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Rochester, NY: SPED program has "widespread inadequacies"

June 15, 2017, WHEC News (NY): Rochester schools seek new direction, outside help, for special education http://www.whec.com/news/rochester-special-education-outside-help-new-direction/4515098/ Rochester school system leaders declared the district has begun reforms to its special education programs after an independent report that documented widespread inadequacies.Rochester Schools’ referral rate for special education has increased sharply (93%) in the past three years but 36% of the students referred in 2015-2016 were found ineligible. Rochester schools identifies students with disabilities, emotional disturbance and “other health impairment” at a rate well above the national average, 55%, 38% and 233% respectively. Black students were disproportionately likely to be suspended, and categorized as “other health impairment.” The district doesn’t have sufficient systems to identify students at risk, or to deal with students of multiple races and ethnicities. A lack of services results in students being moved from school to school to receive special education, or moved out of the Rochester school system altogether to other agencies. … Deane-Williams also predicted more training for educators, …