Politics (And Substance) Of Inclusion At Aspen

Thursday AM, Aspen NCLB Commission Announces the line-up for its hearing in CT on May 9:

WITNESSES:
• Dr. Betty Sternberg, Commissioner, Connecticut State Department of Education
• Mr. James Peyser, Chairman, Massachusetts State Board of Education
• Mr. Joel Klein, Chancellor, New York City Department of Education
• Mr. William Taylor, Chair, Citizens’ Commission on Civil Rights, and Counsel to the NAACP in CT vs. Spellings
• Ms. Aimee Guidera, Director, Data Quality Campaign, National Center for Education Accountability
• Dr. Stuart Kahl , President, Measured Progress

Thursday PM, Aspen NCLB Commission Announces the line-up for its hearing in CT on May 9:

WITNESSES:
• Honorable Richard Blumenthal , Connecticut State Attorney General (JUST ADDED)
• Dr. Betty Sternberg, Commissioner, Connecticut State Department of Education
• Mr. James Peyser, Chairman, Massachusetts State Board of Education
• Mr. Joel Klein, Chancellor, New York City Department of Education
• Mr. William Taylor, Chair, Citizens’ Commission on Civil Rights, and Counsel to the NAACP in CT vs. Spellings
• Ms. Aimee Guidera, Director, Data Quality Campaign, National Center for Education Accountability
• Dr. Stuart Kahl, President, Measured Progress

Hmmm…who (and whose staff) spent Thursday midday going bonkers?

But, though I was/am somewhat skeptical of the commission, I’m warming up. This new report on LEP and special ed kids (pdf) is really important. That it’s mostly special education kids and LEP kids causing schools to not make AYP is an insidious myth that NCLB’s foes have been putting forward. It’s just one of those things that “everyone knows.”

Not to put too fine a point on it but it’s basically like using special ed and LEP kids as human shields to obscure the lagging achievement of minority kids. But, though evidence refuting the notion that most of the schools not making “adequate yearly progress” is being caused by special ed and LEP kids exists in some states, nobody had systematically rolled it up. This report only examines five states, but it’s pretty good evidence and even the data from CA isn’t stunning. Good for the NCLB Commission for doing this. The report also has some information about the ongoing “whose N is larger/smaller” locker room chatter among state officials.

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