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Response to Pallas: What about curriculum, testing and special education?

Posted By: Regina Smardon on July 19, 2002
 
With regards to the impact of the blurring of the public/private distinction, that Pallas suggests Charter schools and Voucher plans contribute to, what about the content of curriculum? Is a standardized curriculum in the cards for large school districts? states? the nation? Is high stakes testing determining the content of education?

On a more troubling note, what are the financial problems associated with special education and vouchers? If the cost per student is an important policy variable, as Pallas suggests, what about those students who cost more? For example what about the large numbers of students with mental retardation, emotional disabilities and learning disabilities? or simply "at Risk"

Will those students receive larger vouchers? Will private schools or Charter schools be given incentives to cater to their needs? It seems to me that the expansion of isability categories along with the expansion of specialization of medical treatment, psychological assessment and special education make this the REAL financial issue for educational
policy.

Regina Smardon
MSEd, MA Sociology
University of Pennsylvania
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 Response to Pallas: What about curriculum, testing and special education? by Regina Smardon on July 19, 2002
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