Under No Child Left Behind, schools are held accountable for ensuring all students learn, including students with disabilities. The following are excerpts from a recent article in the Rome News-Tribune (GA) highlighting the improvements and high achievement of students with disabilities in Floyd County, Georgia:
Its a job that wasnt easy to begin with, but was made no easier with the mandates of No Child Left Behind and increased accountability. But the special-education teachers who have worked diligently to increase the achievement of emotionally and physically disabled children in Floyd County are among the best in the state.
Thats according to the Georgia Department of Education, which awarded Floyd County Schools a Certificate for Highest Performance and a Certificate for Most Improvement. They represented Floyd County as a state leader in improving the performance of disabled students. Were delighted, said Floyd County Special Education Director Pat Womack. Any time our students are recognized for the progress theyve made its because of the hard work of the teachers and students.
She said the certificates were earned because of the countys dedication to employing only highly qualified teachers and for closing the achievement gap on standardized tests between special-education students and the rest of the student body. The teachers are working very closely with their students to try and identify their weaknesses, she said. And then intersessions are very helpful; its three times a year when we get to work with them.
In the 2003-2004 school year, the Floyd County schools provided services to more than 1,700 special education students, and many of them have widely varying disabilities from simple learning disabilities to profound physical ones. Theres always room for improvement, Womack said. Our purpose is to try to get our students to reach their potential, and were always working toward that.
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