Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Graduation rate solutions

Evidently there is a wide discrepancy between the 4 year graduation rates of children with disabilities and plain children.  The gap is highest in Mississippi at 43% and lowest in Montana at 3%.  The US Office of Education is determined to narrow that gap by using what it calls "results-driven accountability".  They are all about accountability for outcomes.
It is very concerning that in reading possible solutions to this "problem", no mention whatever is made of the student's disability that may demand more time to learn the same material and, therefore, the student may need more than four years.   There is also no discussion of the fact that the material may be immaterial to the child's future and, thereby, wasteful of her precious school time to learn.  No attention at all is paid to the fact that for some students, the disability may preclude that child from ever learning the material.
Possible solutions have included creating an alternative math sequence for the child with a disability. It is left unsaid that the new sequence is probably considered easier.  However, mention is made that the new sequence might not be acceptable for college enrollment.  Kansas is notable for having the gap be less than 10%.   This fact was attributed to a "robust" co-teaching program.
It troubles me deeply that in none of these discussions is any mention made of the child's educational needs that would prepare the child for a successful transition into the competitive marketplace.

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