Thursday, May 23, 2013

Students on the Fringe

Jean Ann W. Guliano:

With 83% of the state’s special needs students and 90% of the state’s limited English students scoring substantially below proficient on the last NECAP math test,* even with remediation many of those students will likely not graduate in 2014. Even more troubling is that the gap between these students and ‘average’ students has actually increased over the past 4 years; as has the gap for low income students.** Let’s be honest, many people, including several in the business community, aren’t that concerned whether these kids graduate or not. These aren’t the young people they will want to hire. Those who do care, the students and their parents, are confused, bewildered and genuinely afraid for their future – and many are close to giving up. Teachers who work with these students have been so overwhelmed with data reporting, effectiveness ratings, outcomes, forced curriculum, test prep and standardized tests (which they know are not valid or reliable assessments for these students***), are close to giving up, too.

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