ERIC Number: EJ774928
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Nov
Reference Count: 24
NCLBA and IDEA: Perspectives from the Field
Ratcliffe, Kim Goodrich; Willard, David T.
Focus on Exceptional Children, v39 n3 p1 Nov 2006
The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLBA) requires all children to meet state standards of proficiency. Nowhere does this seem more absurd than the requirement for subgroups of students with disabilities to meet the same standard as children without disabilities. Educators, parents, and students alike protested that to be labeled as a child with an educational disability, a child must meet both of the eligibility criteria: (a) the disability results in "significant adverse educational impact," and (b) the disability requires special education services. The criteria for "proficient" under NCLBA and the criteria to be diagnosed as a child with a disability under IDEA, the Individual with Disabilities Education Act, seem to be diametrically opposed: If a child meets the expectations under NCLBA, the child will no longer be eligible for special education services (Posny, 2004). Although most embraced the spirit of the law, many simultaneously rejected the "one-size-fits-all" mentality of the NCLBA mandates. Special educators were hoping that the confusion and conflict between the two federal laws would be clarified and resolved. Instead, tension remains between NCLBA and IDEA, further complicating the accountability issues for students with disabilities. This article discusses the professional analysis of the interplay between NCLBA and IDEA--special and general educators both taking a critical look at the purpose, the design, and the outcomes of the law for students with disabilities and the new energy and excitement in public education, a resiliency that is driving educational reform--systems reform--in many progressive schools. In the spirit of that reform, the scope of this article is limited, for the most part, to the impact of NCLBA on the education of students with disabilities.
Descriptors: Federal Legislation, State Standards, Criteria, Public Education, Special Education, Disabilities, Educational Legislation, Academic Standards, Eligibility, Testing Accommodations, Educational Change, Mainstreaming, Individualized Education Programs, Academic Accommodations (Disabilities), Teacher Qualifications, Special Education Teachers, Educational Quality, Faculty Development, Regular and Special Education Relationship, Teacher Competencies
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; No Child Left Behind Act 2001