Archive for February, 2010


Obama to Seek Sweeping Changes in “No Child Left Behind”

February 24, 2010

The implementation of No Child Left behind brought much excitement and anticipation to many. The original goal of the law was to improve student achievement and the achievement gap. However, over the past several years, educators, administrators, and even parents alike have realized that the expectations and outcomes of No Child Left Behind were unreasonable and unattainable. The Obama administration has decided that to make this law more realistic and achievable, it was time to re-write some of the requirements and recommendations of the law. The re-write of this law, if put into play, could change the future of the teaching field.

One major proposed revision by the Department of Education is the elimination the school rating system based on “adequate yearly progress” that is based on the students’ standardized test scores. The administration has also made clear its desire to erase the 2014 achievement deadline. The Obama administration believes that it is still to early to successfully achieve this goal the way it was designed to be met. However, a new goal has been recommended. The administration wants all high school graduates to to be ready to continue on to college or enter the career environment.

However, there are still some major issues that I have with No Child Left Behind that are not being addressed by the Obama administration. The current administration is cheering on a current federal grant program that is fostering competition between school districts across the country. The federal grant program is a competition between 40 states trying to receive $4 billion dollars in educational money. However, to receive this money, the schools are basing teacher evaluations on students’ test scores. States that do not allow schools to do this are actually not allowed to even attempt for the $4 billion in educational money. This really angers me. I do not think it is fair for some states to be deemed not eligible because of the way the laws set up teacher evaluations. In addition too, the schools that do participate in this grant are somewhat being punished. Teachers’ evaluations are being based on student test scores. However, I am a special education major, so what does that mean for my evaluation. Does that mean that I should receive a low evaluation because my students are in special education??

I do like the fact that the current administration is trying to resolve some of the issues within No Child Left Behind, however, there are still many issues that need to be resolved that are not being looked at. I hope that the changes that are being proposed do make a difference in the life’s of the children and educators in our schools. I also hope that the administration looks at more of the issues with No Child Left Behind and continues to make improvements and strides to correcting our current educational system.

Obama Seeking to Sweep Changes in No Child Left Behind

Budget 2011: Education Spending Skyrockets

School Used Webcams to Spy on Students


RTI and Learning Disabilities

February 2, 2010

The article, ” Where’s Your State With RTI and Learning Disabilities?” written by Christina Samuels, discusses the background of the response to intervention process. The article distinguishes between the IQ discrepancy model (a distinguished difference between IQ test scores and the actual achievement of the student) ¬†and the new response to intervention model. The IQ discrepancy model is the established method for identifying students for special education services in almost all states. However, the article is quick to mention that more and more states (including Indiana ) are mandating the implementation of the response to intervention process, but is quick to include that the implementation of the response to intervention process is not required by the federal government. The article details some specific components that are included within the response to intervention process.

Response to intervention is a program that is helping many struggling students achieve success. The RTI model is based upon three tiered levels of intervention. The base tier, tier one, is the universal tier. The services received here are given to all the students located within the classroom. If students are not successful in tier one, they move on to tier two of the RTI model. Tier two interventions are more individualized to meet the needs of the struggling learner. The third (and final) tier, is the mosr intensive. Tier three provides the most intense academic supports that are available in the school(usually students with severe academic delays or behavioral problems). Tier three is only available to students in special education.

The IQ achievement discrepancy model has often been criticized because often times students must fail in order to receive the additional help they may need to be successful. However, the RTI process is a great research-based intervention program that catches academic and behavioral problems earlier in schools. Students who need the extra supports of the tiered program receive help as soon as the need becomes apparent.

I think that this article broke down some of the components of the RTI process, however upon further review of this article, there was one thing that was unclear within the article that I wanted to clarify. The article states that if there is no improvement with the interventions a student may be able to receive special education services. This is true, however, the student must work his or her way through the tiered system (through tier two) to be considered for special education services (unless there are other circumstances).

The Forgotten Disability

When Testing Fails