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IEPs and the Content Standards A “Best Practice” for Improving Student Achievement
IEPs and the Content Standards • Section I Regulations and History • Section II Opportunity to Learn • Section III Why Align IEPs to Standards? • Section IV Other Considerations • Inclusion and Collaboration • Student Friendly Standards • Section V Summarizing Points
IEPs and the Content Standards Section I Regulations and History
IEPs and the Content Standards • Since the 1980’s, education reform has been driven by the process of setting educational standards. • In 1989, then President George H.W. Bush held an education summit that resulted in national education goals known as “Goals 2000”. • No Child Left Behind Act, 2001 • Aligned system of standards and assessments • Accountability for all students • State and local adequate yearly progress
IEPs and the Content Standards Elementary and Secondary Education Act • Added accountability by requiring demonstrated progress on state standards • Required all students assessed on grade level standards. All includes Students with Disabilities as a reported subgroup. • In keeping with the requirements of ESEA, each state developed content standards and assessments to measure student achievement of those standards.
IEPs and the Content Standards The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) 34 CFR 300.320(a)(2)(i)(A) The IEP must contain a statement of measurable goals designed to “…meet the child’s needs…to enable the child to be involved in and make progress in the general education curriculum…” While IDEA does not specifically address content standards, the words “make progress in the general education curriculum” expresses the expectation students with disabilities will receive the services needed to learn and achieve grade level standards.
IEPs and the Content Standards How do ESEA and IDEA Intersect? • Both express the expectation that all students will reach a proficient level of achievement. • Both require all students participate on statewide assessments that measure that achievement. • Both state that access to the general curriculum is essential to closing the achievement gaps and reaching AYP goals for subgroups of students.
IEPs and the Content Standards Section II Opportunity to Learn Access to the General Education Curriculum
IEPs and the Content Standards What is the “general education curriculum”? The full range of courses, activities, lessons, and materials routinely used by the general population of a school. • Content standards should be the foundation for: • the general education curriculum, • the use of various instruction strategies, • the selection of appropriate service delivery models, and • the selection of effective accommodations.
IEPs and the Content Standards What are content standards? • Content standards define in detail what students should know and be able to do at the end of a grade level or grade span. These standards provide the foundation for instruction. Standards-based curriculum and instruction • Is a process for teaching all students clearly defined academic content standards for the purpose of improving academic achievement. • Is the establishment of consistent expectations for all students.
IEPs and the Content Standards What is meant by “access”? Access occurs when students with disabilities are actively engaged in learning the content and skills that define the general education curriculum. (Access Center, 2003). • Modifications to curriculum for a student with disabilities should not be considered until a variety of accommodations (or combination of accommodations) have been consistently implemented, monitored, and adjusted with little or no sign of improvedstudent achievement.
IEPs and the Content Standards Access is not: • sitting in a general education classroom doing work that is unrelated to the grade-level standards other students are studying. • sitting in a general education classroom listening to content that is meaningless to the student because 1) it is too difficult, 2) accommodations are not provided, or 3)instructional strategies do not meet the student’s needs. • working on below-grade-level standards.
IEPs and the Content Standards “How students learn content is the partner to how teachers structure and present information.” Dr. Marilyn Friend • There are numerous strategies that help students better learn standards-based content in the general education classroom. • These are only a few strategies that are beneficial for all students • Cooperative learning • Co-teaching • Peer tutoring • Tiering instruction • Learning centers
IEPs and the Content Standards Section III Why Align IEPs to Standards
IEPs and the Content Standards Research, beginning in 1997, has found that when Special Education services do not address the general education curriculum the following is likely to occur: • Students with disabilities are often excluded from general education curriculum or only exposed in a moderate form. • Students with disabilities are almost always exposed to an alternate curriculum which was often “deficit-driven instruction.” • Students with disabilities, with limited access to the general education curriculum, often miss reaching their full academic potential
IEPs and the Content Standards IEPs that align with grade-level content standards and curriculum • reinforce the concepts that shape current education principles, policies, and practices. • encourage teachers and parents to consider all students as general education students with access to and support in the general education curriculum.
