Think about it Nat. You state, "at least a quarter of the students are special education or seriously disabled." Do you really believe that 25% of the school age population qualify for the short bus? Are actually saying that one quarter of the school age population is disabled in some way? That makes for good political theater, but the truth lies in the definition of special ed these days. The Clintoons, with Hillary leading the charge, widely expanded the definition of special education. It became a legal protection devise for a small population of disruptive school kids that 1). gave the school districts an incentive for labeling because they got more state/fed money: 2). diluted the funding for the special educational services for the physically handicapped children. Check the records and you will see that the population of sp. ed. kids grew exponentially under this new definition. In the past, disruptive, behavioral problem kids were treated in an entirely different manner. Kids were removed from the classrooms and put into alternative classrooms, special programs for socially disruptive...etc. Now they are considered "special ed" and are afforded all of the legal protections that a blind, deaf, mentally retarded, physically handicapped kid gets under federal law. That is to say, they can't be removed from a classroom without a hearing and a long due process of red tape which discourages any and all administrators. The tests that the kids take are taking now are NOT "Achievement tests" that you and I took..... that diagnosed our math and grammar difficulties using objective questions based on norm references. They are "assessment" tests that only tell how well the kids are meeting the state standards... which are goalposts that are moved yearly. Parents don't have to participate in my state (PA)... I opted all my kids out of state assessment tests and had the tested myself on a norm referenced tests that showed their strengths and weaknesses... Ask any parent if they have ever received a report on a state assessment and if any college or trade school requires them for admittance????