Special-Ed Kids in Texas- Accountability through No Child Left Behind or Teaching to Student's Needs?Somervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


Special-Ed Kids in Texas- Accountability through No Child Left Behind or Teaching to Student's Needs?

29 December 2006 at 11:05:35 AM

I spoke a couple of years ago with a local principal about special ed kids and how the No Child Left Behind program sets a percentage of how many special eds kids are allowable out of the whole.So, if you can only have 9 percent special ed kids, what happens if your district happens to have, oh, say, 15 percent? Tough.

This article in the San Antonio Express-News talks about another angle as well, which is: Do you test special-ed kids at the NCLB levels and risk lowering your rank? Do you *game* the system by testing kids using a different test or testing them at a lower grade level? And why should accountability, which the article says can exist to punish the educators, trump teaching students at their needs levels? (I believe that goes for *regular* students as well.) And what happens when NCLB penalizes districts that, rather than lowering the bar, actually challenge special-education students?

Educators across the state are taking firm advantage of a state-sanctioned system that allows them to test special-ed students — those with autism, attention-deficit disorder or other learning disabilities — at the lowest possible level.

Doing so can help districts avoid high numbers of failing students and the sanctions under the federal law that come with them — an irony, given the purpose of the law

Read how educators *game* the system by teaching special-ed children at lowest levels. (For Level 1, for example, a student can get every question wrong and still pass)

Plano, outside Dallas, tested nearly 70 percent of special-ed students at Level 1; Arlington, nearly 60 percent; and the affluent Dallas enclave of Highland Park, over 90 percent. More than 100 districts tested 100 percent of special-ed students at that level.

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