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Friday, January 16, 2015

Louisiana Standards

Christiana Samuels reports at Education Week:
The Louisiana state board of education voted Wednesday pay a state university $251,000 to help train school-based teams on how to set rigorous standards that allow students with disabilities to show that they've mastered academic content.

A new law that passed in July gives individualized education program teams the power to create alternate pathways for grade promotion and graduation, thus permitting some students with disabilities to bypass Louisiana's high-stakes testing system. That program requires students to pass tests in 4th grade, 8th grade, and high school, but students with disabilities who have repeatedly failed the tests can now instead meet standards developed by their IEP teams to progress through school and earn a diploma.

But teaching IEP teams how to create those pathways—without running afoul of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which says students with disabilities should get the same access to academics as their peers—is proving difficult. The grant, which was awarded to Louisiana State University Human Development Center in New Orleans, was approved without debate, according to an article in The Advocate in Baton Rouge