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Readers ask: Whatever happened to the Decatur Schools’ special education study?

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Readers ask: Whatever happened to the Decatur Schools’ special education study?


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A city schools of Decatur bus. Photo from CSD Facebook page.

Decaturish has received emails from readers regarding a contract to evaluate City Schools of Decatur’s special education program.

In December 2016, the School Board approved a $93,000 contract with the Georgia State University Research Foundation to conduct a special education program evaluation for CSD.

The goal of the study was to “evaluate how well CSD implements the processes and procedures around ensuing compliance, effective instruction, student achievement, and parent engagement in its special education program.”

A final report was anticipated for the fall of 2017. Decaturish submitted an open records request for that report – or a draft of it – to CSD, and the school system’s attorney replied that no such draft exists.

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Nicole Patton Terry, the Executive Director of The Urban Child Study Center who is a professor at GSU, is a part of the team conducting the study. She recently said that the study is nearing completion.

“We are in the process of finalizing the results to present them to the board this year,” she said. “We have been working on the study for the last year and we’re just now getting to the point where we can talk about the results.”

She said she could not offer a preview of the study’s conclusions at this time. She expects the study to be done by the end of the school year.

“We spent most of the calendar year collecting data,” she said. “It takes a while, once you get it all, to analyze it and put it in a way where you can understand it.”

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