While Common Core’s focus on math and English language arts does nothing to address the needs of students with disabilities, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) re-authorizations weren’t great either. Much of IDEA (the changing of PL-94-142) was to make students with disabilities over into normalized regular ed. students.
Individual Educational Plans were to be aligned with regular ed. goals in order to cut costs. This included students with disabilities taking regular assessments. You could say IDEA paved the way for Common Core State Standards (CCSS).
All of this was made to sound like a gift. Give all students the same standards. Give them a “normal” curriculum the same as everyone else! Students with disabilities were to also get individualized assistive technology. In other words, they’d get plopped down in front of some unproven computer program so the regular ed. teacher could deal with the rest of the class of thirty of forty students.
But foisting regular standards, now CCSS, into an IEP, diminishes what an IEP stands for. As many would say, it removes the “special” from special education.
Some parents who deal with disabilities run the risk of wanting so badly to have the ideal so-called “normal,” whatever that is, they will settle for those regular standards (CCSS) even if they aren’t helping their child. But it is the wrong move because with specialized help their child can actually approach and approximate a better education!
Individualized learning accommodations can be just the ticket to assist a child with disabilities and really, individualization should be the goal for all children!
Allowing test accommodations can also help teachers and specialists understand what a child actually knows, and where their disability gets in the way. Removing all test modifications for students with disabilities is an underhanded move to make teachers and schools look bad.
Parents of students with disabilities are wising up. They see parents whose students might not have disabilities fighting against CCSS and standards. Every parent wants something more. Every parent wants a more individualized plan and personalized attention for their child.
Voila! It’s just as important, or more important, for students with disabilities to get individualized attention for their learning needs!
This is another wish this Christmas season.
Also, just to let you know, I am working to revise this website and blog for the new year. As always, I welcome your suggestions.
I hope Santa filled your stockings with blessings and good cheer. Peace on Earth and a Greater Individualized Education for All Children in 2014!