Why do you feel that way? 504 can be very useful when a student has a disability that does not affect her/his learning, but does affect mobility, etc.
I want to be clear that I support assisting those children 100%. Just as I support special education and any other programs that assists our citizens who have special needs in any area that helps them to enjoy the blessings of liberty and happiness to which our founders pledged our nation.
Unfortunately, on the ground, in our schools, these programs are abused more often than they are used to provide assistance to those for whom they were designed. Year after year I have been assigned children who are supposedly deserving of Section 504 or special education programs that have no problem, but are designated for these services while final determinations are made. It is the norm for these children to be designated in lower elementary grades and to continue with this designation throughout their time in the school system.
Now my view may be narrow as I teach in a state that spends very little of its resources at any level from preschool through College educating its population. However, my questioning of teacher across the nation on these practices does not lead me to believe it is just a problem in my state or district.
I have taught kids who absolutely could not function (as witnessed by their classmate's pleas to "Make them go to the office and take their medications" ) without the aid of drugs. I have also spent, on more than one occasion, an entire school year working (along with a child's parent) a kid moved from a "Main stream" situation to special education classroom.
A student, once started on the road to 504 classification, comes to a classroom teacher with a list of required interventions that insure the student's failure and hog ties the teacher who tries to educate him.
For example is 504's "Extended time for Assignments." This intervention requires that a student be allowed to go to special classroom to receive help from a special ed teacher in order to finish an assignment. Generally this intervention envisions a student receiving 50% more additional time for each assignment beyond that allowed regular students.
The problem: While a 504 student is out of the room extending the lesson time, the rest of the class is moving on leaving the 504 student behind. Ridiculous interventions like this are ruinous to a teachers effort to serve a student. Only a government bureaucrat a the Federal Department of Education would believe that a program that proposed things like this would father public education.
Likewise Special Education is defeated by nonsense like the "Least restrictive environment." mandate. This requirement places students who need and deserve the special attention of a classroom limited to twelve students served by a specially trained teacher and an aid into a classroom with a single teacher with no training in special education and 30+ other students.
It has been my experience that once "Mainstreamed" the entire special education department at the district level has such a major investment in the student's classification that moving the student back to a more restrictive environment virtually requires a teacher to engage each member of the district's special education bureaucracy in single hand to hand combat.
Problems like these which are only a few examples render special education and programs like section 504 the nightmare for classrtoom teachers to which I referred in my previous post.
The sooner classroom teacher stop receiving "Help" from Federal and State beuracrats who have little if any experience in real classroom with real kids, the sooner we can begin the serious work of rebuilding a literate population.
There are "NO" bad kids.
If the student fails to learn, the teacher failed to teach.