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Is the Common Core Leaving Special-Education Students Behind?

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There are 6.5 million special-education students in the U.S. today, and is seems that most are  falling behind because of the new Common Core standards.

NPR’s Claudio Sanchez reported “Two-thirds of students with disabilities are performing well below  grade level in reading and math, by eight grade, that figure rises to 90 percent.”

The fact is there has always been a gap academically and socially, between what special-education students can do in comparison to other students. Rebecca Ellis told a reporter about her autistic son, “When the standards changed, this gap between special-education students and other students grew into this canyon overnight.”

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Less than 10 percent of special-education classes were previously expected to fall behind significantly in reading and math for their grade level. But teachers and mothers like Rebecca Ellis are seeing much more than 10 percent failing. It has now changed to 90 percent of special-education students failing.

Those with autism and language-processing disabilities are quickly becoming education casualties.

Reports show that there might be a few factors at play here outside of the Common Core’s bad press. First there is the fact that the number of students diagnosed with learning disabilities is the highest it has ever been. Second, under No Child Left Behind, students with special needs were the focus, allowing for them to catch up to their peers, whereas with Common Core they are marginalized in the pursuit of a more equalized education.

Parents with special-education kids argued: ” The purported goal of the Common Core is success for all students, but success for all requires openness towards cognitive diversity, and isn’t so easily standardized. We are here for a reform of the grade-level standards, or the grading based on age group, contending that student success can only be judged on improvement for their cognitive levels, not by class-level criteria.”

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By Daniel Mayper – Guest Blogger

This Post Has One Comment

  1. You bring up a good point that all this change in criteria could effect your special needs child. There is no reason to let this happen, and you should know your rights. I would be sure and contact an attorney if you think your rights are being infringed upon.

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