A federal investigation into whether East Orange, N.J., schools placed students with disabilities in segregated classrooms is now closed, with a pledge from the district to change how it decides where those students attend school.
The U.S. Department of Education’s office for civil rights said last week that it found that during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 school years, more than 60 percent of students with disabilities in East Orange were in self-contained classrooms, well above the state’s target of 44 percent. Many of the students had been diagnosed as having learning disabilities. The agency found that the 12,000-student district didn’t always consider whether those students could be successful in an integrated classroom with the right supports.
Too often, the OCR found, students in the district were placed in a particular setting without an explanation of why an integrated setting wouldn’t work.
A version of this article appeared in the October 10, 2012 edition of Education Week as N.J. District Is Cited On Special Education