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Tell Parents and Special Education Advocates – Complete DPI’s survey by August 12!

 
Want to Know How Your School is Educating Students with Disabilities?
 
Be Sure to Weigh In by Taking a Short Survey by August 12!
 
Parents and special education advocates know how important it is to monitor how are schools are educating students with disabilities. Recently the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) released a sample school report card which will track the achievement of all students, including students with disabilities.
 
Sample report cards are on the DPI website with a survey for public comment through August 12. View the sample report cards here: http://www.dpi.wi.gov/oea/acct/accountability.html.
 
This is our opportunity to influence the type of public education data that gets shared about students with disabilities – the data that will be helpful to parents in making decisions about schools and can help advocates work toward specific school/district improvement.
 
We encourage as many parents of special education students and disability advocates as possible to complete the survey by August 12. Link to the survey: https://forms.dpi.wi.gov/se.ashx?s=56301B2D0C420364.
 
Points you can make (feel free to cut and paste, but please add your personal perspective!):
 
• Parents of students with disabilities care deeply about the education of their children. It should be easy for parents to understand and access basic information about a school’s performance.
• Parents and the public will require definitions and plain language explanations of terms.
• The very first page of the report card should make it very clear how students with disabilities (and other key groups) are performing in that school and where a parent can get more data.
• Many parents may only be able to read a summary. A summary page must give a better picture of the performance of students with disabilities.
• Parents want to know what it means if their school is rated as “meets few expectations” or “fails to meet expectations”. How will my school will get additional support or be held accountable? A summary should clearly describe the key factors that put my school in this category.
• Performance of students with disabilities and other groups should not be only used for informational purposes  – they should also be a key part of federal accountability.
• Schools should not be able to gain more points for student growth than they lose when students move backward.
• A key  predictor of readiness for students with disabilities is inclusion in the general education classroom. DPI should include data on this point as a measure of postsecondary readiness.
• Proficiency targets for reading and math are much lower for students with disabilities than for other groups. Wisconsin standards should be higher.
• These report cards contain important information that should be available to all parents. Materials should be available in Spanish and districts should be encouraged to help families understand this new reporting system and how parents can partner with schools.
 
To read a more detailed review of the report card by special education advocates, go here: http://www.disabilityrightswi.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/QEC-comments-on-DPI-report-card.pdf.