The National Council on Disability recently issued a report gauging NCLB’s impact on the academic progress of students with disabilities. Among the findings of The No Child Left Behind Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act: A Progress Report are that students with disabilities are doing better in terms of placement in various academic categories, “positive change is greater at the fourth grade and dissipates by the eighth grade,” and “since 2004 there has been a palpable and positive change in the overall attitude of educators toward educating students with disabilities.” Check out the report and let us know how it compares with your experiences.

re: NCLB and Students with Disabilities

I am concern that while on the surface attitudes may be changing in the positive direction in regards to students with disabilities, I am worried that we are still not making an impact on graduation rates. Many states now offer a nonstandard diploma; however, those students earning this type of diploma are not counted in the graduation numbers and helps schools from declaring these students as dropouts. The concern that I raised in my dissertation proposal is that nonstandard diplomas are being used heavily in states that have multiple end-of-course exams; therefore, these tests are being used as a safety net with regards to school accountability. We really need to be monitoring their use but they are not required to be reported even under IDEIA.

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