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Is special education falling short in preparing students to go out into the world?

One of the things parents hope their children’s education at school will do is help prepare their kids to succeed out in the world. Statistics raise some questions as to how effective special education here in the U.S. is at doing this for special needs students.

For one, data indicates that students who receive special education have much lower rates of graduating on-time from high school than their peers. Reportedly, 65 percent of special education students here in U.S. get their high school diploma on-schedule. Meanwhile, the rate for American students overall is 83 percent.

Also, it appears that many special needs students who get their diploma are encountering challenges in succeeding out in the real world. Both workforce earnings and college graduation rates are lower among students with disabilities as compared to their peers.

This is occurring despite the fact that experts indicate that, with the proper support, up to 90 percent of special needs students should have the capability to successfully complete high school with the skills they need to move on to a career or college.

Why is reality falling so short of this? Among the questions the disparity raises is whether special education in the U.S. is giving students the support they need. Among the high school special education problems noted by students, parents and various experts in a recent set of interviews were:

  • Students not being taught the organization and communication skills needed to succeed in the real world.
  • Special needs students being subjected to too low of expectations.
  • Capable special needs students having their options limited by “alternate” diploma programs.
  • Insufficient funding for special education programs.
  • Teachers not being sufficiently trained for supporting students with disabilities.

As this illustrates, there are various roadblocks that could get in the way of special needs students getting the education they deserve. When such roadblocks arise, parents of such students may want to go to an experienced education lawyer for guidance and help regarding their options for fighting the roadblocks.

How good of a job do you think special education programs here in Florida do at preparing students for the future? What do you think are the biggest shortcomings such programs currently have? What efforts would you like to see taken in the state to correct such shortcomings?

Source: Disability Scoop, “Why Aren’t More Students With Disabilities Graduating On Time?,” Sarah Butrymowicz and Jackie Mader, Nov. 15, 2017

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