NCLB Discussion on KUOW Today

I just caught the tail end of a discussion on KUOW's The Conversation today about NCLB. What I heard was interesting but I'd like to hear the rest of it before I post about it. You can listen to their archive of the program at


Anonymous said…
All of the guests, (various district officials, Ballard HS principal) brought up the old whipping boy: Special Education and NCLB. Their complaints amount to "Oh, poor us, we still have to teach those students with disabilities. How can they possibly be expected to pass the WASL for AYP? Of course my school would never do anything to help them because they're hopeless to begin with."

The facts,
1) 75% of special ed students have average or better IQ's... but only 7% passed the WASL or the WAAS in the state in 2006. This is the real acheivement gap.
2) If we introduce a loophole in accountability by removing special education students from NCLB requirements, special education will become a dumping ground for all the other failing groups. In fact, it already is a dumping ground for minorities the district choses not to educate. It is well documented that SPS sped students are highly over-represented by minorities, especially considering that the city is actually 70% white.
3) Special education students are very often excluded from any special WASL preparation that other at risk students receive. The argument usually goes, "Well, they already get special ed. Isn't that enough?"

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