NCSECS' Monthly Newsletter: April 2018
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An April with NCSECS
April 30, 2018
NCSECS on the Road
NCSECS is partnering with Education Forward DC to examine cross sector data in Washington DC, with the goal of ensuring that all students with disabilities have access to a quality continuum of services.
A NCSECS representative is serving on The National Center for Learning Disabilities' new Education Practitioner Advisory Council, which is currently focused on developing new comprehensive resources for teachers.
NCSECS Co-Founder and Executive Director Lauren Morando Rhim is serving on Vermont’s Special Education Advisory Council, weighing in on major related policy issues.
A NCSECS representative is serving on the Advisory Board for the state of Washington’s True Measure Collaborative, providing guidance related to ongoing operations and growth of the collaborative.
We are humbled and excited to share that NCSECS was selected as one of six grantees for New Profit’s “Reimagine Learning” grant cycle.
NCSECS Senior Fellow Paul O’Neill is attending the NewSchools Venture Fund’s 2018 Summit in San Francisco next week. Please reach out and connect with him if you plan on attending!
Rhim recently wrote an op-ed for Chalkbeat in response to Denver Superintendent Nikolai Vitti’s plan to create specialized programs for students with disabilities.
Mark Ryone, Founding Executive Director of the New Jersey Special Education Collaborative (NJSEC), was interviewed by Education Post about his experiences and work with NJSEC.
Special Education News
- NYC Autism Charter School Parent Spotlight: My Son Has Autism and This School Taught Him to Say ‘Mom’
- What has changed a year after Endrew F reached the Supreme Court, which asserted the right of students with disabilities to be provided an education reasonably calculated to enable them to "make progress appropriate in light of the child's circumstances?"
- The appointment of Johnny Collett to oversee special education for the U.S. Department of Education was "a rare point of agreement between the Trump administration and the disability-advocacy community."
- A small group of states, according to the U.S. Department of Education, will have to "make changes to the way they test students with severe cognitive disabilities, because of accountability changes brought about by the Every Student Succeeds Act."
- "Thousands of students exposed to lead during the Flint water crisis will be screened to determine whether they need special education or health services as part of a tentative $4.1 million settlement of a federal lawsuit against the state of Michigan."
- Texas has unveiled a "formal plan to overhaul special education statewide, after federal officials found that services were for years illegally denied to students with disabilities."
- “Call it stereotype threat, implicit bias, or pity born of privilege,”
What It Feels Like to Realize Your Child’s Teachers Have Sized Him Up and Dumbed Down Their Estimations
Topic of the Month: Discipline and Disportionality
Recently released federal data indicates continuing disparities in how students of color and those with disabilities are disciplined and in the opportunities they get in schools. According to the US Government Accountability Office, these disparities were widespread and persisted regardless of the type of disciplinary action, level of school poverty, or type of public school attended.
A few statistics to highlight include:
- Black students made up 15% of all students in 2015-16, but 31% of those arrested or referred to police—a disparity that has grown by 5 percentage points since 2013-14.
- Students with disabilities represented 12% of the overall student enrollment and 28% of police-involved students in 2015-16.
- In both the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years, black students with disabilities lost roughly three times as much instruction from discipline as their white peers did.
The U.S. Department of Education has been considering tweaking or scrapping the Obama administration’s discipline guidance, with Secretary DeVos claiming that it has caused unintended consequences in schools.
“In line with the 2014 guidance published by the Department of Education, we must continue to not only track data regarding these practices but also take focused steps towards introducing school and classroom level policies and practices that will provide critical supports to students and teachers that, if implemented with fidelity, can decrease the need to exclude students from opportunities to learn," Rhim writes on one of NCSECS’ most recent blog posts.