I have been a teacher for 12 years and have been involved in many IEP's for my students. When I first began teaching, I was very naive about the process. Now that I have sent students through the Student StudyTeam and have requested IEP's and seen the truth about what an IEP really offers, I am completely against them. First off all, when a student has an IEP, the teacher is entitled to a minumum of 1 monthly 30 minute consultation with the Special Education Resource Specialist and any other specialist the child is working with. With all the students I have taught with IEP's I've had to fight for that time and rarely get it. Second, many times I have specifically requested push-in services vs. pull-out services so the child/children can receive support in class with grade level content vs. watered down curriculum. That has been nearly impossible. Many times the instruction students receive in these "pull-out sessions" is not even close to what the children need because they are receiving instruction based on assessments that are up to 3 months old. As educators and parents know, children are always changing. For example, 2 years ago when one of my IEP students needed support with reading because she had difficulty with auditory processing and tracking, the resource specialist was providing reading instruction about 4 reading levels below her actual guided reading level. This was insane because in class she was already learning beyond the instruction she was receiving with the specialist.
In short, the system in place at my school and the specialist were not working for the students. When systems that perpetuate failure are accepted as a source of support, people need to push back and question the system. The more parents and teachers unite to question what our children are truly receiving and how we can provide authentic support that works, the sooner we can get back to ensuring success for all students.