Recently, families of students with special needs were dealt a heavy blow of disappointment in Minnesota, because they were outrageously told their children would not be welcome back to join a school they planned to attend for the new school year like they did the previous, as many sources report.
This was supposedly due to the harsh measures taken by the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) initiative in 2010, concerning low test scores. In a newly formed school of North Minneapolis called the Minnesota School of Science, a new form of student interaction was to take place. Twin Cities Daily Planet online news reported in later July that the school was “to provide opportunities for the high-needs students to mingle with mainstream peers,” which was dubbed "mainstreaming services."
The Huffington Post asked: “Is this what ‘no child left behind’ means? Does it mean pushing out the most vulnerable children to inflate the school’s scores?” Federal laws require special needs accommodation in schools that are publicly funded, and this being a charter school, they should not be rejecting as much as 40 students out of their institution.
That was the exciting new opportunity to provide an accepting and inclusive environment, obliged by a one-year contract, that is until they ran out of room. “Regardless of ethnicity, social status and religion, we are open to all communities,” the school boldly reports on their informative webpage. Yet, reports point out this school as the least open of acceptance.
Before this whole ordeal, the school in place of the newly formed, called Cityview Elementary, had only three classrooms to provide for special needs services, for those students with autism and Down syndrome. It was quite a disappointing situation at the time, yet an even bigger one, once the news of mass non acceptance hit those in need.
”A No Child Left Behind-inspired experiment may have left vulnerable North Minneapolis special education students behind,” Daily Planet reports. “The district assured parent advocates that a refined agreement was coming,” however, the experiment with good intentions turned quite sour. This is not the kind of publicity a new school would want, it seems.
Underperformance was the main reason of turning an old school into a new idea. The Minneapolis board reached a remarkable 3 in 4 vote decision to take new measures, led by Concept Schools.
Their mission is “to reshapes the K-12 schools through the use of Concept Schools Design. Our mission is to create or help to create effective schools, where the common goal of running schools is to excel student learning through clear goals and innovative educational school designs and approaches.”
The New York Times reported this organization as one known to cause controversy. Districts in the area of the particular school mentioned are known for not being successful. Six closed in a matter of three years.
Mainstreaming was more than anyone could handle, while it was meant to decrease distractions in the learning environment of the school to potentially help students excel, it was a short-lived commitment with high hopes. Some unexpected expenses came along with the change as a result of new faculty having to be hired.
There were concerns, complains, and communication complications between the school and the district. The Huffington Post informs that the number of incoming students accepted into charter schools is low. The board of the school reached a tough finalization of splitting the unwanted group amongst different schools, and that was the end of what was meant to have a more positive outcome.
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