A lawyer for the Ottawa High School District has suggested a strategy in which about seven districts would join in a suit seeking to clarify apparent contradictions between the No Child Left Behind Act and the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act.
The disabilities law calls for students with special needs to be taught under individualized plans, but No Child Left Behind requires them to take the same standardized tests as other students their age.
Putnam County is one of 201 Illinois districts that have failed for two consecutive years to meet Adequate Yearly Progress standards, specifically because of the performance of special education students on tests for grades higher than their instructional levels, Struna said.
Because those test results are tied to federal Title I funding, failing to meet the progress standards for two more years could result in the district losing some $40,000 that currently aids another target group, Struna said.
"If we fail for two more years, we have to take money away from low-income kids and spend it on special ed kids," he said. "What kind of sense does that make?"
What strikes me here is the logic of going after the evident contradiction between NCLB and IDEA. How can you have an Individual Education Plan (IEP), which is required for all special ed students, and then require every one of them to be assessed in exactly the same manner?
And across the country, in Idaho, the right wingers are trying to undermine NCLB by crying -- wanna guess? -- local control. I dislike NCLB, but I hate this argument. What are you gonna secede if you don't get your way? Want to nullify the Act of Congress? Whatever. I thought that went out of style in the mid-19th century. This is a boring, old, and really stupid strategy. The right of the federal government to require states to meet requirements to receive federal money has been consistently upheld by the courts. If Idaho wants to give up several hundred million dollars in federal money then they can get out tomorrow. But they won't do that, everyone knows it anyway, so why not go after NCLB in a way that might work?