Tuesday, January 02, 2007

More Good NCLB News

This time from Pennsylvania:

Test scores for special education students in the state's 501 school
districts are reportedly on the rise with local educators lauding the efforts of
inclusion implemented in January under No Child Left Behind (NCLB).

The law was revised to include a special emphasis on the achievement gap
for all states that accept Title 1 federal grants that provide funding for
remedial education programs for poor and disadvantaged children in public
schools and in some private programs.

A class action lawsuit filed
against the Pennsylvania Department of Education also determined that starting
last January special education students be integrated into the regular education
classroom for instruction where the special education teacher and regular
education teacher co-teach.

To what extent however special education students remain in the regular
classroom depends on the needs outlined in their Individualized Education Plan
(IEP) determined by parents and school officials.

Dr. Dennis Spinella, superintendent at Frazier School District, said the
2005-2006 PSSA scores have dramatically increased across the board in reading
and math with special education students achieving proficiency in both areas
because of the move.

Anne Peters, Frazier special education supervisor, attributed the higher scores to a combination of administrating a state-sponsored assessment formatted after the PSSA at the high school/middle school and working with elementary students not only on the level they are functioning on but also at their current grade level.

"This way they're getting double practice and becoming familiar with (test) content," added Peters.

Spinella also praised the district's staff for their efforts of the transition, especially now that all students are required by the state to be proficient in reading and math by 2014 under NCLB.


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