Special Education Student Tragedy in Utah (and probably elsewhere)

I engaged in the following shocking email exchange with a Utah teacher this past week. Underlined text is my emphasis.

We are rapidly losing any semblance of local control of our schools thanks to the national reform movement led by people like Bill Gates and Jeb Bush.


You have opened my eyes today to the UN.  I did a little research–and it was not much before I came across this statement in the Preamble to The Korean UN World Education Conference 2015 for goals 2030: “No education target should be considered met unless met by all. We therefore commit to making the necessary changes in education policies and focusing our efforts on the most disadvantaged, especially those with disabilities, to ensure that –no one is left behind.”  Sound familiar?  We have been in the process of dismantling special education resource classes as they have been traditionally taught and are being assimilated into regular education as tutors teaching CC standards.  The transformation is almost complete and nobody is the wiser.  It defies the existence that a disability even exists.  Unbelievable!

Special Ed teachers are told just to service (foretold) classified students in the regular classroom on the common core and not the remedial curriculum adapted specifically for students with disabilities.  The district will begin to monitor that we do.  A great deal of classified students have focus issues so it will be a real challenge.  Nothing special about special ed. anymore.  Regular ed. teachers don’t know what to think and are shell shocked by all the changes–a lot of going along out of fear and behind-the-scenes resentment and verbal defiance.  We lost a lot of really good veteran teachers in May because they differ with new administration who are very black and white and switching things up a lot–and we are the (figure removed) highest academic school in the state, historically.”


Oak: I asked for clarification at this point about how this was taking place and if SE students were being forced into regular classrooms, and if all the teachers were upset and this teacher replied with this:


“No, our students remain classified, but we don’t pull classified students into small SE groups or use specialized curriculum targeted at the disability any more.  We now go out into the regular classrooms and work under the direction of regular ed teachers to target learning of classified students–or perhaps sometimes regular ed. students, who need to access the common core.  It is now all about the CC.  Big paradigm shift.

Yes about everyone being upset.  We hear it is all based on some government research back east in Virginia and everyone needs to just do it.  They bring in an outside expert, Mike Mattos, to indoctrinate staff a couple of times a year and talk as if every school is the same and needs to do the same thing.  I have worked at a Title 1 school and my current demographic high income school.  They are totally different worlds in my opinion and do NOT have the same needs.  Mattos talks a lot about what corporations will need and that, “the business of schools is to supply those needs.”

Mike is linked to the Annenberg Institute for school reform.  Just found this:

The College Readiness Indicator System network, also referred to as CRIS, is a joint effort of the Annenberg Institute for School Reform (AISR) and the John W. Gardner Center (JGC) at Stanford University, and is generously funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Here’s an article by Mike.


I have seen a huge reduction in recent years in SE district wide training and collaboration between schools in district so it is hard to know what others outside one’s school think.  District trainers just come to your individual school now to give top down training and don’t ask for input.  When I first joined the district in ____ all schools were “site based managed” and everyone said so.  That has all disappeared.

To be honest, socialist corporate/national collusion I have suspected over the past decade, and am now experiencing at work is frightening and angering me at the same time.  I never thought I would have this kind of fear about my own country–I am very upset!  I struggle to sing the national anthem and say the pledge each morning with my students with what I now know.  I often think about informing the principal that I can no longer do it and not to be surprised.  I feel citizens and children are manipulated, duped and it isn’t even hidden anymore.  I feel educators have been stripped as professionals, used, lied to, and controlled.  I have loved my career for over 30 years but now feel like a pawn forced to indoctrinate innocents with humanistic thinking and ideas I don’t believe in to benefit the wealthy who I loath and resent.  Technology, greed and the drumbeat of feigned equality have blindly robbed liberty and that saddens me.  This all reminds me the “The Children’s Story, But Not Just for Children” by James Clavell.


Use what you want from my emails but I wish to remain anon.”



Oak again: Hearing things like this makes one wonder what the real agenda is behind the Gates Foundation sponsoring eugenics conferences…


5 thoughts on “Special Education Student Tragedy in Utah (and probably elsewhere)”

  1. As a mom of 2 with Special Needs I can tell you that the Special Education system is falling apart. One of our children is academically advanced in some areas and we were told that she leaves her Autism at the door when she is at school. This was at the same time that they were removing her IEP in response to us filing a Due Process Complaint a few months earlier. We put her in a different school who immediately reinstated her IEP. Another child who struggles academically was pushed into a mainstream classroom with an aide “as needed” I never got an answer as to how the school or district scheduled an aide “as needed” – do they just have someone around the corner on call every day (note my sarcasm). The teacher was overwhelmed, the aides when there were not trained and no one wanted to upset the child so they let her nap when the academics were too hard. I made several surprise visits to the classroom and found this happening. Then when it came time for spring testing they tried to shove months of teaching into this child within only a few days/weeks which caused anxiety/stress for the child which resulted in the teacher physically reprimanding our child. Can you say lawsuit? Yeah we did that – another Due Process filing but this one went to a 4 day hearing. The teacher admitted Physically reprimanding our child (District Admin did not respond or even flinch), we were able to show that the child had regressed etc. However because the system is so flawed and stacked against the kids the ruling said nothing about the abuse and regarding the regression? As long as our child made progress in some area (whether natural/not having anything to do with the school) then a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) as required had been given. We now homeschool the child that struggles academically and she’s doing well. The child that is above grade level academically attends a local charter school and we are looking at dual enrollment plus grade advancement in some or all classes

  2. Not unlike local and state issues we are fighting right now (high density housing, water shortages, Utah 2020, UTA tax grabs) it all comes down to a few politicians and self- serving businessmen who have developed a vision for our future and are moving ahead, with or without public support or agreement.
    If we can’t fight together and start winning more of these battles on the local level we have no chance of reighning in D.C.
    I find myself constantly debating, do I focus on spending time with my children, or fighting for the future of the world they will have to live in. Any effort I invest on one side takes away from the other and finding the right balance? Anybody else struggling with this?

  3. This ticks me off. (Thanks for posting Oak).

    What I can’t understand is why two YEARS ago, when a Pediatric Doctor of Clinical Psychology (me)testified to the Board, that direct and life changing harm was happening to thousands of Utah special Ed kids (mine included), nobody….and I mean NOBODY gave a damn about or wrote about it.

    It is now worse than this author, or anyone one else in this State, can imagine on the ground level in public schools. We have moved WAY passed anxiety and depression for these kids….we are now watching kids get addicted to drugs as well as killing themselves.

    I am so glad that I taped my warning to the Board, as well as the subsequent laughter and smiles I received from a Board member at the time.

    The VAST majority of our education leaders and politicians are the most tone deaf, cruel, money seeking, sociopaths that I have ever encountered personally or professionally.

    If we are judged how we treat the most vulnerable in our community, then we have a straight path to hell.

    Shame on us all.

  4. A lot of alarm here, but I don’t see any research to back it up.

    On the other hand, wholesale changes based on ideology or some study done somewhere is the worst way to get things right.

    If someone thinks this new approach to special ed (or education in general) is awesome, then they need to pilot it in a number of places, then look at the results.

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