The following excerpt is from the Fairfield County [CT] Business Journal (8-8), which reported on the strong academic gains and increased classroom participation made by students with disabilities:
Students with disabilities have made significant progress in their transition to adulthood during the past 25 years with lower dropout rates, an increase in postsecondary enrollment and a higher rate of gainful employment after leaving high school, according to a new report by the U.S. Department of Education.
The National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 documents the experiences of a national sample of students over several years as they moved from secondary school into adult roles. The report shows that the incidence of students with disabilities completing high school rather than dropping out increased by 17 percentage points between 1987 and 2003.
During the same period, their postsecondary education participation more than doubled to 32 percent. In 2003, 70 percent of students with disabilities who had been out of school for up to two years had paying jobs, compared to only 55 percent in 1987.
These accomplishments show the benefits of accountability and high academic standards among all students, including those with disabilities, said U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings.
As we focus increasingly on high school students, these findings square nicely with the goals of No Child Left Behind, such as closing the achievement gap and insisting that all students be given the quality education they so deserve.
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