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Adequacy and Equity: Special Education in Rhode Island Special Education in Rhode Island Alison Bateson-Toupin October 16, 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "Adequacy and Equity: Special Education in Rhode Island Special Education in Rhode Island Alison Bateson-Toupin October 16, 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 Adequacy and Equity: Special Education in Rhode Island Special Education in Rhode Island Alison Bateson-Toupin October 16, 2010

2 Research Questions Is there a difference in special education spending profiles across R.I.? Is there a difference in student achievement outcomes for special education students in R.I.?

3 Problem Statement Achievement gaps persist for special education students despite federal policies which promote equity a nd accountability -a focus on adequacy with a focus on measuring results or outcomes -standards based reform -NCLB Adequacy requires adjustments for lower wealth districts and special needs students (children of poverty and children with disabilities) (Odden & Picus, 2008)

4 Resources: Impact On Results Itkonen & Jahnukainen, 2007 Skarbrevik, 2005 Odden & Picus, 2008 Glenn, 2006

5 Adequacy in Special Education Parrish (2006): definition of adequacy in special education is lacking; what is appropriate at what levels is unclear; related to: -variations in practice in special education -concerns about cost -an increased focus on outcomes School finance requires an adequate “high foundation ba se with appropriate supplements for special needs students; as well as “performance improvement m echanisms” (Odden & Picus, 2008)

6 Definition of Special Education Idea 1997; 2004 reauthorization: “services promoting education, employment, and independent living for students with disabilities (Ferretti & Eisenman, 2010) -FAPE: provide some meaningful, measurable benefit -Minimum standard aligned with Rowley case -Increasing emphasis on outcomes: a higher standard may evolve; for now: evidence-based quality inputs

7 Special Education Funding Underfunding continues…….. Odden & Picus (2008): Two Approaches to Funding IDEA: Authorized federal : up to 40% 19% of special education costs in 2004 Parrish (2006): Underfunding continues…. 47% local; 45% state; 8% federal Severe Disabilities: funding never really sufficient SEEP: Special Education Expenditures Project: a national study of special education funding: ratio of total expenditures per special education versus general education student in R.I.: 2.04

8 Inefficiencies in Educational Finance and Data Systems Guthrie (2006): financial resources not the problem; how and where the money is spent; knowledge of what monies produce significant results -recommendations: school level data system; connect resources to student performance results Greene (2007): over identification; underserving those identified -vouchers -McKay voucher system

9 A Narrow Gap Itkonen & Jahnukainen (2007) –Finland: narrowest gap between highest and lowest performing students - Rate of special education service: 12% U.S. : 28% Finland -Early and intensive interventions -Students not identified or exited after grade 6 Glenn (2006): narrowing achievement gaps for African American children Charters; increasing resources and school integration

10 Research Methodology Quantitative, survey design; numeric data from state information Special education per pupil expenditures from Information Works! Necap data from RIDE: 4, 8, 11 (disaggegated) SES 3 Suburban, 2 Urban Ring, 2 Urban

11 Trends IEP students: poor results but…… suburban and urban ring Math: lower scores Achievement gaps widen with increasing grade levels Necap: IEP making only small reading gains; less in math SES; higher Necap; making gains in both reading and math The $7,000 difference: suburban and urban not substantially different Median: $17, 509 Higher spenders (median and above): smallest number of special education students; highest Necap; although all low Coventry: number of special education students above the median; lowest cost per pupil; Necap Urban ring: at least median amount of spending; achievement comparable to Coventry Urban spending: below the median; lowest Necap; largest number of special education students Larger per pupil expenditures; yielding only slightly better achievement results

12 Thoughts for the Future….. What works?; use of scientific information; measurable interventions; student needs; professional expertise; models of success? Language based skills; mathematics programming not working for IE P students Small versus large? Elementary versus Secondary? Identification; inadequate teacher training; under identification of language based disabilities (Moats, Shaywitz) Urban ring: Necap comparable to Coventry; lower number of IEP students; higher per pupil expenditure An IEP student in an urban area: a grim outlook; is it time for a voucher system for disabled students?

13 Time for a Change…….


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