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No educational ranking for our children....


 
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babystpierre
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Joined: 17 Oct 2006


Last Visit: 07 Oct 2010
Posts: 457
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: September 07 2010, 12:11 PM    Post subject:
No educational ranking for our children....
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Grrrr....doesn't it seem odd that there is no ranking for education opportunities for our children? I mean, there are rankings for all kinds of schools and colleges yet it is like trying to untangle a huge mystery to find where the best education/opportunities are for our children. It's hugely frustrating!!
Grrrrrr....it seems you have to just happen into the right place. Isn't this crazy??

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chloe'smom
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Last Visit: 07 Oct 2010
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Location: Southern Chester County, PA

PostPosted: September 07 2010, 4:42 PM    Post subject:
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Hi Laurie,
I was going to post to your other question about schools and will share my thoughts here. About a year ago I frantically searched the internet for school rankings in regards to children with special needs. I was thinking exactly like you were-there must be something! The best I came up with was a ranking of district PSSA scores (standarized testing in PA) for children with IEP's. So I thought maybe I could consider those higher test scores indicators of good programs. But that was before I deeply started questioning what is a true measure of success.

About a week ago was forwarded a link to a blog that posted a valedictorian speech from a graduating high school senior. It summs up everything I've been starting to question about intelligence and education ever since Chloe was born. I strongly encourage people to read it- it is brilliant.

http://americaviaerica.blogspot.com/2010/07/coxsackie-athens-valedictorian-speech.html

So how can one measure the success of an educational program? One that helps teach our kids how to memorize facts and correctly answer test questions? Do we measure success by the graduation rate and job aqusition of children with special needs? Can we say a school is successful if they've taught our kids to be good test takers and were able to get a job regarless of the job? I am honestly struggling with this big time!

I almost posted a link (in response to your other post about schools) to a school that is specific for kids with special needs in our area but hesitated b/c it seems like it is politically incorrect to suggest something other than inclusion into mainstream education. Its not that I don't believe that our kids shouldn't be included, it is that I question what type of educational system we want them to be included in. I would send Chloe here in a heartbeat except it is a boarding school and I don't feel we should send our kids away from home. Now maybe if my whole family moved and worked there...Smile Here is the link (for what its worth)

http://www.camphillspecialschool.org/

I don't know how you could rank a school like this- or even how you hear about these kinds of schools-(I have since been searching for something similar that is a day program). I too have thought I'd be willing to pick up the family and move just about anywhere for a good school for my kids (my husband is a PT so we are fairly flexible). I appreciate you putting your questions out here and look forward to hearing what you come up with on your search!
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babystpierre
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PostPosted: September 08 2010, 10:44 AM    Post subject:
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Chloe's mom ~ such a well-thought response...thank you! i have no time to write much now but will later!! thanks again!!

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adamsmommy
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Location: Ont., Canada

PostPosted: September 08 2010, 5:48 PM    Post subject:
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I was at a session at the conference in Florida, given by the Florida Inclusion Network. They told us about a ranking system & how to access it through the internet, for all districts in the USA. Since I'm from Canada, I didn't write down the link or any information about it. Maybe somebody else here was at that session & wrote down the information, or maybe you could contact the Florida Inclusion Network http://www.floridainclusionnetwork.com/page265.aspx . It sounds like it is something like what you are looking for.

BTW- If you want to switch countries & move to Canada, you will find some amazing school districts for your child Smile

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kittycat3376
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PostPosted: September 09 2010, 7:13 AM    Post subject:
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Jeanie; according to that link you posted, Camphill has both day and residential programs.
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kittycat3376
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PostPosted: September 09 2010, 9:47 AM    Post subject:
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AHA!!! Found rankings by state. I would start with the few states who got the "all-clear" for the 4 out of 5 years and then look into the individual school districts within those states. Good luck.

http://www.edweek.org/ew/section/infographics/36idea_map.html
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lespring
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PostPosted: September 09 2010, 1:30 PM    Post subject:
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Yeah, but where's the story that goes with that? Because based on just the map, I can't believe any of it when I compare it to what my friends in some of those states are telling me is happening in their schools!

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mom to Noah 23, Tyler 21, Angela 14 (DS)
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kittycat3376
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PostPosted: September 09 2010, 6:14 PM    Post subject:
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lespring wrote:
Yeah, but where's the story that goes with that? Because based on just the map, I can't believe any of it when I compare it to what my friends in some of those states are telling me is happening in their schools!


The theory of the writers of the article is that the inconsistency proves the ranking system invalid.

Knowing that special education varies greatly from district to district, NOT state to state, and can vary quite a bit from year to year as well, my opinion would be that the consistently high ranking states are the states with a few REALLY GREAT districts to throw of the curve. Of course those states will have their bad districts as well, but I would expect them to have a greater percentage of good districts than the states with consistently bad rankings. The states that are the most consistent in their rankings are probably also the ones whose districts have the least fluctuation from one year to the next.

I know of only one AWESOME school district (from a special ed. point of view) here in Washington, but that was obviously not enough to keep us in the running for consistently good special education services. And I'm sure there are other good districts in states that got bad rankings as well, but the good districts should be more prolific and easier to find in the states with good rankings.

That's why the individual school districts will still have to be investigated, the state rankings are just a good way to narrow down the search and find a starting point.

ETA: Forgot to answer the actual question LOL. Click "read related story" just above the top right corner of the map. You can't read the whole story for free, but enough to get the gist.
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