Wednesday, September 28, 2016

CURMUDGUCATION: TX: Denying Special Education

CURMUDGUCATION: TX: Denying Special Education:

TX: Denying Special Education

You must read this piece of investigative reporting from the Houston Chronicle.

In "Denied:How Texas keeps tens of thousands of children out of special education,"
reporter Brian M. Rosenthal lays out the secret of yet another Texas miracle-- getting special education numbers down by systematically denying support and services to the students who need them.

The bottom line is simple-- and chilling:

Over a decade ago, the [unelected Texas Education Agency] officials arbitrarily decided what percentage of students should get special education services — 8.5 percent — and since then they have forced school districts to comply by strictly auditing those serving too many kids.

It is a system that has worked remarkably well at getting state expenses down, but as the story of one child denied support and services heartbreakingly lays out, it has not been very successful for the children of Texas. The denial of services has reached every sort of special need students can have, from learning disabilities to speech impediments to orthopedic impairments to visual problems. And it is worst in the cities, where need is arguably highest:

In all, among the 100 largest school districts in the U.S., only 10 serve fewer than 8.5 percent of their students. All 10 are in Texas.

The "target" of 8.5% was set in 2004, and it was based on nothing--

Four agency officials set the benchmark, former employees said: special education director Eugene 
CURMUDGUCATION: TX: Denying Special Education: