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April 12, 2007


Sandy Alperstein

Thank you, Charlie, for raising this important topic! There appears to be much momentum developing in favor of reducing accountability under NCLB for students with disabilities. This is a very disturbing trend and does not bode well for the upcoming (2007 or 2008) reauthorization of NCLB.


For a child with an IEP, what would this do to FAPE under IDEA 2004? I'm often confused over which Act supercedes the other, if at all.

Sandy Alperstein

Theoretically, neither act supersedes the other. NCLB applies to entire schools/districts, while IDEA (IEP) applies to individual students. However, in reality, what's measured tends to be what gets paid attention to, so the fewer students with disabilities who are appropriately tested under NCLB, the more students in danger of losing FAPE. At least, that's how I see it.

Peggy Sorensen

I was also deeply discouraged when I saw this. This year I have not even been able to ascertain that my son's teachers--in the special room that is supposed to be providing him with the extra help he needs--are teaching the content included in the "general curriculum." What I do know is that his "biology" class is taught by a teacher certified in special education and there is no lab work (no lab facilities). I also know that even though he is cooperative, completes assignments and has a "C" in the class, according to the quarterly tests he is only proficient in one tested area.

His teachers have just been "waiting for this to blow over," rather than fighting to get the special ed kids exposed to content (and non-special kids). Looks like they won this round.

John Simmons

Dear Friends,

The administrative proposals for NCLB take into consideration developmental issues. If one has a background in this, one would realize that it isn't as easy as saying that it is the teacher's fault and they just need to teach better. In my classroom I have students with autism, William's Syndrome, FAS, Turner's Syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome... just to name a few. I have two kids that have missed years of school due to genetic defect. One (having NF)will not see two more birthdays... very sad.

My goal is for the children to receive a relevant education that will give them a chance to love and be loved.

Just as I do not think every man is cut out to be an old paratrooper special operations capable fella like myself, not all kids can perform well on the CAHSEE. Or else all of us would be paratroopers. We are all just put together a little different it seems.

Guys, it is a developmental problem with these kids. Not necessarily a teacher teaching problem (although I often have thought that Ivy League paper of mine was a waste of good money).

Need to do some more studying perhaps. If you do not know the disorders mentioned or and causal factors, please spend some time in research. We can help these kids by giving them a relevant education. Without understanding the problem and generalizing the No Child Left Behind bill becomes the No Child's Behing Left... moral of this story... understand the problem.

Thank you.

Response: John: I am afraid your comment misses the boat and pity does not substitute for high standards for all children.

Charlie Fox

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