District Administration December2017 - 18

BeyondtheNews
Research shows disparity in special needs reporting
How do districts define and identify their
special needs students? And how does that
compare with the way it is done in other
districts and states? Moreover, do these
students receive the help they need?
A new report, the first in a series
by the Frontline Research and Learning Institute, sets out to answer those
questions, and establishes baselines for
future research.
"Crossing the Line" (DAmag.me/
frli) is based on surveys of more than
3,600 educators in 19 different roles. Ultimately, the research series aims to provide actionable insights to help states and
local districts address the needs of special
needs students equitably. Those insights
include determining which measures
work to successfully address the needs of
students, quantifying that success and
sharing the story.
"The Individuals with Disabilities
Education Act has provided states with
increased flexibility that resulted in special
education identification and classification

rates varying dramatically from state to
state," says Thomas Reap, co-author of the
report. "We have discovered that variation
in special education classification across
the country doesn't necessarily mean educators disagree with who gets identified."
Key findings
When asked about the number of students classified for special education in
their system, the majority (56 percent)
of participants believed the appropriate
number of students were classified.
Seventeen percent felt that somewhat
more students should be classified and 21
percent felt that somewhat fewer students
should be classified with disabilities in
their school system.
While educators largely agreed with
their states' special education practices,
those state practices were highly varied.
Many survey respondents cited the
Response to Intervention (RTI) program
as the reason fewer students are classified for special education. RTIs enable

Perception of classification rates

In your school system, how do you think the number of students who are classified with a
disability compares to the number of students who should be classified with a disability?

3%

Far more students should be classified
with a disability in my school system

17
56

% Somewhat more students should be classified
with a disability in my school system

% The appropriate number of students are classified
with a disability in my school system

schools to identify and assist struggling
students earlier.
Location
Despite the fact that classification rates
vary greatly across states, the majority of
nationwide respondents believe that the
appropriate number of students are classified in their local system. States with the
highest classification percentages-such
as New York, Massachusetts, Maine
and Pennsylvania-are clustered in the
Northeast, while states with the lowest
classification percentages are spread across
the country.
Not surprisingly, the four states with
lowest classification rates (Texas, Idaho,
Colorado and Hawaii) were more likely
to agree that the appropriate number of
students were classified in their school
systems. Likewise, respondents in the
four states with the highest classification
rates were less likely to agree that the right
number of students were classified.
-Tim Goral

WAIT, WHAT?
The state of Connecticut has
partnered with the Electronic
Gaming Federation to create
EGFH, a new national e-sports
league where state high
schoolers compete in digital
games. The regular season for
e-sports begins in the spring and

21

% Somewhat fewer students should be

3%

classified with a disability in my school system

in-person matches. Connecticut
is the first state to partner with

Far fewer students should be classified
with a disability in my school system
Source: Frontline Research and Learning Institute Survey 2017

18 December 2017

will consist of weekly online and

the gaming federation.
Source: The Electronic Gaming Federation

District Administration


http://www.DAmag.me/frli http://www.DAmag.me/frli

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration December2017

District Administration December2017 - Cover1
District Administration December2017 - Cover2
District Administration December2017 - 1
District Administration December2017 - 2
District Administration December2017 - 3
District Administration December2017 - 4
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District Administration December2017 - Cover3
District Administration December2017 - Cover4
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