Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Mainstreaming Success

Have to spotlight a district when they "get it." Check out this story in the Wall Street Journal:

How a School in Florida Got Mainstreaming Right
Grades Rose Amid Push to Include the Disabled

It's not often we read about successes when they relate to struggling learners. This paragraph especially resonated with me:
By slashing administrative costs, the district was able to push more resources into classrooms. From there, it began pairing up general and special-education teachers to work together in integrated classrooms. So-called social promotions -- which let elementary-school students advance to the next grade even when they failed standardized tests -- were eliminated.
Slashing administrative costs....now that's a novel idea! Is this a model that other districts should emulate? I know, rhetorical question.


Jenny said...

You're right. That school district is doing so many things right for students. The article was fascinating and I'm glad to have been pointed to it.

My one concern is the focus on standardized tests. They seem to have been given disproportionate impact in the decisions made about special education students. But, they may be the bias of the reporting media.

TLC said...

Karen, what an encouraging message. Gosh the Journal has been brutal on inclusion the past year. Amazing to see it painted in a better light.

Nice post. Thanks for the link.

Alexa said...

Hooray for cutting administrative costs! Something all Citizens Against Government Waste can appreciate!

narrator said...

This is one reason why European schools have leapt ahead of the US on these issues without spending much more "per student" than US schools - Money is not (of course) needed - in the same way - to fund employee health insurance. Money is not spent on interscholastic sports. And most schools - especially primary schools - have one part-time administrator at best.

When combined with a greater openness toward new forms of learning, these reallocations of resources allow dramatic change not often possible in America.

Anonymous said...

How refreshing to see. It is nice that the powers that be are willing to give a little for a change!