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The U.S. Department of Education said Tuesday that California special education programs need federal intervention, citing the lack of significant academic progress for students with special needs. California is one of three states, along with Texas and Delaware, designated for a one-year program of intervention.

The designation comes as U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced a new accountability system aimed at strongly encouraging states to provide research-proven academic interventions so that children with learning disabilities or speech and language impairments – the vast majority of students in special education – and students with other special needs can excel.

“This is a significant and frankly long-overdue raising of the bar in special education,” Duncan said in a telephone press briefing. The federal intervention will increase monitoring and oversight to ensure the state is meeting the new accountability standards.

Using a new framework called Results-Driven Accountability, the department for the first time is holding states accountable for test scores and other performance indicators for students with special needs. In California, test scores for students with disabilities are generally the lowest of any subgroup. Duncan called the push to include academic measures “a major shift” in how the federal government oversees special education.

If student test scores hadn’t been included in federal evaluations this year, California would have been in compliance under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which in prior years was primarily determined by whether states had met procedural requirements for students with special needs, such as timelines for assessments and filing complaints. “Basic compliance does not transform student lives,” Duncan said.

“This is a significant and frankly long-overdue raising of the bar in special education,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

California was cited for federal intervention based on factors that included the proficiency gap between children with disabilities and all children on statewide assessments and the poor performance of children with disabilities on the National Assessment of Educational Progress test, the Education Department said in a letter to State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.

In a statement, the California Department of Education said, “Like other states, we are concerned that the categorization is more the result of the particular methodology used than of the actual performance of the state’s school districts.” The department added that it will be working with the U.S. Department of Education to resolve issues.

The Education Department also said the California Health and Human Services Agency’s Department of Developmental Services will receive four years of federal intervention to improve the early identification of infants and toddlers with disabilities and enhance programs to assist young children in meeting developmental goals.

To help states improve outcomes for students with special needs, Duncan announced the creation of a $50 million technical-assistance center. The center will help increase the use of evidence-based practices for teaching reading, math and other subjects to students with a range of learning, physical and emotional disabilities. The description of the new center cites a wide range of obstacles to improving academic achievement for students with special needs, including a lack of coordination between state special education and general education systems. In one example, general education school improvement teams meet to discuss how to improve outcomes for students with disabilities, but special education staff are not included in the meetings nor consulted about effective strategies.

Through the Statewide Special Education Task Force, California is already undergoing a review of how to transform special education in the state, including possible changes in credentialing requirements for general education and special education teachers.

Vicki Barber, co-executive director of the task force, applauded the federal government’s new emphasis on achievement outcomes for students with special needs. And she agreed with the need to closely intertwine special education services with general education teaching. “If you’re going to change special education, you’ve got to change general education,” Barber said.

In California and nationwide, the majority of students identified for special education services have mild to moderate disabilities, she said. “They should be served in a general education setting,” Barber said. “That general education teacher would say ‘I don’t know how to teach students who have processing difficulties,’ so we’ve got to give them a better tool set.”

She added that increasing the training of general education teachers in research-based interventions for teaching reading, a critical skill, will benefit all struggling readers, not just students identified as having special needs.

At the same time, special education teachers often lack the deep subject knowledge of the classroom teacher, making it difficult for students who spend much of their day in separate special-education classrooms to learn the reading, writing, mathematics, science and history content they will need to succeed on tests and beyond, she said.

“All the research is very clear that kids who have exposure to a robust general education curriculum will do better,” Barber said. The task force, created by the State Board of Education, is expected to release draft recommendations by the end of November.

To explain why the new federal accountability framework is pushing academic achievement for children with special needs, Duncan and three other top educators took pains on Tuesday to describe exactly who “special education” students are.

The educators – Duncan, Massachusetts Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Mitchell Chester, Tennessee Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman and Acting Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services Michael Yudin – said that the majority of students in special education should be achieving the same test results as students in general education.

“I want to stress that the vast majority of students with disabilities do not have significant cognitive disabilities,” Duncan said. For example, in Tennessee, more than 40 percent of students receiving special education services have a learning disability such as dyslexia and another 40 percent have a speech or language disorder, such as stuttering.

“The majority are students who are perfectly capable of learning and doing better,” Huffman said.


