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No Child Left
On December 9, the U.S. Department of Education published the final regulations about alternative assessments for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
regulations affect how school districts and states will make AYP (Adequate
Yearly Progress) calculations. The regulations do not affect who may
or should take alternative assessments or who will be tested against
alternative assessment standards. The IEP team, which includes the
childs parents, will still decide how any child with an IEP
regulations contain a new requirement that the school will tell parents
the significance of any testing decision the IEP team makes that will
affect the childs ability to earn a regular diploma. For example,
if the team is considering modifications on state testing that will
invalidate the test and would result in the child not being able to
pass an exit exam, they must tell the parents.
interesting item, but not a surprise, is that while the regulations
are specifically about significant cognitive disabilities, they do
not include a definition of significant cognitive disabilities.
To me, the noteworthy event on December 9, 2003, was not the new regulations at all. It was the Federal Register notice that published these new regulations.
A word appeared in the Federal Register that I did not expect to see. The word is in this section that describes what is required by No Child Left Behind. It is one small word - the word best.
I have been wondering if the No Child Left Behind law is too good to be true.
When I first heard the President talk about this law, he was making a speech about a bill that would be introduced. I was only half listening. But when I heard him say all, I started to pay more attention. Then I read his speech on the Internet. It really did say all.
I figured there would be a lot of talk in Congress. I thought a watered-down version would emerge from Congress and things would not change. The next thing I knew, the President was on television again. He was talking about enacting the No Child Left Behind Act.
we waited for the regulations. Surely the regulations would water
down the law. But they did not.
Or would they?
Register notice. It is long. Print it out and highlight the important
parts. Read all the way through to the comments the U. S. Department
of Education received when they asked for public comment on the proposed
They really do mean all.
Fact Sheet (2 pages)
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About Sue Heath
is co-author of Wrightslaw:
No Child Left Behind (ISBN: 1-892320-12-6) published by
Harbor House Law Press. She also writes Doing
Your Homework, a column about creative advocacy strategies that
is available on Wrightslaw.
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