Kim et al,
I think this is regional. Some schools do have teachers do periodic inservices to help them stay up to date with technology and classroom techniques for dealing with differences.
But, even if training is offered and is taken advantage of, all teachers and schools are different and all students are different: some student and teachers are lucky enough to find perfect fits.
I would agree, however, that more of the responsibility falls on teachers to accomodate student differences; there's not much a student can do when he or she gets a teacher who's insensitive to them except to hope for a better teacher next time.
All of us have had bad teachers. I would argue that most of us had more bad teachers than good. I certainly did. In my entire middle and high school experience (a long, long time ago) I had maybe 4 great teachers, the rest were less than good.
I feel lucky to have had the great ones and one in particular stands out to this day (an English teacher).
Now, here's an amazing fact: there was no special ed back then and I was just tossed into regular classrooms where I floundered and did poorly. Yes, in the end, I lived through it all.
Maybe because of our underlying bias these days toward "nurture" as opposed to "nature" we're overly concerned about every little experience kids in school have. But, somehow all of us survived (if barely) school before there was so much concern.
What's the difference?
Were schools better back then? Is special ed the problem? Are we all so high strung and demanding compared with more complacency back then?
I'm not sure what the difference is but if you look at any particular skill, like writing for instance, I'm not sure we're all that much better today than we were back in the dark ages. Now we have technology and lots of specialized curricula yet the quality of writing students produce isn't any better than it was back then.
Maybe television is the problem. Television time takes away from reading and study time.
I'm just doing some very raw thinking out loud. Hope it stimulates some more discussion.