4. “Struggling Students”

In 1995, Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet directed the surreal film, La cité des enfants perdus, about a mad scientist who seeks to steal children’s dreams. The title is, “The City of the lost children.”

In schools, the lost generation of children (or three) are children caught on the borderline between general education and special education. Here is how we put it in a prior post:

“There continues a national debate over “struggling students” (hard-to-teach, at-risk, special needs) and what do with them in terms of failing schools and special education. They live in no-man’s-land between No Child Left Behind and IDEA. They are often non-disabled minority children who don’t belong in special education but need remedial support. They occupy the borderlands of Response To Intervention” (cf., No Child Left Behind).

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan refers to the lost children this way:

“States would measure school performance on the basis of progress in getting all students, including groups of students who are members of minority groups, low-income, English learners, and students with disabilities, on track to college- and career-readiness, as well as closing achievement gaps and improving graduation rates for high schools…”

At Central Falls High School in Rhode Island the lost children are found in a large special education population, appearing to contain many hard-to-teach, non-disabled children improperly placed in special education for remedial education.

Yes, no doubt, it is possible to steal a kid’s dream by sticking him or her in special education.

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