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Casperson Calls for Flexibility for Special Needs Students


The percentage of special needs children in Michigan schools continues to increase. Educators are struggling to provide accommodation. Parents are frustrated. State Senator Tom Casperson suggests that part of the problem is caused by state rules that mandate what must be taught to special needs students. “Every student must meet these standards, whether it’s math, science, or anything else a regular student would be expected to learn. Teachers are required to test them on it,” he said in a recent interview with KBear 102.3’s Todd VanDyke. Casperson believes the one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work for kids who may have limited abilities in certain areas. He says that teachers and parents he spoke with recently at the Learning Center in Escanaba were frustrated with the system, too… and want to return to a program in which they have more flexibility in designing education plans. “They had a system where the parents sat down with the teacher and the child, and worked out a personalized approach to that child, and it worked.” The National Center for Educational statistics says that the percentage of students with disabilities has risen by 50 percent over the past 40 years nationwide.

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