Over a decade ago, the officials arbitrarily decided what percentage of students should get special education services — 8.5 percent — and since then they have forced school districts to comply by strictly auditing those serving too many kids.
Their efforts, which started in 2004 but have never been publicly announced or explained, have saved the Texas Education Agency billions of dollars but denied vital supports to children with autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, epilepsy, mental illnesses, speech impediments, traumatic brain injuries, even blindness and deafness.
Special education rates have fallen to the lowest levels in big cities, where the needs are greatest. Houston ISD and Dallas ISD provide special ed services to just 7.4 percent Tweet this link and 6.9 percent of students, respectively. By comparison, about 19 percent of kids in New York City get services. In all, among the 100 largest school districts in the U.S., only 10 serve fewer than 8.5 percent of their students. All 10 are in Texas.
An embarrassing and frankly sadistic cover up.
When asked about the drop at a 2010 state Senate Education Committee hearing, [special education director Eugene] Lenz did not mention the target.
“We fundamentally believe it has a lot to do with improving general education,” he said.
Fundamental beliefs sound a lot of like lies and crazy talk.
Also, I thought everyone actually involved in teaching children agrees that the increased emphasis on teaching toward standardized tests/metrics in young children while simultaneously cutting budgets for anything remotely enjoyable was making “general education” worse.