Below the Fold - Back to school — but yours or mine?

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WELLNESS CHECK
This edition leans...
Hey Below the Fold fam,

We recently learned about the treasure trove of research available on the importance of inclusive education for students of all abilities. Still, most schools have yet to catch up or lack the funding to make recommended changes. Today we examine the uproar in Denver over its back-and-forth on the issue and how that compares to the U.S. overall.
TODAY'S STORY
Denver plans on keeping special education segregated after all
Wed Aug 18

Denver is struggling with a concrete plan forward for its students with disabilities. Historically, the district has placed special education students into separate learning environments called “Affective Needs Centers.” At one point, the district planned to shut down these centers in support of integration, but that decision has since been reversed. Special education will instead continue to be segregated, upsetting advocates who cite the adverse, long-term effects on Black students who are 4.5 times more likely to be placed in these classrooms.

The district says the real problem is how students are evaluated for placement. Testing is biased and conducted by primarily White teachers who project their unconscious bias on students of color. Other issues include the quality of education received, such as high teacher turnover rates, subpar supplies, and students feeling othered. As a result, almost two thirds of special education students fail to actually earn their diploma. 

And it seems such segregated learning is prevalent across the country, despite research showing an inclusive approach is far more effective. One California study found that only 13% of special education students (whose conditions have no affect on their cognitive abilities) met or exceeded the state’s math standards, compared to 43% of their peers. National investigation of this in 2018 further revealed:
  • Most of the U.S. separates students with disabilities (especially students of color or from urban environments) from general education, even as research argues against it.
  • All students benefit from an inclusive education environment. In other studies, an inclusive education has shown to change discriminatory attitudes, lead to more student engagement, and increase instruction time.
  • Congress needs to support special education funding to not only equip school administrators and educators, but provide grants for further exploration of segregated versus inclusive education.
Reconsideration of the status quo is important for financial reasons, too — especially since special education costs more. A 2003 report found teachers are increasingly placing students into special education programs to ease the burden in their own classrooms. Massachusetts saw spending double from 1989 to 2000, putting special education at almost 60% more than the spend on regular education.

🎬 Take Action

Learn how California is co-teaching between special education and general education to avoid teacher burnout and boost achievement for all students.
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RESOURCE CENTER

Chalkbeat:
(Where we found this story)
2 weeks old | 9 minutes long
Superintendents Association:
Costs of special education
18 years old | 21 minutes long
Maryland Coalition:
Benefits of inclusive education
11 years old | 33 minutes long
Study on segregated versus inclusive education
3 years old | 2.5 hours long

 

ICYMI (AGAIN)

  • Yesterday: Unhoused LA residents have hardly anywhere left to live
  • Friday: Can teaching students civic participation unite America?
  • Thursday: Apple's new tool against child exploitation
CLASSIFIEDS
Our team has had the honor of learning from incredible Latinx leaders, including the lead investor in our first ever investing round! That’s why we’re stoked to share an incredible event coming this Fall: LTX Quest 2021, the largest gathering of Latinx professionals in the world.

Thousands have already registered, gearing up to meet and connect with leaders, executives, and creators in media, tech, advocacy, philanthropy, and social impact through action-oriented workshops, panels, and discussions.

And talk about an epic speaker lineup, featuring current and former leaders from:
  • Major companies like Oprah Magazine, Latino Community Foundation, Variety
  • Investors from Reach Capital, Republic, Zane Ventures, 2045 Ventures
  • Community orgs like Hispanic Heritage Foundation, Techqueria and more
  • Award-winning authors and journalists like Alicia Menéndez & Julissa Arce
If you’re ready to build meaningful relationships and soak in all this content, tickets are on us! Register today to join all the fun this September.
>> Get Your Free Tickets
ASCII-ING ABOUT THE NEWS
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