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Question: Percentage of sped students in public schools?
Old 08-23-2016, 10:50 AM
 
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I've done my own research, but I'd love some data on the average number of students with learning disibilities in public schools in sped (with IEPS). I'm finding the number to be around 13%. Is that high?

My question stems from local insinuations that schools with 6-7 percent of the population designated as sped (including students who may have a speech IEP only) is way too high and students are being over-referred into the process. In an elementary school with about 850 students, less than 3% is what certain district reps are saying should be the norm. 1


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students in SPED
Old 08-23-2016, 12:57 PM
 
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The number that pops into my head is 10%, but I don't have any research to quote right now. Less that 3% seems a bit low though.

I do think that SPED is thought of as the answer to many problems because schools lack good interventions and often there are factors outside of school that impact education. At times it can be hard to tease out environmental, cultural, and/or socioeconomic factors. Ultimately, challenges in school do not equal a disability.
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Great point Eeza
Old 08-23-2016, 02:02 PM
 
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So much word!
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my district
Old 08-23-2016, 04:52 PM
 
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In my district, we are at about 11-12%. We are also told that is too high.
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Old 08-23-2016, 05:24 PM
 
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We are at about 13%. The state average is about 10%, but no one has ever really said that our percentage is too high. I know many of our teachers feel that we under-identify. The sad thing is that if we just tested the whole school, I could probably find 100 more kids that technically could qualify for an IEP. We try to think about which kids are really "outliers" among our population rather than among the general population. My dad works at a very wealthy school and his school uses RtI only (no testing, because I'm sure his kids would be average) to identify learning disabilities by saying" look how much support this student needs to stay on grade level." The students that he sees on IEPs would likely not even be identified as students for interventions/the RtI process at my school, much less actual IEPs. I work in a very low SES school and like eeza said, many outside factors can cause poor performance in school. On my team we have a hard time determining when "other factors" are really the cause rather than a true disability. At what point can you really say that a crappy home life is the cause rather than a disability? We actually requested training on this last year, and it was completely useless. Our state department said they could give us no guidelines on that and to "talk to our teams."


In my last school (I was teaching gen ed, also very low SES) our principal kept saying that the sped identification should be the same percentage as the gifted identification, which was less than 2%. She was nuts in general and I have no idea where she got that information from. I'm sure it wasn't based in any research.


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Old 08-25-2016, 02:20 AM
 
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All of these sound low to me. My district hovers between 20-25%!! Job security I say!
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Old 09-11-2016, 06:45 PM
 
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Here's a great article about the sad state of sped in Texas

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/denied/?t=9c54f4ac20

Students are purposely underidentified based on an arbitrary number picked by the state. I actually work in one of the districts mentioned.
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