Special education law sparks new controversy

Article By: Will Sentell | August 14, 2014 | Originally Posted on theadvocate.com

While a new state law may pave the way for more special education students to earn high school diplomas, some of those gains will be excluded when schools are rated by the state, officials said Wednesday.

The issue surfaced on Tuesday and Wednesday as the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education began implementing a controversial new law that gives special education students an alternative pathway to traditional high school diplomas.

The change stems in part from the fact that just 29 percent of students with disabilities in Louisiana collected a traditional degree, according to 2013 figures.

Under the change, a special education student’s advisory team could hammer out an alternative route to graduation, regardless of how they fare on traditional exams.

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