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  1. Beth 2 years ago2 years ago

    My daughter is dyslexic and has been in special ed. She was pulled out 3 times a week by a resource teacher who tried hard but did not have a special ed credential or even a multiple subject credential. He tried whatever he could think of but did not use a method shown to work with dyslexics. After falling years behind her peers, even though she has above … Read More

    My daughter is dyslexic and has been in special ed. She was pulled out 3 times a week by a resource teacher who tried hard but did not have a special ed credential or even a multiple subject credential. He tried whatever he could think of but did not use a method shown to work with dyslexics. After falling years behind her peers, even though she has above average intelligence, I pulled my daughter out of public schools. The Principal of our public school told me she didn’t know anything about dyslexia and her teachers didn’t know anything about dyslexia. She told me the school could not help my dyslexic daughter.

    Do California schools need federal intervention for special education! I say YES!!!!!!!!!

  2. Kristy Emory 2 years ago2 years ago

    A tip of the hat to Ms. Deborah Porter. Getting appropriate services is an uphill battle. With tight budgets the administration fights the spending yet denies that it's due to budget issues.Kids are being assigned unqualified sides that have no behavioral (ABA) training and no accountability as to progress on goals. And some parent fought for this service and this is what they get. I have seen SDC teachers that do nothing more than hand … Read More

    A tip of the hat to Ms. Deborah Porter. Getting appropriate services is an uphill battle. With tight budgets the administration fights the spending yet denies that it’s due to budget issues.Kids are being assigned unqualified sides that have no behavioral (ABA) training and no accountability as to progress on goals. And some parent fought for this service and this is what they get. I have seen SDC teachers that do nothing more than hand out packets of photocopies. Stop making excuses and teach the kids. If you’re burnt out, get out. And for good sake stop hiding behind the skirts off the teachers union. It’s undignified at best and a sorry excuse for failure. Reading the comments here explains why the kids in special ed are struggling. It’s inconvenient.

  3. Andrew 2 years ago2 years ago

    The issue of subject matter competence of at least some special ed teachers may be a valid one. In medicine, for example, there is a progression in medical training. First training in basic medical science, then clinical rotations to obtain grounding in each major area of clinical practice. Then a specialization residence in, say, internal medicine for even more grounding. And then perhaps a sub-speciality fellowship in immunology, … Read More

    The issue of subject matter competence of at least some special ed teachers may be a valid one.

    In medicine, for example, there is a progression in medical training. First training in basic medical science, then clinical rotations to obtain grounding in each major area of clinical practice. Then a specialization residence in, say, internal medicine for even more grounding. And then perhaps a sub-speciality fellowship in immunology, or cardiology, or gastroenterology, each stage of increased specialization building on a more general stage.

    But from my understanding, at least some special education teachers go through their entire credential program post BA without ever obtaining thorough and diverse general subject matter education. The present CA approved special ed credential course catalogs seem to confirm this paucity of subject matter education and general teaching skills.

    Logic suggests that all special education teachers should first be thoroughly trained and qualified in general ed subject matter and teaching methodologies, equipped with at least general multiple subject credentials, and then inculcated with special education skills in a progression much like the medical field. This in return would require that someone pay such fully grounded teachers significantly more, commensurate with their extra education and specialization, making all the extra work and expense worthwhile.

    Duncan, it seems, wants it all, and more, for free. And ultimately on the backs of teachers.

  4. sayitok 2 years ago2 years ago

    Oh boy, the feds are coming! And when have they ever helped?

    Wanna help special education? Let’s start with the 40% funding they promised when IDEA began. Where we now? About 15%, and the rest is local contributions (encroachment into general funds).

    Things will only get worse when the results of the Smarter Balanced tests are posted.

    The state and feds are only really concerned about compliance. Things will not get better.

    Replies

    • navigio 2 years ago2 years ago

      maybe its time california takes the feds to court for its due funding..

  5. Manuel 2 years ago2 years ago

    Interesting. Duncan wants to use the results of a test that was designed for students with no disabilities to demonstrate that students with disabilities cannot score as well and, therefore, are not receiving the help they deserve. (I am sure that Doug has something to say about this.) People do argue that every single student with a disability must receive educational services so that they can achieve just as well as one without disabilities. But is this … Read More

    Interesting.

    Duncan wants to use the results of a test that was designed for students with no disabilities to demonstrate that students with disabilities cannot score as well and, therefore, are not receiving the help they deserve. (I am sure that Doug has something to say about this.)

    People do argue that every single student with a disability must receive educational services so that they can achieve just as well as one without disabilities. But is this even possible? If it is not, why is it demanded for every single SWD? It seems rather cruel to expect a student with a severe learning disability to score as an “average” student.

