Special Ed Is Not the Answer for Black Males

It's time to start looking at how the system is mislabeling and failing our children, Kevin P. Chavous writes at the Huffington Post. 

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It's time to start looking at how the system is mislabeling and failing our children, Kevin P. Chavous writes at the Huffington Post.

Dozens of recent reports shows that minorities are disproportionately placed in special education programs. Yet, we have yet to address the reasons why. We are failing our kids and these implications are discouraging. A large percentage of the students who are placed into special education can be mainstreamed if diagnosed correctly and taught in ways that meet their needs. Further, our country's failure to properly educate these children contributes to the overall startling statistics relating to black men; everything from drop-out rates to incarceration. While we address the issues in the classroom with the quick fix of special education, the long-term effects speak for themselves.

It's time we start looking at how the system is failing our kids by first implementing early and often screenings. Further, we must remove the stigma from our special education students. Educators must make a commitment to invest in each and every child and find collaborative methods to best meet the needs of special education students while help to instilling self-esteem. They must ask the tough questions and get to the bottom of issues that may stem from problems at home instead of assuming they're problems with one's ability to learn.

Our kids need support not saviors. Without parental involvement, community and school-based support, key legislation and teacher training, these students don't have a chance of living up to their full potential. Let's move towards a positive culture of teaching that embraces all learning styles for all kids. When we begin to treat each and every student as special by accepting and embracing their unique way of learning, we are forgoing the quick-fix of labels and making long term investments in our children's future.

Read Kevin P. Chavous' entire piece at the Huffington Post.

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