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Life is not about getting to the destination, life is what happens to you on the way there. 

Friday, May 20, 2005


Forgive the title of the post - but my youngest daughter has gotten nothing but good marks in school and yes she doesn't always talk clearly or speak rapidly WHICH IS WHY SHE CANT PASS THE STUPID STANDARDS TESTS but she's always done well, if not exceptional in class and WHY THE HECK ARE THEY RETAINING HER IN KINDERGARTEN?????? She's already the biggest kid in her grade, and the oldest... WHY WHY WHY do they want to have her ostracised? Do you even know the amount of RIDICULE she will be subjected to? I was the biggest girl in my classrooms in grade school and was teased badly because of it and oh-my-gawd they are going to do that to my daughter,,, I have owrked with her and they have worked with her and she has gone to special speech classes like they asked me to do and I've done everything they wanted and she will just NEVER SPEAK RAPIDLY like everyone else. She speaks deliberately and thoughtfully and JUST BECAUSE she can't tell them the names of enough letters in UNDER 60 SECONDS and their corresponding sounds DOESN"T MEAN she doesn't know them. SHE KNOWS THEM!!! Just give her a second to think about how to say it!!!

THIS REALLY PISSES ME OFF. When most 8 year olds are in second grade - SHE WILL STILL BE IN KINDERGARTEN just because she CANT TALK FAST!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went to look at the Sunshine State Standards, Grade Level Expectations.

For kindergarten students there was a curious absence of "timed" anything. This could be something the county came up with on its own in which case I would ask them to back it up with documentation that showed that timing students showed their actual abilities because as far as I can discern Florida as a state does not require that kindergarten students be timed.

I have taught 27 years and know what you are talking about when you say she will be ridiculed and ostracised because she will be eight and in kindergarten. It is true. She will be permanently damaged by it.

The No Child Left Behind Act clearly should not mean Children Are Left Behind Until They Are Embarassed Enough and Old Enough to Drop Out.

There ARE people to talk to about this. Call anyone and everyone you can think of, even if it means Florida's Department of Education or the Governor or your State Representative. Your child should not be a victim of the system. Her self-esteem is much too important for her to be lost in the year-end testing. Ask who created the testing criteria. Ask if the school can work toward a "Reading Recovery" grant so that your child may reap the benefits of this program. Volunteer to help with getting a "Reading Recovery" grant.

There are many criteria for language arts. Knowing all the letters of the alphabet, upper and lower case is just one of many. What percent do the children have to meet to go on. Is it 100%? If so, and I doubt it, challenge them on WHY it must be timed and ask if they are doing that all over the state.

I know from your blog that you know more about your children and their abilities than the school does. They're just people, who are trying to be hard-nosed and draw a line that they want people to think is unmoveable. That is rarely the case. Hang in there and don't let them by with it.

P.S. Check on the Students with Disabilities Act and see if the school is doing everything they should be to help your youngest meet her potential. The government, believe it or not, is in her corner. You've just got to figure out which button to push to get things moving for her. I'd go to my representative first. If he/she is worth his/her salt, they'll at least point you in the right direction. Good Luck, Cate

5/22/2005 06:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The link to file a complaint if your child's civil rights have been violated in relation to her speech disability is:


I know I seem to be on a soapbox about this but it is such an obvious wrong against your youngest that my hackles are up. Cate

5/22/2005 06:18:00 PM  
Blogger Karry said...

Thank you Cate. Thisis the test they are basing their judgement of first grade readiness on:

In reading this document, I see that she is given up to 3 seconds for each letter. My daughter sometimes needs 5 seconds and this test is done in a drill format. She gets flustered when she is corrected or if she is about to say something and then is asked something else.

To base a pass fail in kindergarten on this is just so disheartening I could just cry. The teacher explained to me that because I did not enroll my daughter in Pre-Sxchool that she was at a sever disadvantage, but all pre-schools in the area were so expensive and head Start was full. I didn't do the pre-school thing and now I am agonizing if I did the right thing. We do Reader Rabbit games at home and she reads and I hate thinking she will be held back - I can hardly type about it I am always so close to tears regarding this....

5/22/2005 11:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would be "pissed" too! How can they hold back a Kindergartener? How's youngest taking it? Rachel

5/23/2005 09:25:00 AM  
Blogger Karry said...

I haven't told her. Her whole face lights up when she talks about school "And NEXT yeah I dot to be a first drader! I'm smaht!"

I am NOT going to tell her about it until there's no alternative. DH and I are fighting this thing tooth and claw.

5/23/2005 11:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Karry, I took a look at the test they use and what leapt out at me was, " Letter Naming Fluency (LNF)is intended for most children from fall of kindergarten through fall of first grade." (SO THEY ARE STILL GOING TO BE WORKING ON THESE SKILLS IN FIRST GRADE NEXT YEAR.)

Also, "A benchmark goal is not provided for LNF because it does not correspond to a big idea of early literacy skills (phonological awareness, alphabetic principle, and accuracy and fluency with connected text) and does not appear to be essential to achieve reading outcomes." A benchmark goal is NOT provided because it does NOT appear to be essential to achieve reading outcomes. What this says to me is that the test itself doesn't support holding a child back because of a poor score on this timed test.

There is a footnote at the bottom of the page with a web site where you MAY be able to find out what the creators of this part of the test themselves think about such a thing. Kaminski and Good are the authors and it's


And one more thing, it's not your fault that you chose not to send your child to a private pre-school. If Headstart is the only thing provided by your state for pre-schoolers then they should have MADE room for her without any hesitation no matter when you signed her up, EVEN IF IT MEANT HIRING MORE STAFF. Our tax money means equal access for ALL, not just those that get there first.

You can still make a difference in what happens. My advice when talking to them:
1. Let them know that you are not going to give up on this no matter what you have to do or who you have to contact.
2. Don't let them forget about you. Keep going back and telling them who you've seen and who you are going to see.
3. Be polite and professional. No matter how hard it may be or how idiotic it may seem NEVER lose your temper and yell or curse. And don't cry if you can help it either. I've seen this happen and almost immediately the whole conversation goes downhill and you really don't get anywhere plus they tell people who call to confer with them about the child's case that they think you have aggression/mental problems and that won't help her case either.

I'm praying for you. It's all I can do from here. Cate

5/23/2005 01:11:00 PM  
Blogger Karry said...

That's some good advice Cate, it never occurred to me that they would think that *I* was the problem when it's so clearly NOT the case.... well, clear to me anyhow.

I have an appointment with the principal tomorrow afternoon and have rearranged my work schedule to accomodate it. I'm not holding much hope because so far everyone we talk to refuses to allow me to have a re-evaluation of her progress prior to the start of the new school year in the fall. It appears that they are all about "whoops, didn't get it done in time, now you have to do everything all over again".

I'll post an update on this topic tomorrow after my appointment. I don't think yelling or aggressiveness will be my problem, but tears might be so I will try to be all cried out before then. LOL

Thank you guys for all the support and advice!

5/23/2005 03:32:00 PM  

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