Thank you for calling out the reckless, arrogant spending and direction of our superintendent and board.
I am a Fayette County resident and the mother of three school-age children. Our family has personally bumped up against the FCBOE “sacred cow” education machine. Your op-ed was hope, a praise moment. Finally, someone willing to challenge FCBOE.
Two of our children are dyslexic. Our oldest is twice exceptional, meaning, diagnosed as “gifted” and “learning disabled.”
Despite having an IEP — which is federal law guaranteeing our daughter to a free and appropriate public education with specialized instruction based on her specific learning disability — principal, special ed director, superintendent opted for the CHEAPEST reading program available (READWELL) with no scientific evidence or research base to back it up.
And to “warehouse” my gifted child in general special ed 3 hours a day, in which she made “no progress,” actually even regressed, in their special reading program. My child was fully capable of learning to read if FCBOE had followed the law. It is a disgrace, the way so many families are abused by the school system.
And it is NOT the teachers, it’s the top — it is the people making the financial decisions. FCBOE fought us, they fight many families (it is a disgrace and a tragedy the way neuro-diverse students are NOT being educated in this county of “educational excellence.”
We worked with an advocate and the school “team” and county office until my husband and I refused to compromise the fragile developmental time frame of reading remediation. We withdrew our daughter from public school in Fayette County and followed advice of professionals.
Within seven weeks of appropriate reading instruction, our daughter, who was illiterate at the beginning of 2nd grade, was reading, comprehending at an 8th grade level. She returned to public school and finished 2nd grade with NO INTERVENTION or support from staff and despite overwhelming obstacles presented by the county office and school administration.
Once she was able to READ — and she was always capable, but never would have realized that potential if we’d been forced to rely on Fayette County Public Schools to actually teach her to read, Fayette County’s lack of innovation and over-reliance on archaic standardized approaches to learning quickly became too limiting. She is now excelling at Landmark.
The erroneous, misguided and irrelevant spending on frivolous, small-minded but convenient (for a few) has got to be stopped. It’s not helping our kids, it isn’t innovative. It’s pretentious. It’s a disgrace. It’s embarrassing.
There is such a disconnect between those on the front lines, doing the work of educating the minds and reinforcing development of character, and those making decisions, it’s laughable. Ask the parents, ask the teachers what they think is needed — I’ve seen no evidence the board has any greater clarity than the superintendent.