Report Cards and Special Needs Students

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Report Cards and Special Needs Students

Report Cards and Special Needs Students | Los Angeles County Special Education

Most people remember the trepidation with which they brought their report cards home to show to mom and dad. Today, not much has changed with grading measures and reports cards looking just about the same as they did a couple of decades ago. However, parents of special education students may feel particularly wary of the report cards that their children bring home, never knowing if they will accurately reflect the abilities of their children.

It is indeed difficult for schools to grade special education students accurately. The grading scales used for these students are often the same ones used for students in the general education setting. This brings up several important questions that parents may want to discuss with their children’ teachers or with the school district.

Will the Report Card Show That the Student Had a Disability?

The report card is allowed to show that the student has a disability and may list what special education services were received. The report card should list the courses that the student took and his or her degree of success in them.

How Do Transcripts Work?

A transcript is different from the report card in that it is a snapshot of the student’s academic success. Because it is merely displaying what academic achievements have been gained, it is not allowed to reveal whether or not the student received special needs services.

Are Special Education Students Graded Fairly?

Many educators and legal experts do not believe that special education students are graded fairly. They believe that the grading systems are severely out-of-date. Instead, report cards should be flexible enough to work for both general and special education students while giving students at all levels opportunities to make high grades. Therefore, even when special education students receive certain accommodations, they should still be graded on their performances related to these accommodations.

What about When Special Education Students Receive General and Special Services?

Even more disputes and questions arise when students receive a mixture of teaching in both general and special education classrooms. In these instances, teachers must work together to create standards of grading that accurately reflect the students’ progress.

Newman Aaronson Vanaman is available to help any parents who feel that their special needs children are being graded unfairly during the upcoming school year. These students have the right to fair and appropriate grades despite their disabilities.
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