NO equal access to educational services for students with disabilities

new orleans schools miracle not so miraculous

The New Orleans Recovery District, nearly 75 percent charter schools, has won attention for its rising test scores. Bogus Testing and Assessment

On her Answer Sheet blog in The Washington Post, Valerie Strauss feels it’s worthwhile to examine the claims of the 38,000-student district more carefully. A recent release from the Louisiana Department of Education found the number of students attending failing schools in New Orleans dropped from 68 percent in 2004-2005 to just below 18 percent in 2009-2010 (based on standardized test scores). However, a November 2010 report from a local nonprofit found the district omitted 30 percent of its schools in this assessment, and a report in February found New Orleans metro area had lost 22 percent of children under 18, compared to 7 percent of adults. Another report found the slowest families to return have been low-income minority families, whose school-age children likely score lower on standardized tests. “And then there’s the problem of students with special needs who can’t find schools that will enroll them because there aren’t enough schools with special education programs,” writes Strauss. Last year, several organizations jointly filed a complaint with the state Department of Education that charged it violated the IDEA by systemically failing to guarantee equal access to educational services for students with disabilities.

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