    After looking at that LAO report mentioned above, I am struck by its tone which implies to me that the authors did not want to offend any advocate while going the extra mile to portrait those who are allegedly failing to deliver the services as bean counters interested only in getting reimbursed.

    Given that most of school funding comes from the state, I am uncomfortable with the argument that “the bulk of the ‘regular’ education costs are intended to be covered using local revenue limit and categorical funding, just as for nondisabled students.” To me, this means that each district, not the state, is ultimately responsible for funding ALL special education services. What will happen in a poor district? Will it have to go bankrupt in order to fulfill this mandate?

    (If you think I am making up stories, LAUSD’s recently approved its General Fund budget. It is roughly $6.8 billion, with nearly $3 billion going to run the schools and another $1.4 billion earmarked specifically for Special Ed services. The state and the feds contribute about $550 million for these services. That leaves nearly $850 million unfunded while the total local revenue is $780 million. Does the LAO really mean it when they say that the local revenues should pay for the shortfall? BTW, The total number of students served is roughly 550,000 with 80,000 or so designated as SWD.)

    It seems to me that this more a distraction than an attempt to get to a reasonable solution. The districts will argue that they have been making progress and must be judged on what they do going forward, but if there are no tests for a few years, how is this going to be confirmed? How are the feds going to prove that no effort has been made?

    I don’t think that taking California to court is going to solve anything. To me, this is just grandstanding and giving advocates of SWDs false hopes. In the end, it is all about funding and if the state and the feds are unwilling to increase funding specifically for SWDs, we will not make any progress.

  6. Deborah Blair Porter 2 years ago2 years ago

    Those who have commented on this article would benefit from reading the January 2013 Report by California’s Legislative Analyst Office found here: http://www.lao.ca.gov/reports/2013/edu/special-ed-primer/special-ed-primer-010313.aspx. This report provides data that US DOE is relying on and has California itself validating everything Yudin and US DOE have said. After familiarizing yourself with the general information in LAO’s Report, the section “How Do California’s Students With Disabilities Perform Academically?” should also provide answers to your questions. … Read More

    Those who have commented on this article would benefit from reading the January 2013 Report by California’s Legislative Analyst Office found here: http://www.lao.ca.gov/reports/2013/edu/special-ed-primer/special-ed-primer-010313.aspx. This report provides data that US DOE is relying on and has California itself validating everything Yudin and US DOE have said. After familiarizing yourself with the general information in LAO’s Report, the section “How Do California’s Students With Disabilities Perform Academically?” should also provide answers to your questions.

    Many of the comments made here demonstrate a lack of understanding of disability or best practices in education that can be employed in teaching students with disabilities, but are not being used (and by the way are of benefit not only to students with disabilities but their nondisabled peers as well). Also, this is a California problem that California simply has failed to deal with for years, including at least since its 1999 passage of the “Public Schools Accountability Act.” It is only being addressed by US DOE now because California’s own data shows what a dismal job it is doing in educating this population and because California, despite agreeing to accountability as a function of its receipt of federal funds and receiving those funds year in and year out, is still failing to ensure these students make appropriate progress. It’s not that it can’t be done or that this is some new-fangled notion. It’s been the law since 1975 but while California has continued to take the money for doing a job, it hasn’t done the job it promised it would do. Instead it dithers, as this article itself confirms.

    In my opinion this intervention is long overdue and can’t go far enough.

    Replies

    • TheMorrigan 2 years ago2 years ago

      The numbers that I have were taken from the exact study you cited. Simply check them if you doubt my veracity. You need to do more than read what was summarized for you, Deborah. You need to look deeply at the numbers to see if Duncan's reason for this intervention holds water. I do agree with one part of your argument, though. There is no doubt that we should and could work on improving special … Read More

      The numbers that I have were taken from the exact study you cited. Simply check them if you doubt my veracity. You need to do more than read what was summarized for you, Deborah. You need to look deeply at the numbers to see if Duncan’s reason for this intervention holds water.

      I do agree with one part of your argument, though. There is no doubt that we should and could work on improving special education. I do agree that it is overdo. But Duncan’s road is filled with empty promises and many problems. He ignores so much with this blanket announcement. He bundles all SWDs together, only differentiating them to provide a reason for why this proposal should go into effect. His proposal might undermine what is best for the student, what teachers think is best, and what parents think is best. Additionally, using the NAEP to determine improvement with SWDs, as Duncan suggested in his NPR interview, is filled with problems and erroneous assumptions that funnels all SWDs into the same pot, and that is exactly what we must not do. Although I may be mistaken, I get the impression that you know very little about Duncan’s plans.

