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San Diego-area test scores: Where do special needs students stand?

The quality of the education students receive can be tough to gauge. There is no perfect measure for how good of a job a school is doing, so we have to rely on some imperfect ones. While these measures have their limitations, they can still some provide insights on the matter. One of these measures is student standardized test scores.

Recently, the 2016 results of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress standardized tests were released. The test scores point to some encouraging things, but also to some areas where improvement may be needed.

On the positive side, the scores in both the math and English tests are up in the state as compared to last year. Here in San Diego County, similar increases were seen and the overall passing rates for both tests were higher than the statewide rates.

However, the scores from one of the county’s large school districts, the San Diego Unified School District, indicate that schools in the county may still have a ways to go when it comes to their education efforts regarding special needs students. The gap between the scores of such students and the general student body in the district was quite wide. Also, while special needs students in the district did see score increases in both math and English, the increases were more modest, percentage-point-wise, than the increases we discussed above.

How good of a job do you think San Diego-area school districts are doing when it comes to special education? What do you think are the special education areas such districts need to improve in most?

Schools have a duty to give all of their students the opportunity for a good education, including their special needs students. When the parent of a special needs student suspects their kid’s school has not lived up to this duty, they should consider speaking with a special education attorney. Such attorneys can inform parents of what the law requires of schools when it comes to special education and can advise them of what they can do if their child’s school hasn’t met these requirements.

Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune, “County students outperform state on test,” Maureen Magee, Aug. 24, 2016

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