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Common Core May Offer Boost for Standards-Based IEPs

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act made it possible for most students with disabilities to attend public schools. But educators say that it's still a struggle to ensure that those students have access to the same academic curriculum as their peers.

Some hope that the push to adopt common core academic standards (which Education Week has been covering thoroughly) may bring new energy to incorporating standards in individidualized education programs. The standards writers have reaffirmed the belief that all students should have access to rigorous academic work.

I wrote about this topic a few days ago, and I wanted to point to some sources for people who are interested in learning more.

The National Center for Learning Disabilities published an advocacy brief for parents that was written by friend-of-the-blog Candace Cortiella. She notes, in a comment at the end of my article, that while access to the general curriculum is one part of the puzzle, parents must also ensure that the curriculum is aligned to that child's enrolled grade level.

Project Forum, a collaboration between the National Association of State Directors of Special Education and the U.S. Department of Education, has also written about standards-based IEPs and how they are being implemented nationwide. You can check out a document written in 2006 here, and read about steps to creating an standards-based IEP at this link.

My article cited a book, Aligning IEPs to Academic Standards For Students with Moderate and Severe Disabilities. That book is not available for free, but you can read an excerpt here. And this entry from a blog called The Demanding Classroom offers a teacher's perspective on how to consider academic standards when it comes to educating students with severe disabilities.

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