Parents demanding kids be taught by teachers and not aides

July 16, 2012 5:00:44 PM PDT
Some parents on Long Island are outraged as they say some children with learning disabilities are not being taught by teachers and instead, by teacher's aides.

That is against state policy.

Now parents are demanding immediate action.

School hasn't often been easy for 10-year-old Aidan Reddan.

He suffers from severe Dyslexia.

So imagine how his parents felt when they found out the Sayville school district after promising them that Aidan would get specialized instruction with a certified teacher.

That Aidan was being taught most of the time by a non certified teachers aide.

"So here I am asking for a reading specialist and because the teachers are overwhelmed they have aides in the class that the aides that aren't certified teachers are teaching my child," said Bill Reddan.

"The day was just too hard for him be would be crying and saying he was the stupidest kid in the class," said Kristen Reedan.

Parents Kirsten and Bill Reddan gave up and transferred Aidan in January to a charter school in the Hamptons.

He's doing remarkably well.

"I wasn't doing good with reading over there but now I'm really good," said Aidan.

The superintendent of the Sayville school district wouldn't speak with Eyewitness News, but issued a statement saying that the district won't talk about ongoing litigation.

George Deabold is an independent education advocate.

Hes now helping the Reddan family as they continue to pursue the Sayville school district for not helping meet Aidan's needs.

Deabold says he has evidence that at least seven other school districts on Long Island are using teacher's aides as teachers for students with disabilities.

"This is not the way the educational system is outlined this is not the way education law is. It's not in compliance with the commissioners regulations on licensing for state of New York for teachers," adds Deabold.

According to the state department of education teachers aides are supposed to participate in non instructional duties such as:

  • Assisting in physical care tasks, assisting in the set up of lab equipment, managing records and reading to children in lower grades.

    Bill McFadden says it's also happening with his 11-year-old daughter who goes to Connetquot Elementary School in the East ISLIP school district.

    McFadden says his daughter has a severe speech disorder and is constantly being taught by teacher's aides.

    He says the aides feed his daughter the answers to her school work.

    "They're promising services she's going to get the services she needs she's going to be taught by a special education teacher but she's not," he said.

    Assistant superintendent of east ISLIP school district says she has no knowledge of teachers aides serving as teachers.

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