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Where We Stand

Congress and the Obama Administration rely on us to help them understand how their decisions will impact students with learning disabilities (LD). Learn how our policy work makes a difference and what is we consider to be crucial when it comes to promoting and strengthening policies that support individuals with LD.

Disability Policy - People with Disabilities

Where We Stand



Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA): Core Principles for Reauthorization

No Child Left Behind - The Elementary And Secondary Education Act The National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) improves the lives of all people with learning difficulties and disabilities by empowering parents, enabling young adults, transforming schools, and creating policy and advocacy impact. NCLD’s goal in providing Core Principles for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (also known as No Child Left Behind) is to help guide the discussions related to students most at-risk for being identified with LD and those already identified and receiving services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

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State Testing Accommodations: A Look at Their Value and Validity

Accommodations for Students - Testing for Disabilities  Students with disabilities (those covered under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act) must be provided the appropriate accommodations necessary to participate in the state and district assessments as required for reading and math under No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Accommodations are tools and procedures that provide equal access to instruction and assessment for students with disabilities. They are provided to “level the playing field.” Without the right accommodations, students with disabilities may not be able to access grade level instruction and have every opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge in state and district assessments.

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Multi-Tier System of Supports/Response to Intervention

What Is RTI - Response to InterventionMulti-Tier System of Supports (MTSS) Recommendation for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)There is tremendous momentum nationwide to develop systemic intervention models for both behavior and academics targeting those students most at risk. Congress should build on this momentum and make explicit in ESEA that the coordination of funds between Title I and IDEA is allowable and encouraged to both train teachers and provide multi-tier instruction and support to students.

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High School Graduation

Home School Graduation - High School Special Education  High School Graduation Policy Recommendation for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)A high school diploma is increasingly essential for success in the 21st century economy. Nearly 90% of the fastest-growing, highest-paying jobs require some sort of education beyond high school. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires all students with disabilities to have a transition plan that includes effective transition services to promote successful post-school employment or education.

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Charter Schools

About Charter Schools - Schools for Disabilities  Charter School Recommendation for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)Charter schools are designed to offer choice and opportunity for students within the public school system. Many of these schools are highly desirable for parents of students with disabilities because of the special curriculum, individualized instruction, and inclusive approach of teaching all students, including those with learning disabilities (LD).

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Accountability

The Elementary And Secondary Education Act - Students With DisabilitiesNew accountability provisions may be included in the ESEA to hold schools, districts, and states accountable for the academic progress of students. However, some proposals have sought to carve students with learning disabilities (LD) out of this framework altogether or create separate accountability measures or standards for these students. Because high school graduation is the ultimate goal for all students with LD, ESEA must assure that the outcomes for students with learning disabilities is as important as any other group of students—no exceptions.

NCLD provides key Policy Recommendations to hold schools, districts, and states accountable for the academic progress of students.

icon_guides Download your FREE copy of NCLD's Policy Recommendation: Accountability [PDF, 0.3MB].

Assessment/Annual Testing

Learning Disability Testing - Assessment For Students With Disabilities  Assessment Policy RecommendationUnder federal law, all students—including students with disabilities—are required to be included in statewide assessment and accountability systems. Assessment provisions within the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) were intended to focus increased levels of attention on whether students were proficient, as measured against state reading and math standards.

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Early Education/Early Intervention

Early Child Development - Early Learning  Early learning opportunities in preschool—whether in Title I programs, Head Start or other settings—are essential for children to gain the pre-literacy and social skills they need to enter Kindergarten ready to learn and thrive. As evidence shows, early recognition of learning problems combined with timely, effective intervening services are critical components of any successful early childhood program.

NCLD provides key Policy Recommendations to ensure early learning opportunities for all children.

icon_guides Download your FREE copy of NCLD's Policy Recommendation: Early Education [PDF, 0.3 MB].

Vouchers

Voucher Program - Vouchers For SchoolWhile school voucher programs theoretically expand choices for parents and students, any federally funded voucher program for students with disabilities would undermine the ability for these children to receive a free appropriate education. Families using school vouchers typically must relinquish all rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), including entitlement to an Individualized Educational Program (IEP) and education in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE).

NCLD provides key Policy Recommendations to ensure that school vouchers don't limit the choices for students with learning disabilities and their families.

icon_guides Download your FREE copy of NCLD's Policy Recommendation: Vouchers [PDF, 0.6MB].

Workforce, Career and Technical Education, and Higher Education

workforce-career-technical-education Federal funding supports workforce training, career and technical education, and postsecondary education opportunities for millions of Americans, including students and adults with learning disabilities. These programs provide information, resources, training and educational services designed to secure and improve employment opportunities as well as financial aid to attend an institution of higher education to pursue a certificate or degree. In total these programs create much of the network that individuals use to receive training and improve their educational skills with the goal of acquiring employment or improving their employment situation.

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