Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Cincinnati Public School Report Card - Disability Questions

From the Cincinnati Public School Report Card.

The percentage of “Students with Disabilities” is 20.3% for the district. That is more than one in every five kids.

Cincinnati is a market leader among Ohio cities...

District Disabled Students
Cleveland Metropolitan 10014 20.0%
Columbus City 8315 15.7%
Cincinnati City 6861 20.3%
Toledo City 5057 18.6%
Akron City 4379 17.5%
Dayton City 3038 20.2%

The state of Ohio defines disabilities as:

1) Autism
2) Cognitive Disability (mental retardation)
3) Deaf-blindness
4) Deafness
5) Emotional Disturbance
6) Hearing Impairment
7) Multiple Disabilities
8) Orthopedic Impairment
9) Other Heath Impairment (which includes various ailments including attention deficit disorder.)

A link to the pdf where the State of Ohio defines all of these is found here: Whose IDEA is this?

I view the fact that slightly over 1 in 5 kids in the school system are classified as disabled is alarming. What is worse is that in some schools over 1 in 4 students is disabled.

A history of disability statistics in Cincinnati Public Schools:

2008 20.30%
2007 20.50%
2006 19.70%
2005 18.50%
2004 17.00%
2003 16.90%
2002 16.20%
2001 14.40%
2000 12.30%

At the beginning of the decade only 12.3% of Cincinnati Public School Students were classified as disabled. That is about 1 in every 8 kids.

Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

Ignorance is bliss of course, and I have no idea what types of disabilities are seeing spikes. I also don’t know if the state has changed the official working definition of disability over this time period. It would be interesting to see a breakdown of where the increases of disabled students are coming from.

I also wonder if money could possibly be an issue. Does the government pay more for schools to teach disabled kids? Do parents that want to collect SSI for their children have an incentive to pressure a school psychologist to label their kid disabled? Could any of these statistics be money driven? It is an honest question. I am a firm believer in the market. If you pay money for disabled kids the market will reward you will more disabled kids. That is how markets work. Sphere: Related Content

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