Ontario's Ministry of Education asked what an IEP is and people are furious
Ontario's Ministry of Education has once again disappointed parents, educators and other members of the public — this time by unabashedly asking what an IEP is on Twitter.
An IEP, which stands for Individualized Education Plan, is "a written plan describing the special education program and/or services required by a particular student, based on a thorough assessment of the student's strengths and needs that affect the student's ability to learn and demonstrate learning," according to the Ministry of Education's own webpage.
But when a local parent asked on Twitter whether an IEP qualifies for Ontario's financial support for families, the Ministry of Education replied asking if that parent could clarify what IEP means.
Ontario's Ministry of Education (@ONeducation), everyone— Structured Success (@StructuredSucc) August 27, 2020
Note. IEP = Individualized Education Plan. It is an accommodation plan for students with educational accommodations. pic.twitter.com/XnzQFB21X2
The original tweet from the ministry as well as the embarrassing IEP response have both since been deleted, but several Twitter users managed to take screenshots of the flub before it could be erased from the Twitterspere altogether.
The photos are being shared widely online, with many saying this just further proves how out of touch the ministry is with what's happening on the ground throughout the education system.
OMG. For those not in education, an IEP is an Individual Education Plan used for students who need special support or accommodations. Every teacher or anyone involved in education would know this. But here, in bold print, we find that Education Ontario does not know. Unbelievable https://t.co/UMLivn4vMF— babs butterfly (@babsbutterfly2) August 27, 2020
Parents and educators have been criticizing Minister of Education Stephen Lecce and Premier Doug Ford for their back-to-school plan for months now, and this blunder does little to help their already tattered reputation.
I realize there are a lot of education acronyms, but IEP is a critically important one!— Kent Stephen (@KentStephen) August 27, 2020
I’m not an educator and I know what it means. This unfortunately furthers people’s suspicions that @Sflecce and the MoE know and care little about how education in Ontario works. #onted pic.twitter.com/pzy6q9UMZ6
Of course, realistically, the mistake was likely made by a well-meaning individual who just happened to be operating the ministry's Twitter account at the wrong time, but the fact that a quick Google search immediately reveals an explanation of what IEP means right on the search page certainly doesn't aid the situation.
there is nothing that explains the experience of having an IEP in ontario better than this screenshot https://t.co/XPRBgDgrng— Breanna Pratley (@brescriptivist) August 27, 2020
"The Ontario Ministry of Education doesn't know what IEP means. As someone who had education discrimination, this is horrifying," wrote one (appropriately) angry Toronto resident on Twitter.
"This is absolutely unacceptable. Accessible education has already been left behind due to Ford's cruelty prior to the crisis, and the pandemic itself. Now we see the @ONeducation itself doesn't even know the name of the legally bound accommodation papers for disabled students!"
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