On the other hand, the article has a terrible, terrible mismatch of Ohio and Kentucky numbers:
In Ohio, where seniors with disabilities can qualify for diplomas if they complete individualized education plans, more than 15,000 seniors with disabilities made up 14 percent of the Class of 2008's 105,700 graduates.That Ohio "more than 15,000" is plausible as the number of students who finish high school and could go on to college with disabilities.
Kentucky's 40,099 graduates in 2008 included 187 students who graduated after individualized education plans, said Lisa Gross, Kentucky's education department spokeswoman. Another 453 students received "certificates of completion" instead of diplomas because severe disabilities prevented them from completing the classes to qualify for a diploma, she said.
In Kentucky, 187 is the 2008 number of students with disabilities who graduated after more than four years in high school based on an IEP that called for them to spend that added time in school. The source is Kentucky District Data Profiles: School Year 2007-2008.
Many, many more students with disabilities graduated in the regular four year span. As a rough estimate, I'd offer the fact that 3,830 students with disabilities finished senior year writing portfolios. Some of them may not have graduated, but most who finished that work in April surely collected diplomas in May or early June.
Of course, we should still be worried even by that number, because that class lost an amazing number of students with disabilities over its years in school. Taking numbers tested each spring, here's how the count slid downward:
We should be graduating many more students with disabilities from high school, sending many more to higher education, and cheering many more on as they complete their postsecondary studies.