OSEP Reflects on State of Special Education 47 Years into IDEA
On November 29th, Valerie C. Williams, Director, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), posted a blog entitled “47 Years Later, Are We Delivering on the Promise of IDEA?” to reflect on the impact of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Williams cites data from the Department’s Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) and IDEA Section 618 to enumerate both positive and troubling trends in outcomes for children and youth. Signs of progress such as higher graduation rates for students with disabilities and greater time spent in general education classrooms are counterweighted by questions regarding the equality of opportunities and the disciplinary treatment of students with disabilities. For instance, 80% of students subjected to physical restraint receive services under IDEA. The blog post closes with a call for urgency. “We’ve learned a lot in the last 47 years, including how to design high-quality instruction, support behavior, educate the whole child, and set high expectations. Let’s be urgent and commit to doing these things for all children with disabilities.”
Read the entire blog post here.