WaPo Special On Special Ed…Washington’s De Facto McKay Program

WaPo’s Keating and Haynes turn in one of the paper’s periodic exposés on the scandal that passes for special education in Washington, D.C. More data on the kinds of students served, rather than just their cursory demographic overview buried toward the end of the story would be helpful but the article does a great job making clear the contours and severity of the problem (handy charts here). In terms of the ongoing McKay back and forth, two thoughts: In defense of McKay, it doesn’t necessarily have to lead to a cost-explosion like the one in D.C. Keating and Haynes show why the District’s program is so out of control on that front. But, it does speak to the perverse-incentive issue. Because the District’s system is so easy to game it does arguably work like a de facto McKay program and a McKay style program in DC would arguably only open the doors more.

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