Chapter One Presentation
Special Education in an Era
of Inclusion and Standards
By: Marissa Kantor
Critical Legislative& Federal InitiativesNo Child Left Behind:
The reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. This Act was passed in 2001 with the intent to provide our “neediest” students with better services and hold schools more accountable. Some of the major benefits of the NCLB are increased accountability among school districts, parent and student choice in terms of schools, greater flexibility in terms of funding, emphasis on ensuring that every child can read by the end of third grade, and a goal to have all teachers be highly effective teachers by 2006.
IDEA has been amended three times (1983, 1990, 1997) prior to 2004.
Its original name was PL 94-142.
The objective of the law then was merely to provide an appropriate education to all students, this included students with disabilities.
Funding for these rights were dependent on adherence to mandated provisions.
The 2004 reauthorization of IDEA shifted the emphasis to providing all students with access to the general education curriculum.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004:
FAPE indicates that school districts must provide special education and related services necessary to meet the needs of students with special learning requirements.
If the school cannot provide such services, an outside agency will be hired for this purpose at the expense of the public.
Free, Appropriate Public Education
This refers to the fact that IDEA requires a full, independent initial evaluation must be performed on each and every student before they are to receive any special education or related services.
This law also requires that this evaluation be performed by a team, parental consent must be given, the testing must be in the student’s native language, there must be more than one assessment procedure/technique and reevaluations conducted when necessary.
An IEP is a written document that entails the parameters of a particular student’s learning program and is a requirement for that student to receive services.
The main purpose of the IEP is to determine goals for the student and how the school is going to make accommodations for these goals to be achieved.
It also lays the foundation for effective communication between school staff/administration and the child’s parent(s).
The IEP discusses particularly how their learning and behavior is impacted by their disability and the extent to which this child participates with nondisabled students or peers.
The IEP must also indicate transitional planning goals prior to age 16.
Individualized Education Program:
IDEA 2004 states that children with disabilities must receive as much education as possible in the general education setting alongside their peers.
The general education setting is most often referred to as the LRE. This allows as much inclusion for students with disabilities as possible.
Least Restrictive Environment:
The bottom line is that parental consent is absolutely necessary of every action taken toward a child with a disability.
Parents also maintain the right to obtain an independent educational evaluation (LEE) of their child.
Parents also maintain any right to appeal any decision of the special education process.
Parent and Student Participation in Decision Making:
These refer to safeguards included within IDEA to protect the rights of parents and their children.
In addition to the rights previously stated, parents have the right to their child’s educational records, to request a due process hearing, and the right to initiate civil action when appealing final hearing decision.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act allows any student who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities can qualify for special services. This is an extreme help to those students who perhaps do not qualify under IDEA.
This law establishes guidelines for employment, public accommodations, transportation, state and local government operations, and telecommunications systems.
A key element is to protect individuals with disabilities who are “otherwise qualified” from discrimination.
Americans with Disabilities Act:
The NCLB used to underscore the need for accountability through student evaluation.
Now the NCLB Act requires testing on an annual basis for all students in grades 3 through 8 in the areas of reading and mathematics.
Most students with disabilities take the same statewide tests as non-disabled students.
There is a percentage of disabled students who do receive an accommodation to take these tests, this must be documented in their IEP also.
Standards Based Education: Means that what is taught must be tied to the state-derived content and performance standards that now exist in almost all states in the core subject areas of language/English, mathematics, social studies, and science.
Inclusion: Referring to learning in an instructional environment that promotes educational success and a sense of belonging for all students. For most students with disabilities, this setting is in the general education setting amongst their peers.
Multi tiered: Instructional models for at-risk and special learners in most schools throughout the country. This type of instruction provides layers of intervention to meet student needs, increasing in intensity as a student progresses through different tiers over time.
LRE: Least Restrictive Environment, the environment that puts the least amount of restrictions on a student, that which allows them the most freedom to learn successfully.
UDL: Universal Design for Learning meaning the development of educational curricula and materials that include potent supports for access and learning from the start, rendering them effective for a far wider range of students than traditional materials. More simply it attends to individual needs in a general fashion that does not draw attention to any one individual.
Differentiated Instruction: is a process to approach teaching and learning for students of differing abilities in the same class. The intent of differentiating instruction is to maximize each student’s growth and individual success by meeting each student where he or she is, and assisting in the learning process.
Evidence Based Practice: Requiring teachers to use interventions that have evidence that they work with the populations with whom they are being used.
Diversity: In this sense, diversity implies that many students do not represent the stereotypic image of the typical student.
Empowerment: This concept is multifaceted and embraces many essential aspects of what it truly means to be respected and given dignity. It refers to a focus on empowerment and self-determination of individuals with disabilities.
“Strategies For Teaching Learners With Special Needs”, Ninth Edition by: Edward A. Poloway, James R. Patton, and Loretta Serna, published by Pearson Education.