Thursday, August 19, 2010

McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program

In Florida, the debate over school vouchers was resolved (I've heard) by the creation of the McKay schoolarships in 2002. This provides state money for ESE students to attend privately owned and operated schools. 

The Florida Dept of Educational Choice website says:  Florida's school choice programs ensure that no child will be left behind by allowing parents to choose the best educational setting—public or private—for their child. The McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program provided over 20,500 Florida students with special needs the opportunity to attend a participating private school during the 2008-09 school year. The McKay Scholarships Program also offers parents public school choice. A parent of a special needs student who is dissatisfied with the student’s current school may choose to transfer the student to another public school. 

I also learned that there a vast amounts of used textbooks available through the Broward Book Repository. There's also Broward school news and such.

Other info: This McKay scholarship school, recently closed, used the following curricula:
Institute for Excellence in Writing
Videotext for Math
Create Courses for everything. Particularly liked their basic math.
Apologia for science.

When he say Time4Writing, he wished he knew about it since it's the best blend of world class video teaching of writing  with interactivity and teachers that he's seen yet.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

High School Diplomas - Many Flavors

I learned from a visitor today that the high school diploma seems to come in a few flavors (I'm in Florida).
  1. International Bacchlareate
  2. Standard 24 credit high school diploma (which incidentally, does not qualify you for Florida state colleges. For example, the high diploma requires 4 English credits, Florida State require 5.5 credits).
  3. ESE Option 1 - Student has supplemental assistance and has received multiple credits from the same course.
  4. ESE Option 2 - A diploma usually earned primarily for "life skill" courses. These students are primarily "in the system" all their life.
  5. GED - High school equivalency
  6. Non-accredited diploma signed by anyone "awarding" a high school diploma. In the case of many local schools, the significant issue is that the high school has a matriculation agreement with the targeted school.  
  7. Homeschool diploma. Essentially signed by mom and dad that they homeschooled the student through high school.