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Special ed is meeting state goals, objectives
School notes
Becky Kelly
Becky Kelly - photo by Photo provided.

By Becky Kelly, executive director
Division of Exceptional Learning

The special education services in each school system in the state of Georgia are measured by the Georgia Department of Education, using a rubric entitled:  Georgia’s Performance Goals and Indicators for Students with Disabilities. Today we will present information on goal one and its four objectives.
Schools are charged to improve post secondary outcomes for students with disabilities (SWD). Targets are set for four objectives under this broader goal. Objective One is to decrease the percentage of SWD who drop out of school.
Year    Target    Georgia    LCSS
2005-06    5.7%    6.1%    6.3%
2006-07    5.6%    5.8%    5.6%
2007-08    5.5%    5.3%    6.1%
2008-09    5.4%    not yet posted
As we can see, the target was met by the state in 2007-08 and was met by LCSS in 2006-07.  The final data is not yet posted for us to see if we met the target for this year.

Objective two is to increase the percentage of SWD who earn a regular high school diploma (not a diploma of completion, formerly known as a special education diploma).
Year    Target    Georgia    LCSS #     LCSS%
2005-06    34%    32.7%    21    30%
2006-07    36%    33.4%    20    23%
2007-08    38%    37.7%    21    27%
2008-09    40%    not yet posted    25    not yet posted
Preliminary data indicates we have at least 25 students who earned general education diplomas this year. This information will be posted by GADOE later in the summer, after retests have been calculated.  But, it appears that we will have more graduates with a regular education diploma this year than in the past, even though we are certainly not where we would like to be.

Objective three is to increase the percentage of SWD who transition to employment or post secondary education after high school.
Year    Target    Georgia    LCSS
2006-07    56%    52.7%    44.9%
2007-08    57%    58.6%    72.8%
2008-09    58%    not yet posted
Preliminary data sent to the state suggests that we have once again exceeded the target set by the state.  Last year, LCSS was honored with a certificate for not only exceeding the target, but for being the highest performer for this indicator for schools of our size in the state.  We expect we will again be the highest performer.

The fourth and final objective under this goal is to increase the percentage of transition aged SWD who have coordinated and measurable independent education plan goals and transition services that will lead to attainment of post secondary goals.  On a review of LCSS by the GADOE earlier this year, LCSS was found to be in 100 percent compliance.
In a subsequent article, we will discuss what the Division for Exceptional Learning is doing to improve services for SWD, and therefore improve the data for each of these objectives.

Kelly is executive director of LCSS's Division of Exceptional Learning.

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