Improving special ed

Before requiring disabled students to pass an exit exam to earn a high school diploma, California should improve special education classes, says a report to the Legislature. The graduation exam, already delayed, will go into effect for the class of 2006. The report recommends a two-year delay for disabled students.

During that time, the state should vastly upgrade the quality of special education classes, making sure that students are taught what they need to know, and should develop alternative assessments tailored to students with disabilities.

Most special education students are diagnosed with learning disabilities of various sorts; they’re capable of doing high school work. If the graduation exam forces higher standards for special education students, it will do a great favor for most of them.

Of course, a small number of disabled students aren’t capable of learning the high school curriculum even with the best possible special education program. I think they should get a special diploma, reflecting effort, rather than a regular diploma, which should reflect academic achievement.

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  1. Walter E. Wallis says:

    One might suppose that handicapped students would be assigned to classes where teacher training and equipment was designed to accomodate their needs, but some idiots decided to mainstream them, whatever the effect on them and the rest of the class. How soon until we flush out the flower children and bring back competency?

  2. Bluemount says:

    I think we can’t fix special education until we identify how these programs are causing disability. I believe we are breaking the nurturing bonds of family and creating abusive hierachy instead of disciplined children. Until parents and teachers operate through respect instead of control; I have little hope of this changing.