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Evaluating ELLs for special needs a challenge

from Education Week

A kindergarten teacher in a San Diego public school last fall referred six of her students — all English-language learners — for evaluation for special education. All of them, as it turned out, needed eyeglasses; one needed a hearing aid. None needed to be placed in special education. A few years ago, such simple explanations for the students' academic difficulties might not have been picked up so early. But last year, the 132,000-student San Diego district — with a history of lopsided referrals of English-learners to special education — created a step-by-step process to make sure every explanation and intervention for a child's lagging academic performance had been examined before assigning a placement in special education. more

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