So .... after reading the CAC parent letter about the MGT report, and characterizing it as recommending a "dismantling" of MDUSD Special Ed programs, it seems clear that CAC did not like the report recommendations. If I am correct, CAC agreed with the choice of MGT, or perhaps even recommended MGT as the firm to conduct the study. Now, MGT came up with a solution that could, if adopted, save the district upwards of 29.5 million dollars. (See Exhibit ES-1 on page 10 of the MGT study).
Also according to the study, I see that it notes that our students are not performing as well. The report notes "Lower percentages of students with disabilities scoring at each level for both English and Language Arts and Math compared to the state." Are we concerned that it appears our special ed students are underperforming when compared to the state and other districts? (Exhibit 1-5).
I guess what I'm curious about, and maybe others are as well, is what is the solution? For a savings of 29.5 million dollars it certainly seems the report deserves a good, objective look, don't you think? In light of the findings that our kids are underperforming those statewide and in comparable districts, shouldn't we consider there might be a better way? I'm just asking . . . and hope we can bring some intelligent, objective solutions to the table.
In light of the fact that special ed is ~23% of our district's budget, yet serves only 11% of our students, it seems we need to be diligent in the assessment of what next...
Are kids transported all over because specific programs are built in particular (sometimes far away) locations, and not necessarily served at their home schools?
Should Principals be empowered at their own school sites? Or are the directives from the "top down" (district to school site) the best way?
I'd like to see discussion amongst parents. Objective, thoughtful discussion and ideas would be useful now. Completely bashing the report in light of some of the discoveries within it, hardly seems reasonable. So what next? Share your ideas here.