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Poor Graduation Rates, Racial Disparities Persist In NYC Special Ed., Report Says


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Black and Latino male students in New York City are more likely than their peers to be placed in self-contained classrooms and to receive IEP diplomas as opposed to traditional high school diplomas, according to a report released Thursday.

Meanwhile, the graduation rate for the city’s special education students in self-contained classrooms declined to fewer than 5 percent.

The findings are part of a report titled “Include! Educate! Respect!” released by the ARISE Coalition, a local group of parents, educators and organizations. The report examined the experiences of students with disabilities in the New York City public schools.

Key findings of the report include:

• Despite slight gains in graduation rates, fewer than one in five students with disabilities graduates in four years.

• Among students with disabilities in self-contained classrooms, less than 5 percent graduate. This population is also two and a half times more likely to drop out of school than other special education students.

• Black and Latino students make up more than 90 percent of students receiving IEP diplomas. And male students in those ethnic groups are more likely than other students to be placed in self-contained classrooms.

To view the complete report click here.

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Comments (1 Response)

  1. twinkie1cat says:

    And really, why should anyone, especially special needs students, have to graduate in 4 years. When they have learned all they can, then they graduate. That is why the federal special education laws allow them to stay in school until the year of the 22nd birthday. Self contained classes can stretch grade levels a bit so that they don’t enter high school until they are 16 if they have more severe disabilities. That is what we usually do with moderate and Sid/Pid students. There is way to much emphasis on “grade levels” in the schools anyway. The issue should be that the student graduates, not how long it takes to do so. And a delay in graduation means a delay in entering the full time workforce, a problem currently.

    But for a bright special needs student, Functional EBDs, LDs, Visually Impaired, and Orthopedically Impaired and some with mild Autism, there is a special bonus to not graduating in 4 years.

    As long as the student is a public school student he or she can go to vocational school or community college for free. It is all in how you write the IEP. He can take all or most of his courses on a local college campus with full transportation provided and all the support needed to succeed. So, if the special education teacher knows what she is doing, at least some of her students can graduate from high school with an Associates degree. Other students can go into an RVI program and, as long as they are in school, hold a paying job and still keep their SSI. Sometimes, if they have the ability, they can enter an internship, perhaps through a union, and graduate to a full time secure job with promotions and benefits.

    All they need is a good special education teacher who cares about them and knows what she is doing. But first, they have to learn to function in spite of their disability. And that may take extra time.

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