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How Will the New Education Accountability Standards Affect My Child in New Jersey

March 14th, 2012

Ten states have been granted waivers to implement their own accountability systems rather than follow all of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act’s requirements. The NCLB mandates that schools educate children to be proficient in reading and math by 2014 or face tough sanctions. The states that recently had their waivers approved include New Jersey, Massachusetts, Indiana, Minnesota, Kentucky, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Colorado. Other states are also working on their waivers.

The Obama Administration and the Department of Education will review a state’s application and grant a waiver if the state’s standards are higher than the NCLB mandates and can be realistically implemented. A state’s plan must still prepare students for higher education, careers, and increase achievement for low performing schools. Teacher and school administration evaluations are still critical to these plans being approved.

In New Jersey, the state’s Department of Education will launch the new accountability plan this coming September. Schools will be measured on absolute achievement of the new plan’s goals and growth. State funds will be focused on improving failing schools and those that have big achievement gaps. Students will also have greater school choice in under-performing districts. High achieving teachers will be rewarded and teachers who need help to increase their student’s results will get support.

The state’s DOE will revise its school Report Cards and publish them for public review. This will help parents and state officials identify the performance levels at a child’s school. All these efforts will emphasize effective lesson planning and teaching strategies for the student body, including students with special needs and English as a second language students.

Overview of new education accountability standards in New Jersey:

  • New accountability plan coming in September 2012
  • New Jersey schools to be graded on absolute achievement of the new plan’s goals and growth
  • State funds will improve failing schools and those with big achievement gaps
  • Students have more school choice in under-performing districts
  • High achieving teachers rewarded and those that need help to increase their student’s results will get support
  • Plans cover general student body, students with special needs, and ESL students
  • Concerned parents should contact a New Jersey special education advocate to discuss how the new plan can affect their child with special needs to ensure child’s IEP plan and supports are in place for the next school year

Parents who want to learn more about these changes and how it will affect their child should contact a special education advocate. To learn more about New York special education advocacy, visit https://www.specialneedsnewyork.com/ or http:www.littmankrooks.com/

Click here to read how you can get involved in Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month this March.


Americans With Disabilities Experiencing Record Unemployment Rate

August 9th, 2011

Unemployment among persons with disabilities spiked in the second quarter of 2011, and continues to outpace the unemployment rate for other workers, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

The jobless rate for Americans with disabilities is now 16.9 percent, up from 15.6 percent in May and tied with the record for the highest rate set in August 2009. The data covers those over the age of 16 who do not live in an institution.

This statistic erases the gains seen in April 2011, when unemployment dropped for the first time since January. The U.S. Department of Labor began tracking unemployment for Americans with disabilities in 2008. The first employment report was issued in February 2009, and are now released monthly.

Americans with disabilities are experiencing a jobless rate more than 80 percent higher than the rest of Americans, who are currently at 9.2 percent. The study also reported that 44.4 percent of disabled individuals who were unemployed in June had been jobless for 27 weeks or more.

The average number of Social Security applications per month is also now more than 300,000, up from an average of 200,000 before 2008, according to the United States Social Security Administration. This represents an increase of more than 27 percent from a year ago. The average cumulative wait time is now more than 700 days.

President Barack Obama announced on the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act in late July that the federal government would improve compliance with Section 508, which requires that federal agencies’ technology be accessible to people with disabilities. Section 508 ensures that Americans with disabilities have equal access to federal job opportunities, requires the government provide the proper technology to let them perform their duties, and makes information more easily accessible.


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