Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New York State looks at alternative to IEP diplomas for students with disabilities.

According to Legislative Gazette.com the state Board of Regents, which sets educational policy for the State of New York, is discussing the creation of an alternative to the Individual Educational Program diplomas (IEP). The IEP diplomas, which some believe hinder students with the disabilities who receive them, from furthering their education and securing employment, are granted to those thought incapable of meeting the requirements of a traditional high school diploma.

Assemblyman Joel M. Miller,R-Poughkeepsie, applauded the Regents for “looking at alternative diplomas that cover a broad range of student capability and student interest and in no way reflects the differences that one student has compared to another in the area of academics or even vocational skills.” He said the state needs a diploma that clearly spells out to an employer or institution of learning what a given student's capabilities are, "and the IEP diploma does not do that. So it's time to get rid of it."

Decisions to place students on a track toward an IEP diploma often are made earlier than necessary in a student's educational career, which sometimes results in lowered expectations for that student. Also, once this decision is made, a student cannot take classes for credit in order to graduate with a regular high school diploma. IEP diplomas often limit post-secondary opportunities, such as a college education or employment.

"By scraping the IEP diploma and replacing it with a new credential system we have a unique opportunity to create an umbrella diploma that doesn't lower a students' expectations or limit their post-graduate opportunities," Miller said.

To read more click here.

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