2015 ICT Report Shows Increase Of Students With Disabilities Placed In Residential Treatment Centers

This is the third year in a row I’ve written about these reports.  They are the articles I hate writing, but feel it is necessary that people see them.  The Delaware Interagency Collaborative Team (ICT) has the very difficult task of determining how to place students with disabilities when the services in a public school can no longer meet their needs.  It is usually based on behavior issues.  These are the toughest cases in Delaware.  I’ve given this group a hard time in the past, but I’ve mellowed out a bit since then.

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In Fiscal Year 2015, 140 Delaware students with disabilities received services through ICT.  Out of those 140, 65 students were placed in residential treatment centers.  24 of those students were placed in out-of-state treatment centers which brings it to 37%.  72 students attended day treatment centers.  As shown by the below graph, very few students received one-on-one services in the school.  The report cites the needs-based funding formula as contributing to this decrease.  Which I find ironic given that the needs-based formula doesn’t allow for basic special education funding for students in Kindergarten to 3rd grade.

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What I always find odd about these reports is they never give the total cost of this program.  They show high and low prices for some of these residential and day treatment centers.  I would think that would be of major concern to the state.  Or perhaps they just don’t want the public to see it for some reason.

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I still feel the endless rigor of Common Core and performance on standardized tests is not good for any child.  But for these students, it has to be extremely hard to meet the demands of “reaching proficiency”.  These are the children I cry and pray for as much as possible.  It is a parent of a special need’s child worst nightmare.  I feel for the parents or guardians of the 140 children who faced this alternative last year.  I can’t help but feel some of these could have been avoided at some point earlier…

What’s On The Agenda At The State Board Spring Retreat Today?

The Delaware State Board of Education is meeting right now in their Spring Retreat.  In the agenda (seen below), it appears they are prepping for several items, one of which I didn’t know about since it appears it was snuck into the epilogue of the FY2015 budget.

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Part of me wanted to go to this meeting, but then I realized I would just hear the same bad lingo I always hear from this board.  Although I would have loved to hear them discuss their little Joint Sunset Review!  Their ESSA overview is filled with the same corporate education reform language from companies like The Alliance for Excellent Education or whatever the heck their name is.  I can’t keep track of them all anymore.

What gets me is this Special Education Strategic Plan.  Why is everything called a “Strategic Plan” these days?  It’s just more buzz words that sound important but allows more of the same “college and career readiness” crap into our schools.  The axis for everything in education now is the standardized test.  Just opt out…

Robert Shepherd: The Remarkable But True Tale of the Birth of Common Core

This is two years old today, but it has never been more true. I put this up on Facebook, before I wrote on Kilroy’s Delaware and before I started blogging. It was articles like this that led me to what is really going on in education. Big data and corporate profits… your child is just a pawn. Opt out NOW!

Diane Ravitch's blog

Robert Shepherd, a frequent commenter on the blog, is an experienced veteran in the world of education publishing, having developed curriculum, textbooks, and assessments.

He writes:

The New York legislature just voted to dump inBloom. But Diane Ravitch’s first post about that subjected noted, wisely, that inBloom was dead “for Now.”

Don’t think for a moment that Big Data has been beaten. I am going to explain why. I hope that you will take the time and effort to follow what I am going to say below. It’s a little complicated, but it’s a great story. It’s a birth narrative–the astonishing but, I think, undeniably true story of the birth of the Common Core.

The emergence of the Internet presented a challenge to the business model of the big educational publishers. It presented the very real possibility that they might go the way of the Dodo and the Passenger Pigeon…

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Penny Schwinn Lands In Texas

Former Delaware Department of Education Chief of Accountability and Assessment Penny Schwinn finally landed a new job in Texas of all places.  Her new title is the Deputy Commissioner for Academics in the Texas Education Agency.  Aside from overseeing assessments and accountability, her new job will see her also cover standards and programs.

As part of a complete overhaul of the Texas Education Agency, Education Commissioner Mike Morath replaced many of the top posts at the Texas equivalent of the Delaware Department of Education.  Morath’s role is equivalent to the Delaware Secretary of Education.

The Texas Tribune pointed out that out of the three positions Morath hired, three out of the five came from charter school backgrounds and only two were from Texas.  This appeared to be an issue with the Texas State Teachers Association and several traditional school districts.  It appears Delaware isn’t the only state that has our State Education Agency filled with charter/corporate education reformists.  I will be the first to start a poll on how long Schwinn will stay in Texas.