ERIC Number: EJ807902
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Superintendent's Commentary: The High School Diploma--A Standards-Based Passport or Reward for Effort?
Journal of Special Education Leadership, v17 n2 p126-127 Oct 2004
There has been a continuing drama over the unanswered question of whether students with disabilities deserve a high school diploma. Currently, a student is awarded a high school diploma if he or she meets local standards and if he or she passes the state's competency test of if his or her passage of the Indiana Standardized Test of Educational Performance (ISTEP) is waived. Students not passing the competency test are often denied graduation or are awarded a "Certificate of Attendance" or a "Certificate of Achievement." Recently, the Department of Education shifted the blame to local districts if a diploma was not awarded and suggested it is a local matter. With this in mind, this past spring several Indiana school superintendents recommended that their respective Boards of School Trustees waive students unable to pass either the language arts and/or mathematics portions of the ISTEP and award diplomas at their commencement ceremonies. While the author supports the awarding of diplomas to students with mild disabilities if they are able to meet the state's minimum requirements, he disagrees with the federal expectation under the No Child Left Behind Act: that all students must pass the ISTEP. He asserts that the question as to whether a student with disability "deserves" a diploma is a decision that should be left to the professionals and parents that know him or her best.
Descriptors: Federal Legislation, Standardized Tests, Policy Analysis, Politics of Education, Academic Standards, Academic Accommodations (Disabilities)
Council of Administrators of Special Education. Fort Valley State University, 1005 State University Drive, Fort Valley, GA 31030. Tel: 478-825-7667; Fax: 478-825-7811; Web site: http://www.casecec.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Indiana
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001