Under a law signed by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal late last month, IEP teams in the state will have the authority to exempt students with disabilities from passing standardized tests in order to receive a high school diploma or advance from one grade to the next. In such cases, IEP teams would determine “rigorous educational goals” for students to meet instead.
Supporters say the measure will offer more students in special education the opportunity to earn a high school diploma. Critics, however, including some national disability advocacy organizations, have spoken out against the approach saying it will do nothing more than lower expectations.
Now the law known as HB No. 1015 is drawing concern from the Obama administration. In aletter to Louisiana Superintendent John White, officials at the U.S. Department of Education said the measure may violate federal law and warned that the state could jeopardize its federal education funding if the law is implemented in a manner that’s inconsistent with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and other requirements.