Long regarded as one of the best public high schools in the nation, [Milwaukee Rufus] King was cited last week for not having enough of its special needs students meet the academic proficiency standards established by the state to comply with the federal No Child Left Behind law.On the one hand, cognitive skills are useful. On the other hand, some people develop them more rapidly than others.
Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent William Andrekopoulos said the district would be doing these children a disservice if it didn't hold them to the same standards.
"We can't send our kids out into a world where they are not prepared," Andrekopoulos said.
Right - as prepared as possible. But is it practical to suppose that all students with special needs can compete in reading and math with others who don't have those needs?
Surely, the term "special needs" exists for a reason. If King is under serving these students, the district must deal with that. But if the measure for determining this depends on students with learning disabilities scoring on par with students without these needs, this is too high a bar.