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Hello and Thank You for consulting Just Answer. I am sorry to hear about your frustrations about your son's class assignments for 7th grade. Teacher recommendations as well as academic performance both should be considered when selecting the proper placement. I am sure your son was just as quiet in 4th, 5th , and 6th grades. It is not fair that all of a sudden a factor for placement in the rapid learning classes is articulation. You do have a right to challenge his placement in the lower level classes. Tell the school that you would like him placed in the rapid learning classes as he was previously as it was stated in his IEP. If he is having trouble academically in the rapid learning classes in 7th grade, then he can drop down a class. However if speaking and articulation is a concern or a problem, then that can be written into the IEP as a goal that can be worked on while your son is in the rapid learning classes. You must fight for your son and be an advocate for him. The school system will just try to push you aside. They do not like confrontational parents. Your son seems too bright not to continue on an accelerated path.title="Smile"/>
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I am first of all very impressed how you summarized the information and gave a very insightful opinion on all points. I must appoligize for my initial question. I was in a hurry while typing question on my Kindle therfore I did not review my question for type errors or clarity before sending. I am now on my laptop and will try to clarify my question.
First let me begin by saying I was searching the internet for discrimination in education system for placement of high level classes. I came across the just answers web sight and it stated they give lawyer/legal answers to questions. I was expecting answer from lawyer who has worked on educational issues similar to mine and is familiar with the placement process.
My son is currently in 6th grade taking all advanced classes in an intermediate school ( 4-6th grade). We live in an affluent school district with few minorities and pay very high school/home tax. He is in gifted program for having scored an IQ of 142 on the General Ability Index scale. He has scored above 3.5 GPA on his grades for 4th, 5th, and 6th. He has advanced PA standardized scores in all subjects every year, science, math, and reading with the exception of the one time writing exam which he missed advaanced score by less than 60 points. For this excellent academic performance he is scheduled to receive the Presidential Academic Excellence award on May 25th. He won a 2nd place $50 award for writing a paper on what it means to be a patriot, yet his language arts teacher gave him a B on it. He's never had any discipline problems and gets great comments every quarter on being responsible, having good manners, and good behavior. My son is half white and half hispanic. By his appearance he is white, with same hazel eyes, skin tone, hair, facial features as father. The only way to tell he is part hispanic is if hes asked his nationality or meet his mother(me). His primary language is english, never learned any spanish.
Problem is when I received the recommendations for class level placements for when he goes to new middle school in 7th grade, they made no sense. He was placed in highest level math, but only grade level language arts. The note also said that his science and social sudies would also be same levels as language arts. My son has never received below A 98% on his grades for science and social studies (it's in their computer system, not hard to find). He doesn't even have to study for tests or put in effort. I've been waiting for my son to be challenged in school and was looking forward to the higher levels in middle schools. I am not one of those parents who brags about their child to teachers. This is first time I've ever had issue with school. Always assumed based on his grades, standardized tests, IQ, etc. that they understood he needed to be taught at a rapid pace without lots of repetition as stated in his Gifted Individual Education Plan.
When I explained all of the above to the language arts teacher assuming she was not informed she said academic performances were not all that mattered and that you needed to be articulate. That my son who has advance reading scores in PA standardized tests every year since 3rd grade and always had an A grade of 94% average in reading class was not giving him articulate responses. It was like she was inventing reasons that did not exsist. She also went on to say that she spoke to his science teacher and that he had not taken the harder science tests when asked. I said I was never informed of tests and she said I should ask science teacher. I first sent back official letter recommending my son be placed in higher level for all his classes not just math and followed up with new middle school counselor to make sure changes were made for when he goest to 7th grade. Then I contacted science teacher with intentions of finding out why my son was not given harder tests. Also to inform her most kids will not volunteer for a harder test when asked.
Science teacher said she offered all students option of taking harder tests and only one child volunteered. She did this because most kids were having trouble with more difficult questions and so she tweaked test to be less difficult. This explained why my son who loves science was coming home with 104% on science tests because he is answering her bonus questions. She was basicly dumbing down science tests so other kids in class could pass them. She went on to say that my son had started mumbling the past two weeks. She made same statement as the LA teacher " If you disagree with our recommendation you can override it". I had not realized untill that moment that she was part of the decision making of his level. I then provided her with same info on his grades etc. She said all 4 teachers are given a questionare and they simply answer questions and based on what majority say about those questions the recommendations for level are made. My son is shy and an introvert as most gifted children are and that is in his records whenever teachers asked why they needed to know about my son. This does not mean he shouldl be denied a higher level of education. Especially when I know they will better prepare him to score higher in SAT for acceptance into colleges.
My questions to a lawyer dealing with educational issues are...
What are the questions teacher were asked that would rule out my son?
Are they standardized PA questions?
Is this fair and legal in our public education system?
I do not think this is racial discrimination, but some sort of discrimination in a process that enables teachers to base recommendations on opinions rather than facts. My son would've been denied a higher education had I not taken action to have it corrected.
This seems unjust and our public education system is opening it doors to student disccrimination rather than equal education based on academic performance. A higher education in a public school is not like getting into an elite college, this is government education accessible to all Americans.
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