IEPs and the Content Standards Section IV Developing IEPs Aligned to Standards
IEPs and the Content Standards Developing IEPs that are aligned to content standards requires strong COLLABORATION between general education and special education teachers.
IEPs and the Content Standards Developing IEPs aligned to content standards requires increased collaboration and partnership between general education and special education teachers. Content Specialist Learning Specialist
IEPs and the Content Standards Inclusive schools foster collaboration. Elements of inclusive schools include: • Every educator working in the school is committed to the goal of helping all students achieve their potential. • Administrators are strong and vocal advocates for all students, adamant that they access the general curriculum with a system of supports around them. • Emphasis is on abilities rather than on disabilities. • Special education and other services do not exist as separate entities. • A variety of support services are available to students, including instruction in a separate setting – but only when it is the last option and only for as long as data indicate effectiveness. (Marilyn Friend, Inc. 2011)
IEPs and the Content Standards Inclusion and collaboration work best under the assumptions that : • The responsibility for the learning of students with disabilities is equally shared by both general and special education teachers. • It is the right of all students to be a part of the general education classroom. Students with disabilities do not have to “earn” that right. • Both general and special education teachers must understand the content and expectations of state standards. • Both general and special education teachers are actively involved throughout the writing, implementation, and evaluation of the IEP.
IEPs and the Content Standards Developing IEPs that are aligned to content standards is more productive when using Student Friendly Standards because students, parents, and other stakeholders understand the standards and their expectations.
IEPs and the Content Standards What are Student Friendly Standards? • Development began in March, 2011 • Work done by K-12 teachers from across the state under the direction of the Curriculum and Instruction Office of the Nebraska Department of Education. • K-12 Language Arts Standards and indicators written in words that are more easily understood and without educational terminology.
IEPs and the Content Standards Why were they written? • to better define learning targets so all students understand and become more engaged in their own learning. • to help students understand the “what” and “why” of the curriculum • to better define standards for families and community members.
IEPs and the Content Standards Why use Student Friendly Standards when writing an IEP? • IEP team members, including students and parents, will understand the grade-level academic expectations being addressed in the IEP. • Appropriate accommodations can be better determined knowing what grade-level learning is expected during the year. • Student Friendly Standards provide a road map for the IEP content based on student on student needs.
IEPs and the Content Standards What do Student Friendly Standards look like?
IEPs and the Content Standards What do Student Friendly Standards look like?
IEPs and the Content Standards What do Student Friendly Standards look like? http://www.education.ne.gov/AcademicStandards/index.html
IEPs and the Content Standards Section V Summarizing Points
IEPs and the Content Standards Developing IEPs aligned to grade-level standards is easier when remembering these Summarizing Points during the planning and writing process.
IEPs and the Content Standards Aligning IEPs to state content standards: • ties the IEP to the general education curriculum. • provides positive directions for goals and interventions. • uses state standards to identify specific content critical to the student’s achievement in the general education curriculum. • promotes an inclusive educational system through common language, curriculum, and goals. • encourages higher expectations for students with disabilities.
IEPs and the Content Standards Steps in developing IEPs aligned to state content standards: • Always consider the grade-level content standards for the grade in which student is enrolled. • Examine data to determine where the student is functioning in relationship to those standards. • Develop the present level of academic achievement and functional performance. • Design measurable goals aligned with grade-level standards. • Identify any accommodations needed to ensure students can access the general curriculum.
IEPs and the Content Standards “ You must learn, you can learn, you will learn. The fact that you have not yet learned means that I have not yet found the way to explain the subject so simply, so clearly, and so exactly that it is impossible for you not to understand. But I will find the way. I will not quit on you.” author unknown