The U.S. Department of Education (ED) recently announced new steps to help close the achievement gap for students with disabilities by moving away from a one-size-fits-all compliance-focused approach to a more balanced system of evaluating the quality of their education while ensuring continued protection of their rights. ED plans to pay more attention to educational outcomes, including critical indicators like improved academic performance and graduation rates for students with disabilities. ASHA has informed ED of its interest in participating in this process.
According to ED's press release, "since the current process of conducting on-site state compliance reviews has not focused enough on improving student outcomes, the Department will not be carrying out the visits scheduled for the 2012–2013 school year to allow it time to develop a new and more effective system. However, it will continue to review annual performance reports as well as monitor state supervision systems."
For more information, visit ED's website or contact Catherine D. Clarke, ASHA's director of education and regulatory advocacy, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-498-2071, ext. 5611.