Thursday, October 28, 2004

Special Education News and Links: Principals: Mandates hurt special-education students

Stacy Weiss summarizes: "Local principals concerned about pushing special-education students too hard to meet federal No Child Left Behind mandates were rebuffed yesterday by a senior federal education official."

The official goes on to say: "We had lost confidence in our own kids," said Simon, a former Arkansas education official. "All kids can be at grade level - should be at grade level - in reading and math."

If he wasn't misguoted, he's a flaming idiot. Heck, all kids should be concert pianists and I should speak five languages. Arghh.

There has to be some kind of rational compromise between setting impossible goals and setting no goals at all. I think that used to be thought of as good teaching.

I used to be in favor of "standards". The problem isn't the idea -- it's the execution. It's the kind of policy that only works with a balanced, rational and funded implementation with constant monitoring and feedback. In retrospect it's a policy far beyond the capabilities of our government.

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