In an effort to encourage more students with disabilities to earn regular diplomas, Florida officials are doing away with so-called “modified courses,” leaving some concerned about whether all students will be able to keep up.

Currently, Florida schools offer three options for students in special education. Some participate in mainstream classrooms following the general curriculum. Other students take classes where the standard curriculum applies but some changes are made to the way the material is presented to make the content less complex. Meanwhile, a third group of students take modified courses with less accelerated class work.

Next year, however, the state will start to phase out modified courses by eliminating them in elementary schools. The classes will no longer be available in middle or high schools by 2014.

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Advocates and educators agree that the new standards will make it more likely that students with disabilities will earn regular diplomas. But many worry that the increased expectations could be too much to ask from some with disabilities for whom high school-level academics may be too rigorous, reports The (Jacksonville) Florida Times-Union. To read more click here.