      Every state in the union has the same problems as well. California is not unique in its SWDs problems. It is not solely a California problem. TN and MA also have the same problems. TN and MA have also recently had studies done determining the same exact problems that CA exhibits. El’s commonsense point about the achievement gap and SWDs is a no-brainer. Duncan is clearly making a mistake here.

      BTW: The two posters above, el and Andrew, were using an extreme example and/or possibly satire to make some of their points. They make no practical mention of what would be or could be best practices for SWDs. In argumentation, these types of arguments are there to make us think about the possibilities and corruptibleness of issues. They are not given as seriously practical suggestions for best practice, Deborah. In addition, from their previous comments on this blog, it is abundantly clear that they care deeply about doing what they think is best for all children. I may not always agree with them, but you are grossly misstating their positions in order to claim your false sense of argumentative superiority here.

      • Deborah Blair Porter 2 years ago2 years ago

        I don’t doubt the numbers or your veracity. However, the data shows that over half of SWD (52%) took alternative/modified assessments, when only 10-15% are considered to have significant cognitive disabilities making such assessment appropriate for them. The vast majority of students with disabilities, i.e., the other 85-90% should be taking the CSTs along with their nondisabled peers. With new assessments coming to CA, there will be no modified assessment except for … Read More

        I don’t doubt the numbers or your veracity. However, the data shows that over half of SWD (52%) took alternative/modified assessments, when only 10-15% are considered to have significant cognitive disabilities making such assessment appropriate for them. The vast majority of students with disabilities, i.e., the other 85-90% should be taking the CSTs along with their nondisabled peers. With new assessments coming to CA, there will be no modified assessment except for those with severe cognitive disabilities.

        When I said comments evince a lack of understanding of the law and best practices, I was not making a judgment, rather an observation that when people talk about “separate” and “magic wands” it gives the impression they are not aware the law is designed to ensure students with disabilities have the same opportunities and are held to the same high standards as nondisabled kids. Thus my citation to the LAO Report which CA utilizes regularly.

        Students with disabilities are general ed students first and they can, should be and in many places are being taught successfully without being separated. Nor do we need to “separate” out data if they are properly taught and assessed. Separate has not been appropriate since Brown v. Board and it is counter to the least restrictive environment provisions of IDEA.

        Unfortunately the stats show that rather than holding students with disabilities to the same high standards we hold for nondisabled students, far too many LEAs have moved these kids into less rigorous assessments to avoid accountability for their failure to make progress far in excess of what the law allows. That is not ok for any CA student. With a few exceptions, CA is unique in this regard, particularly how it has pushed more than half of these kids into such assessments when only half should be. As I noted before, this is not just federal law, but state law such as CA’s Public Schools Accountability Act.

        Research and best practices show students with disabilities can make appropriate progress if properly taught and supported, just as their typical peers can. CA’s own mission and vision statements say as much. The SBE has Tom Parrish research showing it is happening in some CA schools, but not in all as it should be.

        Also, this is not just “Duncan” saying this. Go to CDE’s website, CalStat’s, and you will see it there. It is what Torlakson says and O’Connell before him, what Balcom says, what CTA, CARS and the SBE all say should be happening but CA is failing to do.

        CA had the opportunity to address issues with students with disabilities through the LCFF but didn’t, even though this group is, as the Special Ed Task Force points out, the lowest performing subgroup in CA. CA purports to be addressing the achievement gap but leaves out its most significantly impacted group. Does that make sense?

        • navigio 2 years ago2 years ago

          In some sense, LCFF is nothing more than an explicit redirect of funding toward special-education. Note, however, it does so at the expense of accountability so I don’t think its accurate to see it as addressing the achievement gap. We have already seen how this new “freedom” has enabled additional burdens to be placed on the local level. I expect those burdens to eventually exceed any additional funding LCFF is supposedly going to provide.

          • Deborah Blair Porter 2 years ago2 years ago

            You state: "In some sense, LCFF is nothing more than an explicit redirect of funding toward special-education. Note, however, it does so at the expense of accountability so I don’t think its accurate to see it as addressing the achievement gap." What in the legislation do you base this conclusion on? The only reference I've seen for students with disabilities is in the LCAP. What do you mean nby "at the expense of … Read More

            You state: “In some sense, LCFF is nothing more than an explicit redirect of funding toward special-education. Note, however, it does so at the expense of accountability so I don’t think its accurate to see it as addressing the achievement gap.”

