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Showing posts from November, 2013

Md. exclusion of special ed students affects national scores - The Washington Post

Md. exclusion of special ed students affects national scores - The Washington Post

When Maryland officials recently trumpeted the performance of their students on national reading tests, they failed to mention one thing: The state blocked more than half its English language learners and students with learning disabilities from taking the test, students whose scores would have dragged down the results. Maryland excluded 62 percent of students in two categories — learning-disabled and English learners — from the fourth-grade reading test and 60 percent of those students from the eighth-grade reading test. The state led the nation in excluding students on the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress, posting rates that were five times the national average and more than double the rate of any other state. Lillian Lowery, the state’s superintendent of schools, said she plans to review the state’s exclusion rates and their effect on the state’s test performance. “We do need for those stu…

The new face of education - SouthCountyMail.com: News

The new face of education - SouthCountyMail.com: News

Educational standards set up a framework of grade-level expectations for English language arts and literacy, mathematics, science, social studies, world languages, fine arts, health/physical education, guidance and counseling and career and technical education. The newest and most highly publicized portion of the standards are the Common Core Standards, which encompass the English language arts and mathematics portion of the Missouri Learning Standards. These standards are set to go into full effect next school year. “To really teach all the standards we have in Missouri right now, we really need pre-K through 22 years of education to teach all of them,” said Webster Elementary principal Michelle Mitchell. “There’s really too many of them. But one of the main differences in Common Core is there are fewer number of standards, but you go deeper with them.” Mitchell, along with several other local teachers and superintendents, are listed …

Democrats call on Missouri education commissioner to resign UPDATED with DESE reaction - KansasCity.com

Democrats call on Missouri education commissioner to resign UPDATED with DESE reaction - KansasCity.com

Missouri Sen. Paul LeVota has called on Missouri Education commissioner Chris Nicastro to resign.
In a statement, also signed by St. Rep.Genise Montecillo, he said: “Dr. Chris Nicastro has demonstrated a troubling tendency to abuse power. The recent revelations concerning her involvement in overruling Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education staff to secure a more favorable cost estimate for a ballot measure being proposed by a special interest group is just the latest example... “We believe the faith that Missourians once had in DESE has been shattered.” LeVota and Montecillo are Democrats. Nicastro has been accused of working with well-known conservative activistRex Sinquefield on a ballot measure related to education. UPDATE: This, from Peter Herschend, president of the Missouri State Board of Education: “Commissioner Nicastro’s review of this petition was nothing out of…

Can the School Expel My Son? - Wrightslaw

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Can the School Expel My Son? - Wrightslaw

Question
"Our son is almost 16 years old and is still in the 8th grade. He was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 5. Recently, he was evaluated by a psychologist who found that he has serious learning disabilities. He takes medication and sees a psychologist."

"The school is aware of his diagnosis but have never offered any help."
"Our son has been suspended several times this year - recently, he was suspended for 10 days. The school sent us a letter that they plan to expel him for the rest of the year."
"What did he do wrong? He did not fight or sell drugs. He went home after school with a friend in a car without getting permission first." 
"We have always supported the school but this isn't right. He is so far behind and feels so hopeless about school - if they expel him, I'm afraid he will drop out."

"Can the school expel our son for this offense? Are they just trying to get rid of hi…

Discipline of Children with Special Needs by William B. Reichhardt, Esq. - Wrightslaw

Discipline of Children with Special Needs by William B. Reichhardt, Esq. - Wrightslaw

Note: Bill Reichhardt presented this program about discipline of students under IDEA or Section 504 at the 2013 Institute of Special Education Advocacy. Our starting point is children who have been identified as having a disability under IDEA or Section 504. Students who have not yet been determined eligible under IDEA prior to the misconduct may invoke the procedural and due process protections if it is later determinedthat they were eligible at the time of the misconduct. The school is deemed to have knowledge of a child’s disability if: The parent has expressed written concern that the child may need special education services. The school notes pattern of behavior or performance that indicates a need for special education services. The parent has requested an evaluation for eligibility for special education services. Short and Long term Suspensions Short term suspension – up to 10 consecutive school days o…

School Learns Lessons After "Scream Room" Investigation | NBC Connecticut

School Learns Lessons After "Scream Room" Investigation | NBC Connecticut

Lee's Summit has used such a room.  One student was placed in such a room for the majority of a month.

