Tennessee Education Commissioner To Focus On Special Education

Jul 18, 2013

Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman / Photo by George Walker IV / The Tennessean
Credit George Walker IV, Nashville Tennessean

Tennessee Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman told the Tennessean newspaper yesterday that he’s going ahead with his plans to have the fastest-improving schools in the nation by 2015 and his next focus is special education.

Huffman reports that about 14% of the nearly one million Tennessee students are in special education programs. He says their achievement levels are not acceptable, though last school year, more children with disabilities took the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) instead of another test designed for students with severe disabilities.

Huffman reports another part of his plan is to have all Tennessee schools use the Response to Intervention (RTI) plan, already in use in some Tennessee systems. That plan involves getting extra help for children before putting them in special education classes, giving them a chance to catch up with their peers.