Education Week Blog Discusses Achieve/NCEO Brief

Tue Nov 29 2016
An image showing the logos of both NCEO and Achieve.

In a November 18th blog, Education Week discussed findings published in Diplomas that Matter: Ensuring Equity of Opportunity for Students with Disabilities, PDF  a newly-released brief written by the education reform group Achieve and ICI’s National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO). The blog author notes that NCEO data indicates about 80 to 85 percent of students with disabilities do not have intellectual impairments, meaning they could achieve the same standards as their peers, with appropriate instruction, supports, and accommodations. Yet, the author observes, states that require all students to work toward a regular high school diploma often allow the individualized education program team to develop graduation course requirements that carry their students "over the finish line—which could mean taking easier courses, or counting a lower score as 'passing' on standardized tests." On the other hand, she notes, "States with multiple diploma options tend to hold special education and general education students to the same requirements for a regular diploma. But graduation rates for students with disabilities in those states is lower, and those states have shifted more students into alternative certification paths that could have limited value for the work world or for postsecondary education." She goes on to explore in further detail the data in the brief and its implications for students with disabilities.