a child from accessing the general education environment without benefit of an IEP........I would call that a change of placement. "
due to the child's low test scores (go figure) he qulifies for Title I services in the Learning Center - he often takes his regular chapter and benchmark tests in this room with one of our title I hourly teachers along with other struggling students.
This is not a change of placement it is in the Tier I and Tier II interventions of RtI.
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Mary Brandenburg

@Edugreat- check out the new pdf........look at all familiar? I just received the attached letter as well. Now it's very clear who was working on excluding a child because of his disability. There's absolutely no way that it can be misconstrued as the parent coalition "trying to help" anyone but themselves. Nice try though.
Oh, regarding the child grabbing my son's private area? I didn't insist that he be suspended, but it was reported to the principal, besides the mother standing right there and doing nothing. That same principal? Well, the Sierra Madre PTA board requested that an auditorium be named in her honor.
Funny thing.......the author of the public doc added here was a PTA Board rep. Perhaps the renaming of the auditorium was a thank you for following through on the parent bullies request???
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Mary Brandenburg

Oh, and his teacher? She was standing right there as well.
I'm sure if there could have been a way to turn it all around and blame it on my son, the pens would have been busy jotting down yet another behavioral emergency report to pin on him, the scape goat for everything wrong at Sierra Madre School.
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Tony Brandenburg

you are getting edusloppy. i don't 'accuse' you of not reading. you and your friends bullied my child out of school; this you have already indicated. you came to this thread to bully my wife and i the same way. keep going. i find you amusing, like a clown.
i personally find the way you discuss children to be offensive. i certainly believe that justifies your cowardice in disclosing what you believe is your anonymity. how easy to cast tones from the dark.
why are you so jealous of us? just curious.

Tony Brandenburg

i love my multi-posting machine.

Mary Brandenburg

This piece was not really about testing, but about inclusion.

"Inclusive Schools Week" was validated by the passage of a Board item at the last meeting.
Inclusive schools week has come and gone at Sierra Madre, celebratory shows for the holidays the highlight. This week a celebration for the principal that created a "safe and nurturing environment" for SOME, but not ALL students.
Perhaps Sierra Madre School has plans for next year??
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Joanne Louisa

Whenever I read these threads, filled with vitriol for SME and the town as well, I can't help asking myself what kind of parents send their child to a school they strongly believe is not a safe and nurturing place for him. I would move to a healthier community in a heartbeat if my children's educational environment was threatening or dangerous. There are no do-overs of a childhood, and there is nothing more important than getting it right. I certainly wouldn't pin my hopes on the possibility that next year *might* be better.
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Tony Brandenburg

i am so glad that i helped expand your vocabulary, joanna louisa. thank you for your wonderful suggestion. back in the old days these were the precursors to the more direct request to "get out of here" like executive order 9066, which is also part of our shared history. how nifty to warn us first. :) thank you. it never dawned on me that yu guys were actually trying to get us TO MOVE OUT OF SIERRA MADRE- maybe it was all part of the bigger picture? it never crossed my mind that there might be a deeper motive among the CORE PARENT GROUP to do exactly that. thank you for the heads up. you're great!
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Lynne T

the same people that need attention and what would they do if they couldn't complain and harass anyone that has a slightly different opinion...they don't want healthier

missy

hey edugreat i read the above post about the parent (edugreat ?) of a unnamed child who was rewarded to a donut after grabbing the brandenburgs childs crotch . why wasnt that child made to apologize to the brandenburgs child??????????? oh by the way have you had a progress in your figuring out your gender marylou ? you know there is help for this you first need to think what gender you feel most comfortable with. good luck to your transformation .

missy

edugreat maybe instead of an making action plan to take out a small child you should have used your pitchfork clan for the good of the community by going after the town perv MATHESON. sierra madre is a real scary place!!

missy

edugreat i mean LOLA lo lo lo lo Lola
i wonder if the brandenburgs look carefully at that blacked out pdf file they can see the donut ladies name??

missy

time to make the donuts!!!!

missy

thank you thank you thank you joanne loustupida thats the kind of solution ive come to expect from you !!!! RUN RUN RUN to the next town and hide . golly gee wouldnt the better solution be to change the narrow minded people of your town into doing the right thing instead of filing false police reports and lying to the school and making up stories about a small boy. it seems simple to me these parents (the brandenburgs) are fighting for the rights of their child who was falsely accused and they refuse to back down until a change for the better is made. and joanne loustupida if anyone should be hiding its you and edugreat with your numerous posts you both should be embarrassed of your backwoods kind of thinking!!!!

Mary Brandenburg

@Joanne: Did Sierra Madre's latest dirty little secret......Matheson say only nice things about the city? I bet should get him cred with certain members of the community, right? Those that ask for equity and transparency become the town pariahs. Sadly, we have asked for over a year of both the former superintendent and former principal that Sierra Madre school be a secured campus, like all other schools. But, maintaining the delusions that bad things never happen in "perfect" Sierra Madre those that could have insured that the campus was safe from community members entering and exiting freely, now have to consider that Matheson may have been one of those respected town elite.

Mary Brandenburg

Joanne, do you think if we paint pretty rainbows on our house and lace our vitriol with cutsie phrases that we'll meet Sierra Madre standards of "cool".....and maybe even get in the club?
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