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Monday, October 24, 2016

Juking the Stats in Alice, Texas

In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the educational and civil rights of people with autism and other disabilities. 

At The Houston Chronicle, Brian M. Rosenthal reports on Willie Ruiz, an Alice, Texas, school official whose son is on the spectrum.
Marco was diagnosed in 2012, in second grade. With the help of his dad, who had been promoted to operations director, Marco got services. They helped him stay afloat, though his handwriting remained basically illegible.
By 2012, Alice had lowered its special ed rate to 9.4 percent, but it was still above the state target.
Last May, when Marco was re-evaluated and found to no longer need services, Willie disagreed.
"I know it's about numbers. I've worked here for 27 years, and I know what's going on," he said during the meeting, according to a recording.
The parents are fighting. They've hired an advocate, and they are getting an independent evaluation.
The most recent data, which is from 2015, showed that 8 percent of Alice ISD kids were in special education. It was the first time it fell below 8.5 percent.