A recent report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office examines how states vary in the way they define disproportionality (term for overrepresentation of racial or ethnic groups in special education) and how that can lead to different outcomes for students. The study also looked at the Department of Education’s oversight of this issue. View the summary or download the full report.
News / Events
Department of Education Proposes to Eliminate "2 Percent Rule" in Assessing Students with Disabilities
The U.S. Department of Education has proposed new regulations that would end states’ ability to use alternate assessments based on modified academic standards (AA-MAAS) for students with disabilities as part of Elementary and Secondary Education Act accountability requirements. Currently States can count scores of up to 2% of students using alternate assessments when determining proficiency rates. Under the proposed regulations, all students will be tested using accessible general assessments based on the same college and career ready standards. Read More>>>
Since online learning is a young field, there exists relatively little aggregate data about student enrollment and demographics, especially regarding students with disabilities. One would expect that this dearth of data would drive efforts on the part of states to gather enrollment data. A recent national survey by the Center on Online Learning and Students with Disabilities (COLSD) showed that this has not begun in earnest yet. COLSD found that surprisingly few states gather enrollment information for online learners. More>>>
U.S. Department of Education Clarifies Schools' Obligation to Provide Equal Opportunity to Students with Disabilities to Participate in Extracurricular Athletics
Recently, the Department's Office for Civil Rights issued guidance clarifying school districts' existing legal obligations to provide equal access to extracurricular athletic activities to students with disabilities. In addition to explaining those legal obligations, the guidance urges school districts to work with community organizations to increase athletic opportunities for students with disabilities, such as opportunities outside of the existing extracurricular athletic program.
Students with disabilities have the right, under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, to an equal opportunity to participate in their schools' extracurricular activities. A 2010 report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that many students with disabilities are not afforded an equal opportunity to participate in athletics, and therefore may not have equitable access to the health and social benefits of athletic participation.
The U.S. Department of Education released new regulations under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Part B on Feb. 14, saying the changes will make it easier for school districts to access public benefits while still protecting family rights.
The IDEA Part B final regulations change the requirements in 34 CFR 300.154(d) related to parental consent to access public benefits or insurance (e.g., Medicaid) and take effect on March 18, 2013. Previously, public agencies were required to obtain parental consent each time access to public benefits or insurance was sought. The new rules—
(1) ensure that parents of children with disabilities are informed of all of their legal protections when public agencies seek to access public benefits or insurance to pay for services; and
(2) address the concerns expressed by State educational agencies and local educational agencies that requiring parental consent each time access to public benefits or insurance is sought, in addition to the parental consent required by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and section 617(c) of the IDEA, imposes unnecessary costs and administrative burdens. More
In Classroom Diversity: An Introduction to Student Differences, you’ll meet Ms. Christie, a history instructor at Chester Himes Middle School, who is on the case to solve the mystery of why her lessons, so popular at her old school, seem to be falling flat at Himes Middle. One of her fellow teachers—Mr. Chandler—gently suggests that maybe Ms. Christie hasn’t been planning those lessons with Himes' diverse student population in mind. Ms. Christie isn’t so sure. Kids are kids, she thinks, and a good lesson in one school will be a good lesson in any school, right?
This module contains:
- Information and thoughts on the role that teacher perceptions play in their classroom instruction
- Details on various kinds of student diversity that teachers will encounter, including cultural, linguistic, those having to do with exceptionalities, and socioeconomic
- Audio interviews with experts like Janette Klingner, University of Colorado, Boulder; Diane Torres-Velasquez, University of New Mexico; and H. Richard Milner IV, Vanderbilt University, among others
July 10-12, 2013
July 15-17, 2013
OSEP Project Directors Conference in Washington, DC
July 29-31, 2013
IDEA Leadership Conference in Washington, DC