            What in the legislation do you base this conclusion on? The only reference I’ve seen for students with disabilities is in the LCAP. What do you mean nby “at the expense of accountability”?

            Am I understanding you correctly that you don’t believe LCFF was intended to address the needs of students who make up the achievement gap? What do you believe it was intended to address?

        • el 2 years ago2 years ago

          Uh, if separating data is counter to the spirit of Brown, then um, why separate out data for Special Ed designated students at all? We are on the same side here: I do want to see special education students succeed to the best of their ability. I certainly don't want an IEP to be a scarlet letter that means that kids so designated can't achieve so don't even bother. What I see - and I am very … Read More

          Uh, if separating data is counter to the spirit of Brown, then um, why separate out data for Special Ed designated students at all?

          We are on the same side here: I do want to see special education students succeed to the best of their ability. I certainly don’t want an IEP to be a scarlet letter that means that kids so designated can’t achieve so don’t even bother.

          What I see – and I am very much a layperson here – is that kids come into the program with wildly different needs, abilities, and potential. We have kids missing part of their brain structure, we have kids that are autistic and very hard to reach, we have kids that have psych diagnoses and we have kids that are dyslexic. These kids all need different approaches and it’s very very likely that a school that is brilliant with dyslexia is completely failing the kids with serious emotional issues – and vice versa. It’s convenient for us, as adults, to lump all the kids who appear different from average into a single bucket of otherness, but it doesn’t respect the reality of those kids or the adults who work with them.

          I am very aware that many kids getting these special services are also academically gifted, just as there are some high school kids where we cheer that they successfully make it to 6 different classrooms during the day, at the right time, without an adult’s specific guidance.

          I hear your anger about the modified assessment, but I don’t share it. In my mind, if we are trying to determine if kids know particular concepts, the language of the questions should be straightforward and not designed to mislead them. I have heard that the scaling of scores on the modified assessment is inappropriate and that’s something to look at. But we can and should value correct responses to clear, non-obfuscated questions. I’ve looked at the exam and I don’t think it’s possible to get a significant percentage correct by chance. From what I understand of the process, parents can insist on the more difficult exam.

          I am sure that experiences with special ed vary substantially district to district, and I hear anecdotes of kids being overclassified for the purpose of protecting test scores or other nefarious ends not in the interest of the kids. Where this happens, clearly it should stop. And clearly, kids with special needs should get the services they’re entitled to, even if they’re expensive. (This goes for “average” and “gifted” classified kids too!)

          On the other hand, I don’t see how this intervention from the federal government will have any positive effect.

          • Deborah Blair Porter 2 years ago2 years ago

            My use of the term separate was to show that students with disabilities are general ed students first and they can, should be and in many places are being taught successfully without being separated from their nondisabled peers. My comment that we also do not need to “separate” out data for them as a group, if they are properly taught and assessed, was in response to a previous comment questioning whether these students needed to … Read More

            My use of the term separate was to show that students with disabilities are general ed students first and they can, should be and in many places are being taught successfully without being separated from their nondisabled peers. My comment that we also do not need to “separate” out data for them as a group, if they are properly taught and assessed, was in response to a previous comment questioning whether these students needed to be parsed out of the data. I was not saying that we should not disaggregate data, as we do that for many groups and many reasons.

            By “separate” I was discussing separate schooling which Brown v. Board of Education said was not by any means equal, something that has been reinforced in the LRE provisions of the IDEA which provides:

            To the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are educated with children who are not disabled, and special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only when the nature or severity of the disability of a child is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.

            As to the federal intervention, it is designed to fulfill what IDEA called for when it was enacted in 2004, but has yet to hold states accountable for, i.e., results driven accountability, which as the above article notes is “‘research-proven academic interventions so that children with learning disabilities or speech and language impairments – the vast majority of students in special education – and students with other special needs can excel.” This and to ensure that states do what they have promised to do as a function of their annual receipt of federal funds: make sure kids with disabilities are held to the same high standards as their nondisabled peers and are properly assessed according to those standards to determine if they are making the sort of progress they are capable of and entitled to make, just as their nondisabled peers.

        • Ann 2 years ago2 years ago

          Is it also true that the modified assessment scores were averaged in with overall scores in the last two years of the CST ?

