The Delaware Department of Education presented their State Systemic Improvement Plan for special education to the Governor’s Advisory Council for Exceptional Citizens on Tuesday evening. As will all news coming out of the DOE these days, it’s all about the Smarter Balanced Assessment. Indicator 17, one of the compliance measures states need to adhere to based on the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), is based on Standards-Based IEPs. The DOE and the US DOE actually think they can come close to eliminating the proficiency gap between students with disabilities and their regular peers.
This is a foolhardy measure at best, and I have spoken at great length about this in the past. Fixing special education in Delaware is going to take a lot more than this ridiculous compliance indicator! I’m all for students with disabilities reading earlier and becoming more fluent in reading, but basing the goal based on performance on the Smarter Balanced Assessment is insane. If the DOE has already said 70% of students won’t reach proficiency for a few years on Smarter Balanced, how the hell do they expect to lower this gap to 49% in three years? The Delaware DOE needs to be shut down and built up again with actual logic and common sense.