Disabled students won’t be counted as proficient — unless they’re really meeting college and career readiness standards, under new regulations proposed by the U.S. Education Department. Currently, the “2 percent rule” lets states count up to 2 percent of disabled test-takers as proficient, regardless of their achievement levels.
“We have to expect the very best from our students and tell the truth about student performance, to prepare them for college and career,” said U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan. “That means no longer allowing the achievement of students with disabilities to be measured by these alternate assessments aligned to modified achievement standards.”
Being honest about students’ achievement is a good thing, but educators will be embittered — even more so — if they’re held to impossible standards. Students with disabilities achieve more when expectations are high, but — even with the best teaching in the world — many won’t able to meet standards linked to college readiness. (“Career” is thrown in there, but there are no lower career-ready standards.)