Wrightslaw l No Child Left Behind l IDEA 2004 l Fetaweb l Yellow Pages for Kids l Harbor House Law Press
 Home >  News 9.3% Drop in Graduation Rates for Kids with Disabilities in New York


The Special Ed Advocate
It's Unique ... and Free!

Enter your email address below:

 

2014 - 2015 Training Programs

Apr 26 - Little Rock, AR

May 9 - Los Angeles, CA

June 3 - NYC

June 22 - Chicago, IL

June 26 - Lawrence, MA

Aug 2 - Birmingham, AL

Aug 3-8 Williamsburg, VA

Full Schedule

Be a Hero ...

 Candle in window
... to a Hero
Learn more

Wrightslaw

Home
Topics from A-Z
Free Newsletter
Seminars & Training
Consultations
Yellow Pages for Kids
Press Room
FAQs
Sitemap

Books & Training

Wrightslaw Books & DVDs
Wrightslaw Storesecure store lock
  Advocate's Store
  Student Bookstore
  Exam Copies
Training Center
Bulk Discounts
New! Military Discounts
Mail & Fax Orders

Advocacy Library

Articles
Doing Your Homework
Ask the Advocate
FAQs
Newsletter Archives
 Summer School Series
 Be an Advocate!
 Organizing the File
 Letter Writing
 Back to School
 For Advocates
 For Parents
Success Stories
Tips

Law Library

Articles
Caselaw
IDEA 2004
No Child Left Behind
McKinney-Vento Homeless
FERPA
Section 504
Fed Court Complaints

Topics

Advocacy
ADD/ADHD
Assistive Technology
Autism Spectrum
Behavior & Discipline
Bullying
College/Continuing Ed
Damages
Discrimination
Due Process
Early Intervention (Part C)
Eligibility
ESY
Evaluations
FAPE
Flyers
Future Planning
Harassment
High-Stakes Tests
Homeless Children
IDEA 2004
Identification & Child Find
IEPs
Juvenile Justice
Law School & Clinics
Letters & Paper Trails
LRE/Inclusion
Mediation
Military / DOD
No Child Left Behind
NCLB Directories
NCLB Law & Regs
Parental Protections
PE and Adapted PE
Privacy & Records
Procedural Safeguards
Progress Monitoring
Reading
Related Services
Research Based Instruction
Response to Intervention (RTI)
Restraints/Abuse
Retention
Retaliation
School Report Cards
Section 504
Self-Advocacy
Teachers & Principals
Transition
Twice Exceptional (2e)
VA Special Education

Resources & Directories

Advocate's Bookstore
Advocacy Resources
Directories
  Disability Groups
  International
  State DOEs
  State PTIs
Free Flyers
Free Pubs
Free Newsletters
Legal & Advocacy
Glossaries
   Legal Terms
   Assessment Terms
Best School Websites

 

9.3% Drop in Graduation Rates for Disabled Kids
by Dee Alpert, Esq.

In 2001-2002, the number of disabled students who graduated from high school in New York declined 9.3 percent from the previous year, from 14,448 to 13,469.

The graduation rates include students who received Certificates of Attendance, IEP Diplomas, Regents Diplomas, and Local High School Diplomas. [Note: These figures are from a Microsoft Access database that was recently published on the New York Department of Education's web site. The table to use is HSCompleters_SWD]

The decline was not publicly announced by New York State Education Commissioner Richard Mills. Mr. Mills also neglected to make public disabled students' scores on State-mandated exams, although the No Child Left Behind Act and the State Department of Education regulations require the state to report these scores.

Because Commissioner Mills did not make the decline public, there is no official explanation for the graduation rate decrease.

"Moved, Know to Continue," Dropped Out, Or Pushed Out?

In prior years, reports filed with the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) by the state Department of Education showed that the fastest-growing category of disabled high school exiters between the ages of 14-21 was "moved, known to continue."

However, audits of 4 states by the US Department of Education's Office of the Inspector General show that the "moved, known to continue" category is improperly used by many school districts to reduce the number of disabled students counted as drop-outs.

Group of people having discussionAdvocates for Children, a New York City non-profit advocacy organization for children with disabilities,reported that because of pressure from No Child Left Behind, many New York City high schools are actually pushing low-performing students out of school illegally.

