Think about it. Common Core State Standards do not rhyme with Individual Educational Plans. Say it slowly. Listen to the words. They don’t go together. The whole point of CCSS is for everyone to get to the same standard. It is the same goal. You can argue that students with disabilities might get to the same goal in a different way…but it is not an individually designed goal.
Parents need honesty and they need teachers who rally to bring their child forward from whatever point they find them. Implying that the child is not quite right if they don’t master the standards is an insult. Telling all parents of students with disabilities that their child is going to do the general curriculum and master the same standards as everyone else, is nothing short of irresponsible.
I am not saying some students with disabilities cannot do all of the above. But the reality is some will not. Many students will have special needs for their whole life. I don’t care how many books are written about aligning standards—Common Core OR State Standards—to IEPs. The truth is, forcing all special education students to master standards is cruel and unusual. It is definitely not what the old idea of individual educational planning was all about.
There are all kinds of questions in general about standards. How many do we need? Do we need any standards? If standards are so great and we have had them for years, why are public schools closing? Why are we getting MORE untested, unpiloted standards?
I wrote this post today out of a great deal of frustration trying to find information to show how CCSS connects with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The trouble is the reauthorizations that have taken place over the years have stripped the original law, PL 94-142, of its meaning and original intent, so there really isn’t much special about special education.
I am disappointed in many of my fellow special educators who go along with the false idea that all students with disabilities must adhere to the Common Core State Standards. The belief is that all students with disabilities must have schooling that will include proper alignment of standards to individual educational plans. Students will become like everybody else with just the right goals leading to the mastery of the standards.
I have also noticed with Common Core that they are long on goals and short on strategies to reach them!
Directors who have bought into this false ideology, are leading special education and regular teachers over the cliff. Many will get fired when the next value added testing scam is rolled out. They will not be able to get their students to reach the standards, and when they walk out the door they will be leaving special ed. students in the lurch. I have yet to see how CCSS will address the students who DON’T master the standards. So far I have seen NO safety net.
The idea that all students, including those with disabilities, must master the same standards is an insult to the differences ALL children display. Common and individual do not rhyme no matter how you try to make it so.
Note: I wrote this post in 2013. Ask yourselves how many parents are currently upset. Children with mild to moderate learning disabilities are not being served. Then look at Common Core State Standards if you want to know why.
Expecting gen ed kids to all reach the same standard is ridiculous. Kids are as individual as fingerprints. Please use this IEP wedge to continue fighting common standards for all kids. I have three children, all with the same mother and father and the same raising, and they are as different as they can be. I would rather they flunk than conform. High school isn’t teaching any valuable real-life skills anyway. Skills like 1) how to get it right the first time, 2) how to get it in ON time, 3) how to recover from failure without “re-dos”, 4) how to own your learning. Common Core does nothing to address these skills. I am certified in math and special ed, teach high school math full-time and college math, part-time. My BEST college student is a dual-enrolled senior in high school…who is and has been home-schooled since birth, I think. She does her work, does it on-time, doesn’t whine, doesn’t make excuses, and owns her learning. My older two children are home-schooling ever since the implementation of CC in our local schools.
Thank you for sharing!! As a high school special education teacher for 18 years, I couldn’t agree with you more!!!
My husband and I adopted our granddaughter when she was two. She is now 9 and we are 64 and 62. I am trying to understand how all of this testing and common core is going to affect her and us in the coming years. We absolutely cannot afford a private education. She reads to me each night and struggles with comprehension. Her teachers have been wonderful and I hate that teachers are being judged by test scores. There is no common sense in common core.
Nancy Bailey says
I think it is wonderful what you are doing for your granddaughter! Keep up the good work! Continue supporting her and her teachers!
I am an ESE teacher and I couldn’t agree more. Thank you for writing this.
I so agree. When does this insanity stop? How do we as special educators help make it stop so that we can focus on teaching our students what they really need to know, based on their individual strengths and needs. I am tired of trying to explain to parents the “game” that the rules and regs, federal and state departments want us to play. In my state we are being told that even our social skills and adaptive behavior goals must be tied to CCS…we need a crash course in creative writing…
My son was a learning disability I went to his IEP each year his plan was made for him. He had PT, OT, and speech with a half day kindergarten. I requested he have therapy on the other half of the day. He did. He was in the special Ed room a great deal of the time until 7th grade and then was main streamed with accommodation. We read everything from Harry potter to earth science to him. He graduated from college magnum cum laud. He learned he had to do things differently in order to achieve his goal. I am thankful he does not have to go through this common core stuff. I am a teacher and no matter what I go based on the needs of the students.
Nancy Bailey says
Good for you, Beth! It sounds like you did and do everything right for your son and your students! I thoroughly agree–go with what your students need. Don’t you wish students would be looked at as individuals? I always thought that special ed. would take us in that direction.
I love this. I’m a mom of a 9 yr old boy w high functioning autism. This is prefect!!!!!
He is smart but not of the standards laid down by Common Core. I have shared this w the CPSE of his school.
Thank you for writing this.