From Huffington Post
The way that K-12 learners are taught is in rapid flux, particularly when it comes to students in special education programs. These are the students that need the most help and support and the ones where a push for higher parental involvement does not always bridge the academic gap. These students need highly-trained teachers and program resources designed with them in mind to succeed. Because of this, special education researchers, practitioners, and activists are always looking for innovative ways to serve those students that need the help the most. This year was one of many wins for special education students and the start to many great initiatives in the future.
U.S. Education Department raises special education benchmarks. Earlier last year, the U.S. Department of Education announced that the way it determines if states are meeting the needs of their students with disabilities is going to change. Factors like state graduation rates and test scores will now be considered more heavily when determining what states are helping, and what states are failing, their special education students. States that are unable to meet the new benchmarks set forth for three years or more could face losing some of their special education funding.
So just how different are the new requirements, and how difficult will it be for states to achieve the benchmarks when it comes to special education students? To put it in perspective, 41 states met the requirements of the old system. Under the new requirements, only 18 states meet the standards. It is estimated that 6.5 million children in the U.S. have disabilities.