A year and a half after a “scream” room investigation at Farm Hill Elementary School in Middletown, the Superintendent of Schools said the staff has been completely retrained, and school policies reevaluated. Dr. Patricia Charles said educators at Farm Hill have been working with the State Department of Education to learn how to deescalate a child’s behavior before resorting to seclusion, a process in which children are placed in empty rooms and monitored by an adult until the child calms down. “We do still have the rooms at Farm Hill School,” said Dr. Charles, who was hired after the allegations first came to light. In 2012, Farm Hill School parents complained of children coming home and describing screaming students being dragged into seclusion rooms in the school. Investigations by the State Depart…

Steubenville School Superintendent, 3 Others Indicted in Rape Case - ABC News

Steubenville School Superintendent, 3 Others Indicted in Rape Case - ABC News

Steubenville, Ohio, school superintendent and three other adults were indicted today by a grand jury investigating whether other laws were broken in the case of a 16-year-old girl who was raped last year by two high school football players. The crime rocked the eastern Ohio mining community, which was plagued with allegations of a cover-up by school officials and coaches. The crime also garnered national attention partly because the events were documented by those present and widely shared on social media. "People made bad choices and the grand jury said there are repercussions," Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said at a news conference today to announce the four latest indictments, which he said were expected to be the last in the case. RELATED: Steubenville Teens on Tape Describe Night of Sexual Assault Among those charged today was Michael McVey, Steubenville City Schools superintendent, who face…

4 more charged in Steubenville rape case - CNN.com

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4 more charged in Steubenville rape case - CNN.com

(CNN) -- A grand jury investigating the 2012 rape of a 16-year-old girl in Steubenville, Ohio, and educators' responses to a separate rape allegation in the city that year has led to the indictment of four school employees, including the school superintendent, who faces felony charges, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced Monday. Steubenville City Schools Superintendent Michael McVey faces three felony counts: one charge of tampering with evidence and two counts of obstructing justice. He also is charged with making a false statement and obstructing official business, both misdemeanors, DeWine said. Also indicted were an elementary school principal, Lynnett Gorman, and wrestling coach Seth Fluharty, both of whom are charged with misdemeanor failure to report child abuse. Volunteer assistant Steubenville football coach Matt Belardine was charged with four misdemeanors: allowing underage drinking, obstructing official business, …

Embattled Ferguson-Florissant superintendent had spoken out on school choice : News

Embattled Ferguson-Florissant superintendent had spoken out on school choice : News

Art McCoy stood in front of legislators a few months ago in a small auditorium at St. Charles Community College, offering a controversial idea to help kids in failing schools — choice. The superintendent of the Ferguson-Florissant School District was one of many educators and school district officials who spoke to members of the Missouri House that September afternoon. But some of his ideas about a student transfer law were in stark contrast to theirs. McCoy, 36, offered this fix: With a combination of school choice, capped tuition and more comprehensive solutions for unaccredited schools, area school districts could handle more than 15,000 transfer students, he told them. That would be more than five times the amount of students transferring this year under the law upheld in June by the Missouri Supreme Court. At that hearing and another that evening, three members of the Ferguson-Florissant School Board …

St. Louis Public Schools returning $145,000 it received from attendance fraud : News

St. Louis Public Schools returning $145,000 it received from attendance fraud : News

ST. LOUIS > School district to repay state funds • St. Louis Public Schools will reimburse the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education $145,000 for the excess funds the district received as the result of attendance fraud committed at Patrick Henry Downtown Academy in 2008, 2009 and 2010. The district’s Special Administrative Board unanimously approved the reimbursement at its meeting Thursday. A state audit in 2011 found that the principal of Patrick Henry had directed the school secretary to alter attendance records during those years, helping the school reach the numbers it needed to meet federal No Child Left Behind requirements. As a result of those inflated figures, the district also received extra state funding. That principal no longer works for St. Louis schools. In September, Missouri Auditor Thomas Schweich found that the district had never repaid the state. He recommended t…

St. Louis Public Schools to pay state for attendance fraud - St. Louis Business Journal

St. Louis Public Schools to pay state for attendance fraud - St. Louis Business Journal

St. Louis Public Schools will reimburse the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education $145,000 for funds it received due to attendance fraud. An audit in 2011 found that the principal of Patrick Henry Downtown Academy had directed the school secretary to alter attendance records in 2008, 2009 and 2010., the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The altered attendance numbers helped the school meet federal No Child Left Behind requirements and allowed the school to receive state funding.

The Best Argument Against Autism Speaks: A Special Educator’s Perspective

The Best Argument Against Autism Speaks: A Special Educator’s Perspective

I typically do not like to write about things I am against.  But when an organization like Autism Speaks continually misses opportunities to do the right thing and listen to the people they are supposedly advocating for…it saddens me. And if you are a special educator…it should sadden you to. Please don’t misunderstand me. I do not wish to discount the real challenges that families face when they have autistic children. I have seen first hand how difficult it can be for my students and students’ families and I wish dearly that we could give them the support they so desperately need and deserve. But this is not the subject of this post. As a special education teacher, my job (as I see it) is to 1) give my students access to the general education curriculum using modifications and accommodations 2) along with the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team, create an individualized plan for my students to learn and gr…