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No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Law And Its Implications For Special Needs Children

Does No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Law Include Special Needs Children?

After much public outcry and debates, the NCLB law has been amended and continues to be amended, with regards to the expectations of special education students. States and local school districts are now able to amend assessments for special services students who are unable to complete the standard assessments, after accommodations.

What is the NCLB?

It is "THE" education law of the United States at this time, passed in January of 2002. The implementation and monitoring of the law is done by each state creating a set of standards and a standardized assessment tool, with which to measure results and proficiency levels.

What is the primary goal or intent of the NCLB?

That all school age students would be proficient in math and reading by the 2013-2014 school year.

Does "All" mean ALL?

In the beginning, that is what the lawmakers maintained as a stance. "All means all", was the mantra. After much public outcry and debates, the NCLB law has been amended and continues to be amended, with regards to the expectations of special education students. States and local school districts are now able to amend assessments for special services students who are unable to complete the standard assessments, after accommodations.

What if the current school does not offer accommodations or alternatives?

The NCLB law is really directed at the school systems, in an effort to mandate that they bring test scores up, and the ramifications for not doing so are very harsh. Therefore, it is in the best interest of both the student and the school to make the necessary accommodations, thereby increasing the overall score of both the student and the school. Parents and other team members have the opportunity to aid schools in creating alternative tools, if none is already in place.

For IPP: MaryEllen Smith Tavares


School Bullying And Students With Special Needs

Students with special needs are increasingly becoming the targets of bullying, as the trend of mainstreaming students with their non disabled peers continues. It is only logical that if bullying increases in a mainstream classroom and if there are special needs students in that classroom, there will be a greater level of bullying of special needs students than is present in self contained classrooms.

School Bullying and Students with Special Needs

Although there is much discussion about school bullying these days, it is not a new phenomenon. Since time began, children have bullied one another. However, the type of bullying and the level of violence associated with bullying is increasing.

Special Needs Students as Targets

Students with special needs are increasingly becoming the targets of bullying, as the trend of mainstreaming students with their non disabled peers continues. It is only logical that if bullying increases in a mainstream classroom and if there are special needs students in that classroom, there will be a greater level of bullying of special needs students than is present in self contained classrooms.

Not all bullying is a direct physical or verbal confrontation. Much of the bullying that occurs is done by spreading rumors about a person or by socially isolating the person. Bullies tend to target students who have poor social skills and isolate, as well as those who will not defend themselves due to a lower self esteem. Students who have learning disabilities, physical disabilities, emotional disorders, and attention deficit disorders are amongst those more likely to be targeted by bullies.

Are Special Needs Students Bullying?

Given the fact that many students with special needs are dealing with emotional disorders, including anger and aggression issues, it is critical that teachers and other school personnel learn to distinguish between bullying and the disability of the child. While it is necessary to implement anti-bullying programs and consequences for bullying, the reality of the disability cannot be discounted. Therefore, discernment is essential and accommodations need to be made for those children who fall under the IDEA law or Section 504. It is recommended that a team meeting be immediately called, in the event that a special needs student is wrongly accused of bullying.

What can be done about bullying and the special needs population?

The most effective step that can be taken is to educate and raise awareness, on a school wide level. Statistics show that school wide awareness programs are 50% more effective in reducing occurrences than one on one or singular classroom education. There are a number of effective curriculums already developed, thereby eliminating the need to spend time creating a tool to use.

Where can I find more resources about bullying and bully prevention?

There are numerous websites available. We recommend www.bullypolice.org, which offers extensive information and support, as well as links to other excellent resources.

For IPP: MaryEllen Smith Tavares