Quite Possibly the Stupidest Thing To Come Out of the US DOE
In announcing a new emphasis and "major shift," the US Department of Education will now demand that states show educational progress for students with disabilities.
Arne Duncan announced that, shockingly, students with disabilities do poorly in school. They perform below level in both English and math. No, there aren't any qualifiers attached to that. Arne is bothered that students with very low IQs, students with low function, students who have processing problems, students who have any number of impairments-- these students are performing below grade level.
"We know that when students with disabilities are held to high expectations and have access to a robust curriculum, they excel," Duncan said. (per NPR coverage)
And I'm pretty sure we don't know any such thing. I'm pretty sure that the special needs students in schools across the country are special needs precisely because they have trouble meeting the usual expectations.
But who knows. Maybe Arne is on to something. Maybe blind students can't see because nobody expects them to. Maybe the student a colleague had in class years ago, who was literally rolled into the room and propped up in a corner so that he could be "exposed" to band-- maybe that child's problems were just low expectations. Maybe IEPs are actually assigned randomly, for no reason at all.
And that's not even the stupidest thing. We're not there yet.
Read the whole thing for the kicker...