Data are beautiful, data are necessary. In SpEd, data are the beginning and end of every conversation, every academic decision, every critical moment in our students’ lives. Often, referrals are made based on testing scores and grades, both of which are forms of data. Evaluative testing, formal probes (hate that word), assessments formative and summative– these are the bread and butter of the Case Manager.
…Ultimately, it comes to cases. Whether a student has made improbable leaps in learning in transit from one school to the next, or they hated their last Science teacher with a fiery passion, it takes actual attention to their personal needs to make critical decisions about them. School can be fulfilling and supremely satisfying when we meet our kids at their level. The numbers don’t lie– they don’t say anything. They’re numbers.
When it comes to kids, it is always better to talk to them. They, at the very least, talk back.