Advocates for Children recently filed a federal court class action suit, noting that the named plaintiff student was told that he had to leave high school and go into a GED program. He was put into a record-keeping category that is supposed to be used when a student actually transfers to another school. Court papers indicated that the student had an undiagnosed disability.

New York State's "moved, known to continue" figures for the 2001-2002 school year are not available at this time.

The New York Post quoted one NYC school administrator as saying that counting such kids as "discharged" means they are not "dropouts" for No Child Left Behind purposes.

Since Commissioner Mills also did not release disabled students' scores on any mandated tests, the fate, and progress - if any - of disabled students in New York state remains a mystery.

Graduation, Dropout Data Not Released

According to the state Department of Education's database, there are 91 publicly-operated schools for disabled kids in New York. There are 60 schools in New York City's District 75, a segregated, all-special Image of A Graph and Computer screeneducation district for 22,000 students.

Graduation numbers and dropout rates for these schools have not been released.

Chancellor Klein and Mayor Bloomberg recently announced a partial dissolution of District 75, citing poor results for its students. How poor we'll probably never know.

Lori Mai, head of the Division of Assessment and Accountability for NYC Department of Education defended DAA's apparently illegal refusal to publish graduation and dropout data for 23 of the District 75 schools that have enough students to be counted on the ground that it would be of "limited utility." (e-mail dated April 14, 2003)

No Child Left Behind Accountability Plan Abandoned?

The No Child Left Behind Accountability Plan filed by the New York Department of Education and approved by the U. S. Department of Education states that every school in New York will have school accountability targets and school report cards that provide the public with identical standard data for each school, including graduates and dropouts.

After the plan was approved, the New York Department of Education granted No Child Left Behind accountability waivers to 34 New York City high schools with high numbers of "at risk" or disabled students.

The New York State Department of Education refused to disclose the alternate accountability criteria it negotiated with these waivered high schools. However, some School Report Cards for this group indicate that waivers from the Regents Math exams were granted.

The New York Department of Education did not report what percentage of all students, and disabled students, were tested and not tested, although this is also required under No Child Left Behind.

Perhaps the large number of students in No Child Left Behind waivered schools, and the large number of severely disabled students who were not given their mandated "alternative assessments" accounts for this omission.

Commentary

It remains to be seen whether the U.S. Department of Education will act on New York State's violation of its approved No Child Left Behind Accountability Plan and the requirements for reporting graduation and dropout rates for disabled students.

The U. S. Department of Education has not enforced the federal requirement, (effective as of 1998) that all state Departments of Education that publicly report test scores for non-disabled students must also publish scores for disabled students at the same time and in the same form.

Many advocates in the disability-rights community assumed that with No Child Left Behind's mandates regarding making scores public for disaggregated groups, including disabled students, this refusal to enforce would become a moot issue. This is apparently not to be.

Source: Special Education Muckracker, v. 1, n. 1

Resources: State Accountability Plans (scroll down for New York)

Workbook Attachments for Accountability Plans (scroll down for New York)

Pushing Out At-Risk Students: An Analysis of High School Discharge Figures by The Public Advocate and Advocates for Children.


About Dee Alpert, Esq.

Dee Estelle Alpert, Esq., is a retired New York City-based attorney who handled cases throughout New York State for over a decade, and acted as consulting counsel in special education cases nationally.

Dee's first special education due process hearing on behalf of a child lasted twelve days. She quickly realized that these cases require special attorneys with litigation skills. Litigation was sometimes necessary to protect parents and children from a system that seemed designed to deprive them of their most basic rights and dignity.

Currently, Dee is focusing on systemic special education and education issues and tactics, including various inquiries into special education and public school district financial and related corruption. She collaborates with a retired Professor of Education Finance, and has provided consultation to various New York prosecutors and politicians.

Dee conducted the Internet Survey of IEP Document Alteration, Falsification and Forgery in 2002.

http://www.wrightslaw.com/news/2002/survey.alpert.htm

For more information, contact Dee Alpert at sappell@nyc.rr.com

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon The Special Ed Advocate: It's Free!

 

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, by Pam and Pete Wright Wrightslaw: All About IEPs Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board

Copyright 1998-2014, Peter W. D. Wright and Pamela Darr Wright. All rights reserved.

Contact Us | Press Mission l Our Awards l Privacy Policy l Disclaimer l Site Map