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Special Education in this New Era of Accountability: The Problem/Opportunity Context Linda A. Patriarca Kevin Magin Kelly Green David Smith MAASE Presentation February 14, 2006 Lansing, Michigan. Agenda Overview Welcome remarks: Agenda Review ( Magin )

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Special Education in this New Era of Accountability: The Problem/Opportunity Context

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Special Education in this

New Era of Accountability: The Problem/Opportunity Context

Linda A. Patriarca

Kevin Magin

Kelly Green

David Smith

MAASE Presentation

February 14, 2006

Lansing, Michigan

Agenda Overview

  • Welcome remarks: Agenda Review (Magin)

  • Presentation Focus: Wayne RESA Pilot

  • Lessons Learned (Patriarca, Green & Magin)

  • Current State Activities:Out State Initiatives in Mathematics and ELA Initiatives (Smith)


What is Special Education in this age of accountability?

Or, where are we now and what are we facing?

President's Commission on

Excellence in Special Education Report:


  • Report Findings

  • Current SE system places process above results and compliance above student achievement.

  • Current SE system uses an antiquated model that waits for a child to fail instead of a model based on prevention and intervention.

  • SE students are GE students first. Separating costs and tallying the cost of SE as a separate program creates incentives for misidentification and academic isolation.

Report Findings

When a child fails to make progress in SE, parents don’t have options.

The culture of compliance -- driven by litigation pressures--diverts energy from the mission of educating the child.

Many of the current methods of identifying children with disabilities lack validity. Thousands are misidentified or not identified early enough.

  • Report Findings

  • Students with disabilities require highly qualified teachers. They need better preparation, support and professional development related to student needs.

  • Current system does not always embrace or implement evidence-based practices.

  • Focus on compliance and bureaucratic imperatives--instead of academic and socialoutcomes--fails too many children with disabilities. Too few graduate from high school, transition to full employment and post-secondary opportunities despite provisions in IDEA.

  • President’s Commission Report: Bottom Line

  • Data Driven Accountability

  • Access to the General Education Curriculum

  • Improved Academic and Social Outcomes

  • Evidence-Based Teaching & Assessment Methodologies

  • Focus on Teacher Quality

But How Do We Move Special Education in These Directions?

The Wayne RESA Special Education

AYP Math Pilot Project

A Partnership of

Funded by MDE/SEEIS State Improvement Grant


  • Curriculum Focus

  • Instructional Sequence

  • Intensive Professional Development

  • Assessment

  • Unit Creation

  • IEP Alignment

Curriculum Focus

Curriculum Focus

Grade Level Content Expectations (GLCEs)

Grade Level Format




Strand Format




  • Curriculum Focus

  • Five Strands in MI Mathematics GLCEs

  • Number and Operations

  • Algebra

  • Measurement

  • Geometry

  • Data and Probability

Grade Level Format

Number & Operations Strand (2nd Grade)

Notice that of 22 GLCEs in the Number and Operations Strand, 11 are CORE.

Across the five math strands, three strands are assessed in 3rd grade on 2nd content

20 Core Expectations (3 MEAP questions ea. = 60 Q)

11(55%) Number & Operations

6 (30%) Measurement

3 (15%) Geometry

5 Extended Core Expectations (1 MEAP question ea. = 5Q)

3 (60%) Number & Operations

1 (20%) Measurement

1 (20%) Geometry

Overall, 85% of the 3rd grade MEAP questions address two strands: Number & Operations, and Measurement

The project selected the Numbers and Operations strand as the focus for this project because it would yield the biggest bang for the buck in raising the achievement of students with disabilities.

Within that strand, we address the Core GLCEs.

Instructional Sequence

Instructional Sequence

We have the strand and the core GLCEs.

Now teachers need a MAP that organizes and sequences the topics in a developmental order and a more finely grained way

Let’s “Scope Out” Part of an Instructional Sequencein the Number & Operations Strand

Meaning of addition and subtraction.

Subtraction as take away & comparison.

Addition/subtraction fact families and relationships.

Place Value(bridge to next area)

Intensive Professional Development

Intensive Professional Development

General and special education teacher pairs (and some administrators) participated in five-day intensive workshops during the summer.

For each of the “big” ideas along the instructional sequence, we modeled the teaching content using anchor manipulatives that could be used across the entire strand.

The anchor manipulatives were: money, number lines, and base ten blocks.


  • Assessment

  • Seven assessment inventories covering content along the number & operations strand were developed:

  • Sequential numeration and place value

  • Sequential addition

  • Sequential subtraction

  • Sequential multiplication

  • Sequential division

  • Sequential decimal (basic)

  • Sequential fractions (basic)

  • Let’s take a look at a sample of assessment inventories.

Unit Creation

  • Unit Creation Template

  • Decide on the problem and its location on the learning sequence

  • Narrow the scope.

  • Decide on manipulative model to use (Bustable, proportional; Tradable, proportional; Tradable, non proportional; Number Line) and the amount of practice needed.

  • How the model looks when drawn; how to transition from the model to picture drawing and the amount of picture drawing necessary.

  • The transition from the model (manipulative and picture) to an algorithm.

  • Determine any alternate algorithms which the model could represent. Consider both left to right and right to left algorithms.

  • Determine questioning sequence children are to use.

  • Determine sequence of difficulty levels.

  • Sequence the learning activities.

  • Check prior requisite knowledge

  • Instruct at each step

  • Check application

  • Comparison of this model to other representations.

  • Sample Unit

  • Comparison Subtraction with the Number Line

  • Comparison subtraction with the number line has been chosen as the unit for several reasons:

  • Comparison subtraction is frequently not illustrated in textbooks.

  • Many teachers have not used the number line as a manipulative model for instruction in numeric operations.

  • This combination of process and model leads easily to an alternate algorithm.

IEP Alignment

(Kelly Green)

Big Idea

There needs to be a visible, transparent connection between curriculum, instruction, assessment and a student’s IEP

Aligning the IEP with the GLCEs

Aids in student transition from district to district, school to school

Puts on same page with general education

Guides choice of curriculum – choice of $$ for resources

More benefit

  • Provides consistency in instruction

  • Brings parents into the loop with student’s progress


  • IEP goals are very broad; GLCEs are more specific – how do you connect them?

  • IEP goals should not be so specific that they “become curriculum” – need to link back to curriculum and inform instruction

  • How do you align assessment – e.g. psych evaluation, testing for retention over time, mid-year assessment, MEAP, MI Access?

Establish a Process

  • Assessment drives the Present Level of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance statement

  • PLAAFP guides the development of broad goals

  • Objectives are conceptually linked to GLCEs

  • Instructional units address pre and post assessment, learning sequences and strategies and accommodations

By June 2006

  • IEP Companion Document (DRAFT)

    • Address both procedural and instructional issues

    • Provide IEP and PLAAFP language

    • Identify classroom and norm referenced assessments

    • Align GLCEs and sample units and learning sequences

Lessons Learned:

Implications for Local Directors

Designer/Implementer Perspective: Linda Patriarca

Director Perspective: Kevin Magin

Teacher Perspective: Kelly Green

  • Current State Activities on the School Improvement Grant

  • Out State Initiatives in Mathematics

  • ELA Initiatives

  • David Smith,

  • Michigan Department of Education

Questions and Discussion

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