The U.S. Education Department is calling for increased oversight of special education with hopes to improve academic success of students with disabilities. New criteria will focus on outcomes as a way to determine if states are “doing enough.”
“Compliance with procedural requirements . . . is important, but it is not enough,” U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan explains. “It’s not enough for a state to be compliant if students can’t read or do math at a level sufficient to graduate from high school.” (Washington Post)
How will the Department of Education Measure Outcomes?
The department of education has developed a complex matrix to determine if states are in compliance. One of these factors is how well students with disabilities score on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Additional factors include:
- Standardized test scores
- Gap in test scores between students in general education and special education
- High school graduation rates
What Effect Does this Have on Schools?
New stringent regulations for educating special-needs students reduces number of states (jurisdictions) in compliance from 38 to 15. U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said that although states are in compliance, they fail to allow access for students with special needs (emphasizing ADHD and dyslexia) to a robust curriculum. In addition, more rigorous standards will be applied that will impact future funding.
What Steps Can Schools Take to Help Their Students AND Maintain Compliance?
The first step is to ensure all students have access to the supports they need to succeed. This can be an especially daunting task considering the diversity and varying learning needs in today’s classrooms. Technology can help. Based on the principals of Universal Design for Learning, Kurzweil 3000-firefly is a cost-effective solution to help educators meet the many needs of all students.
- Built-in tools for reading, comprehension, and demonstration of knowledge enable all students to learn from the same materials as their peers
- Web-based and computer installed software provides anywhere, anytime access to materials and promotes independent learning in the classroom and at home
- Usage reporting provides visibility and helps educators to make informed instructional decisions
- Centralized and flexible user management, combined with a cloud-based library, allow educators to focus on what matters most—their students
Take the First Step
Contact us today to learn why thousands of educators across the U.S. — and worldwide — are choosing Kurzweil 3000-firefly as a cost-effective solution for helping their students become independent learners and achieve academic success.