  7. Sharon Brown 2 years ago2 years ago

    This is just another indication of how far removed from the profession of education Arne Duncan is! (Unfortunately his qualifications for the job were his pickup basketball abilities rather than any wide-range experiences in education.) There IS a reason students are designated as Special Ed. Special Ed teachers, who by the way, are VERY knowledgeable about not only the challenges of their students BUT about the general ed curriculum, spend years teaching … Read More

    This is just another indication of how far removed from the profession of education Arne Duncan is! (Unfortunately his qualifications for the job were his pickup basketball abilities rather than any wide-range experiences in education.)

    There IS a reason students are designated as Special Ed. Special Ed teachers, who by the way, are VERY knowledgeable about not only the challenges of their students BUT about the general ed curriculum, spend years teaching compensatory skills to their students to help level the playing field for them. It’s possible that some students who are very bright will need some assistance with technology, i.e calculators, spell checkers, etc. to help them do what other students can do. But the standardized tests, by which these students’ “progress” is measured, do not allow the use of the very devices the students have been trained to used to bring them up to their optimal levels of academic functioning. How absolutely INSANE is this!! Mr. Duncan would rather they fail than be unique in their abilities and needs!!!

    Replies

    • Kristen 2 years ago2 years ago

      Yes, students do get to use their AT high stakes testing. Their Are specific requirements for using the AT on tests. I worked on a project with a district testing dept, AT Team, and state in which we developed a document describing the AT, what can be used, and how.

  8. navigio 2 years ago2 years ago

    Is this even legal?

  9. TheMorrigan 2 years ago2 years ago

    What is Duncan talking about? Of California's 686,352 SWDs in 2011-2012, 47% (236,000) took the regular CSTs. 42% (210,000) took the modified CSTs called the CMAs. About 10% (48,400) took the CAPA, a test set up for severe cognitive disabilities. Of all the SWDs in CA, more than 65% of them are in "mainstreamed" core general ed classrooms with the rest of the K12 population. Based on the 20011-12 data, this means that … Read More

    What is Duncan talking about?

    Of California’s 686,352 SWDs in 2011-2012, 47% (236,000) took the regular CSTs. 42% (210,000) took the modified CSTs called the CMAs. About 10% (48,400) took the CAPA, a test set up for severe cognitive disabilities.

    Of all the SWDs in CA, more than 65% of them are in “mainstreamed” core general ed classrooms with the rest of the K12 population. Based on the 20011-12 data, this means that almost 10% of the non-severe learning disabled population, who would otherwise be eligible, is not “mainstreamed.” That is nowhere close to the numbers Duncan cited in his NPR interview.

    Based on this information, most of the SWDs (probably a good-sized chunk of the students with a specific learning disability; 41% of them) took what all the other kids in CA took and get the same lessons and are exposed to the same curriculum as what the regular ed population gets. Yet, Duncan explicitly argues that they are not. His argument just does not add up or make sense with what is occurring in CA.

    I fully agree that we should work at improving what we can in special education. However, the implicit idea that teachers are not doing enough and that state/districts are weaseling out of holding the SES and teachers accountable is just imperceptive and insensitive. What this terrible idea does, though, is add another layer of paperwork to the already overloaded special education teacher daily to-do list.

  10. el 2 years ago2 years ago

    “I want to stress that the vast majority of students with disabilities do not have significant cognitive disabilities,” Duncan said. So if we know that, are those students parsed out of the data? Maybe dyslexic children and children with speech difficulties should be parsed out as separate subgroups and evaluated on their merits. After all, the strategies that will be effective with dyslexics are probably not all that useful to students who are visually impaired. Because when … Read More

    “I want to stress that the vast majority of students with disabilities do not have significant cognitive disabilities,” Duncan said.

    So if we know that, are those students parsed out of the data? Maybe dyslexic children and children with speech difficulties should be parsed out as separate subgroups and evaluated on their merits. After all, the strategies that will be effective with dyslexics are probably not all that useful to students who are visually impaired.

    Because when you tell me that there’s an achievement gap between special education students and the mainstream population… all I can do is look at you funny. It’s almost circular, and makes me wonder why Duncan isn’t clamoring to close schools where students in wheelchairs aren’t able to complete a mile as fast as the kids on the track team.

    Replies

    • Andrew 2 years ago2 years ago

      Great points! The feds don’t think that CA teachers have been using their magic wands and stardust effectively enough, adding dozens of IQ points to fixed IQ’s, erasing severe emotional disturbances, etc.

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