July 17, 2014

The Waiting Game

I showed up with Bones at 8AM. I rang every buzzer and knocked on every door to get inside the school or to get someone's attention. I called the inside phone every 10 minutes, knowing someone was inside.


Finally, I saw a woman going in and I said, "Do you know Mrs. ABC? She was supposed to call me yesterday and I need to speak with her."

She looked at me like she could not care less if I dropped dead on the spot and said, "I'll tell her someone is out here asking for her" and she walked inside.

I waited five minutes more and now I was PISSED. I called down to the other high school to find out if he was supposed to take it there instead... trying to find any information. Was he on their rosters?

After speaking to a very nice secretarial type person she said, "I promise you.... I *WILL* call you back."

And on a side note. The black community gets a bad wrap for being difficult to work with in these types of jobs and let me state for the record, by the sound of every voice I'd spoken with over the last three weeks, every single person had a white accent and they all could not care less what happened to my child and this secretary who had a definitive black accent was the MOST helpful and the KINDEST woman I had spoken with in three weeks, perhaps beaten out only by her Latin boss who not only called me back, assured me that my son was important to him (I never implied he was not), but then called me back AGAIN an hour later to make sure it had all been resolved.

I was brought into a room to sit and wait. Mrs. ABC never came out to greet me. She never came out to find out what was going on. The rude emotionless woman who I saw at the door informed me that Mrs. ABC never called me because she didn't have an answer.

I said to her in exasperation, "But, that IS an answer. That is communication! Do NOT keep me in the dark. Tell me there is an issue..."

And she literally repeated to me flatly, "Mrs. ABC did not call you because she did not have an answer." As if I'd never said a word... it was crazy and unimpressive.

Finally, a man came out who was the testing coordinator. I take it back. He was the kindest man we worked with. He was awesome.

We found out that many many people had dropped the ball. He was horrified as he pieced it together and then said, "Wait here, please."

He went to his office, called the School District, got hold of some IT guy, and had Bones placed on his list for testing.

So Bones took it there.

I thanked the man profusely for helping me and I intend to write some letters.

But the best part was, after Bones finished taking the test, he said he went up to the man and said, "Thank you again for everything you did so I could take it here today."

I'm not sure how much he gets thanked. I'm hoping my son made a positive impression because that man made one on us.

I'm also calling back the man at the other school and thanking him for his time and making sure that the woman who answered... is thanked as well.

Posted by Boudicca at July 17, 2014 09:14 PM

It's 7am Friday and, after reading your post, I feel I need a drink.

I guess it's good to see that things don't change..your experiences remind me of what I went through in the early 1990's in having both my children tested for learning disabilities. My son was older so by the time my daughter went through it, I was much more intense (AKA witchy) about NOT going through this type of *%$#&# again.

I am going to think good thoughts, pull out the rosary, light my jewish prayer candle, rub my rabbit foot so that he passed this test. Poor boy...let's not put a bunch of needless stress on him the day of a test....let's make this as brutal as possible....

Posted by: Trudy at July 18, 2014 06:09 AM

I spent the last three weeks tutoring my niece for the makeup EOC (she got a 2). She has some serious processing problems and has zero chance of passing too (the practice test I gave her the night before the exam: she got exactly ONE right out of 24). So I sympathize with Bones' experience. And yours. But when, exactly, do they find out if they passed? And what happens if they do not? Do they proceed to tenth grade and geometry anyway? Since she's not my child and she is challenged in the communication department, I have very little info about the process when an EOC is failed. Personally, I think she is not ready for tenth grade and would do much better as a ninth grader again, but everyone seems to think holding a child back is the end of the universe. It's confusing, sad for her. It is not like she will pass algebra next year, either. Or the year after.

Posted by: Leigh at July 18, 2014 07:33 AM

Leigh- They will have a remedial math class for her. She will continue to move up in grade and math, but have a side remedial math class and retest and retest until she passes.

Bones got a 2 the first go round and I was so glad. I thought for sure he'd gotten a 1. So there is hope. They test again in September, so I don't know if all the kids who failed again this summer take it in September with hopes they'll get it done or not.

I actually think that Bones will eventually pass. Given he only missed it by a couple and having watched that he understood the processes, it was attention to detail that killed him, I feel certain he'll pass. But getting there... may be the end of us all.

Posted by: Bou at July 18, 2014 07:42 AM

Wow. Just. Wow. The unbelievable rudeness and unprofessionalism of the people you had to deal with! With the very impressive exception of the one lady on the phone and the gentleman who had Bones take his test there ...

I would be writing MAJOR letters. And walking in to demand meetings to reiterate the issue.

Hate to say it - but I would be willing to bet that all the rude people you attempted to deal with are the same rude people who have ZERO clue as to why they are failing to help the students they are supposed to teach . . .

Posted by: Nina at July 18, 2014 07:54 AM

And THAT'S why we need to take our children's education out of the hands of the educators.

Posted by: Angus of Jura at July 18, 2014 11:22 AM

Angus of Jura, you are welcome to teach my kids any day. I will pull them out of school for you... mainly because I know you and know you are one smart cookie... but personally... I cannot teach my own children day in and day out. I don't have the right personality. But yes, I have many friends and acquaintances that have pulled their kids out of school and homeschooled. I totally get it.

Posted by: vwbug at July 19, 2014 07:19 AM

Well, I think the problem is politicians have gotten involved. Once big government gets involved with any aspect of our lives, it goes down hill. This testing came from the government.

But I also realize it came because of a big failure on our education system. Our kids were getting worse and worse and I blame that on an education system unable to get rid of teachers that were coasting and the breakdown of the family unit. And lawyers. Some of this can be blamed on our litigious society.

When a teacher is not allowed to keep discipline in their classroom, you have issues.

I see in the future, our best educated kids, will come from private schools and home schools. It's coming and my son already is seeing it on campus.

Posted by: Bou at July 19, 2014 12:58 PM