Personalized Learning

An Update On Special Education In New Hampshire

Nov 27, 2017

New models for education seek to provide resources and access to services for not just students with special needs (such as intellectual disabilities or learning disabilities), but for any student who may be marginalized in their  community. This may include students who speak English as a second language, and students living in poverty. But individual schools and school districts still struggle to meet their students' needs, through workforce shortages, funding limitations, or exhaustive performance requirements. 

WoodleyWonderWorks; Flickr

This post has been corrected and revised to reflect the following:  The House Finance Committee recently approved funding for a position to work with the N.H. Dept. of Education to fulfill aspects of the state's new "Dyslexia Law."   The position was not originally in the Governor's version of the budget.  

The full House votes on this next week, and, after that, the state senate will makes its own budgetary decision on the position.  For more, read here.

Once described as " word blindness," dyslexia affects a person's ability to read accurately and fluently. It's surprisingly common, but early screening and intervention can make a major difference.  The new law requires school districts do just that.   

US Army Corp of Engineers / Flickr CC

There’s a database in New Hampshire, nestled in hard-drives in the Department of Education, with all sorts of information about student test scores, graduation rates, and achievement. It shows how poor kids do on tests compared to rich kids, and how minorities do compared to whites, and whether schools are improving on those tests.

Whenever the data in it is accessed, it’s totally anonymous; only a handful of employees at the DOE can match these test-scores with student names.