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Catalyst Chicago on Arne Duncan and Special Education


Catalyst Chicago, an independent news magazine that reports on Chicago Public Schools, has produced an article that outlines Secretary of Education-designate Arne Duncan's role in special education.

The reporters of the piece say that special education in Chicago is "dismal." Unfortunately, I have to say that it is not surprising to me that an urban district would be having severe problems providing appropriate services for its students in special education. The question, of course, is what Duncan tried to do to fix the situation, or if he instituted policies that have made things worse. Based on the information presented in the article, it appears that the gap between special education students and general education students has widened over Duncan's 7-year-tenure.

After my post asking for information about Duncan and special education, I've gotten a few emails that have suggested some people in Chicago I should contact for further information. I look forward to doing so and will be posting what I learn, so stay tuned...


The fact that we have to dig so much to find out ANYTHING about how special ed fits into Arne Duncan's management philosophy says a lot. I know there are a lot of issues to be fixed in our education system, but I'd feel better if this job was filled with someone who's already known as a leader in the area of special ed. He'll need to appoint someone strong to oversee special ed programs.

Good point, Mark. I'll be very interested to see who is put in charge of OSEP.

Special education in Chicago IS dismal.

Christina, Please don't forget to update us, we will stay tuned :)

Is there any connection with deteriorating special education and increasing violence in Chicago?

Ellie: to my knowledge, there's no connection. Do you have other information, though?

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