Alternative assessments for Students with Disabilities Abolished

In June, 2014 the U.S.DOE increased reporting requirements for students with disabilities programs.  Both program procedures such as meeting evaluation timelines and student outcome data are now required for federal funding. The U.S.DOE estimates that only 18 states and territories will meet the new standards; 41 states and territories met previous standards. California, Texas and Delaware are in the lowest compliance level.

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A change in assessment policy can have a big impact. Title I Part A regulations have been amended.  Alternative ESEA standards and assessments that are based on disabilities with be phased out. Data such as graduation and suspension rates as well as state assessment scores will be used for Individuals with Disability Act (IDEA) grants.

The acting Assistant Secretary of Special Education stated that less than 10% of 8th graders with IEPs were proficient in reading.  In his announcement of the new requirements, Secretary Arne Duncan said “We must be honest about student performance, so that we can give all students the support and services they need to succeed”.  Federal programs provide $11.5 billion in grants to states that in 2010 served 6,614,000 children.

What is the Unkindest Cut of All?

Charters and traditional public schools are claiming that their funding allocations are inadequate and unfair.budget

 

Given the massive cuts in education funding, their claims are not trivial.  Their arguments, however, are different. Judges are ruling differently as well.  Based on information reported by Education Justice, a  program of the New Jersey based Education Law Center, and Access, a research institute at Columbia University, charters want facilities and traditional public schools seek fairness.Continue reading

Privatization Bills in Florida

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by Lucia Baez

The Miami-Dade League of Women Voters charter school study provides an in-depth examination of the population of students in below median income neighborhoods.

Are charters representing their own communities?

Do charters show significant academic improvement?

Are charters equitably admitting their students and increasing participation of needy students?

THE ANSWER TO EACH OF THESE QUESTIONS IS:   NO!

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Alternative Assessments for Students with Disabilities Abolished

In June, 2014 the U.S.DOE increased reporting requirements for students with disabilities programs.  Both program procedures, such as meeting evaluation timelines as well as student outcome data are now required for federal funding. The U.S.DOE estimates that only 18 states and territories will meet the new standards; 41 states and territories met previous standards. California, Texas and Delaware are in the lowest compliance level.

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There is more to this to this story.   Read on.

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As Florida Charters Grow, Critics Watch

Some charters do fill an unmet need in this Tampa Bay Times article, but privatizing can also lead to profiteering. The League’s concerns about Charter Schools USA are highlighted in this front page story. The rents charged at some schools exceed $1 million dollars a year. Charter boards are not independent. Many charters offer nothing different, but diverting money from regular public schools creates problems from facility maintenance to busing and instructional support.

Rote Learning Meets Critical Thinking

by Sue Legg

One of the most intriguing articles that I have read lately is Iris Rotberg’s article on The Endless Search for Silver Bullets. Dr. Rotberg, a Research Professor of Education Policy at George Washington University reported the results of the 2012 New York state assessments and the 2013 New York version of the Common Core test.  The results were no doubt disappointing to charter school advocates.  Charter schools in New York City, the hallmark of high achieving charter schools, continued to outperform comparable traditional public schools.  Charters, however, had higher drops in levels of proficiency. Continue reading

Can We Learn from New York City’s Charters? Maybe!

by Sue Legg

Problems with charter school management are easy to identify, but finding a way forward is more difficult.  Some NYC charter schools  are closing the achievement gap.  How are they doing it?  We will do a series of posts on the claims and the cautions about these results.  First, let’s talk about how traditional public schools and charters operate in New York.  You may be surprised.  Look at differences in public school management, charter school facilities, and funding.  Continue reading