Improving the Educational Outcomes of Students
with Disabilities and Other Struggling Learners
through Policy and Practice...
Why We Should Focus on Educational
Outcomes of Students
International and national policies and discussions about students...
Inclusive Education and Education
Outcomes: International Context
Salamanca Statement and Framework for Action on Special ...
Inclusive Education and Education
Outcomes: International Context
Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OE...
Inclusive Education and Education
Outcomes: The US experience
1965 ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY
EDUCATION ACT (ESEA)

1975 EDU...
Inclusive Education and Education
Outcomes: The US 1980-1990
NATIONAL EDUCATION POLICY

SPECIAL EDUCATION POLICY

Closing ...
Inclusive Education and Education
Outcomes: The US 1990s-present
NATIONAL EDUCATION POLICY

SPECIAL EDUCATION POLICY

Stan...
Current US Policy Students with Special
Education Needs
Outcomes are universally defined and measured through common asses...
What are the implications of the US
policy shift and what has been learned?
Common
Curriculum

Skilled General
Education C...
Curriculum
Curriculum policies must consider all students and curriculum must be designed to lead to the
specified outcome...
Curriculum
It is important to understand what is meant by the term “curriculum”…
◦ The formal curriculum defines the scope...
Examples of common accommodations
LEARNING PROBLEM

EXAMPLE OF ACCOMMODATIONS

Students who read slowly or with difficulty...
Skilled Teachers
Never underestimate the importance of skilled general and special education teachers…some
research in the...
Multi-System of Supports
Schools should be organized to provide multi-level system of academic, social and other
supports ...
Multi Level System of Supports
Individualized intensive
instruction
5% of the students
Supplemental small group
instructio...
Schools must support collaboration
among teachers and other professionals
A Multi-System of Supports requires collaboratio...
Summary
•The education of students with special education needs must be guided by clearly stated and
explicit expectations...
Thank you!
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Margaret J. Mclaughlin - Improving the Educational Outcomes of Students with Disabilities and Other Struggling Learners through Policy and Practice Reform -

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MARGARET J. MCLAUGHLIN, ASSOCIATE DEAN FOR RESEARCH AND OUTREACH AND PROFESSOR OF SPECIAL EDUCATION, COLLEGE OF EDUCATION
UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND, COLLEGE PARK MD

Improving the Educational Outcomes of Students with Disabilities and Other Struggling Learners through Policy and Practice Reform

IEFE Forum 2014

Published in: Education
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Margaret J. Mclaughlin - Improving the Educational Outcomes of Students with Disabilities and Other Struggling Learners through Policy and Practice Reform -

  1. 1. Improving the Educational Outcomes of Students with Disabilities and Other Struggling Learners through Policy and Practice Reform MARGARET J. MCLAUGHLIN, A S SOCI ATE DEA N FOR R ES EARCH A N D OU T R EACH A N D P ROF ESSOR OF S P ECIA L E DU CAT I ON, COL L EG E OF E DU CAT ION U N I V ERSITY OF M A RYL AND, COL L EG E PA R K M D
  2. 2. Why We Should Focus on Educational Outcomes of Students International and national policies and discussions about students with special education needs…particularly those with disabilities have centered on creating “inclusive education” and provision of services Definitions of what constitutes an “inclusive education” are ambiguous or overly broad as well as services There is also a growing tension between the ideology of “inclusive education” and the global focus on improving students’ educational outcomes such as increased achievement on assessments, completion of secondary and post-secondary or tertiary education This presentation will focus on how specification of the outcomes is an essential first step in the development of educational policies and practices for students with the greatest educational needs
  3. 3. Inclusive Education and Education Outcomes: International Context Salamanca Statement and Framework for Action on Special Needs Education (1994) – ◦ “Every child has a fundamental right to education and must be given the opportunity to achieve and maintain an acceptable level of learning” “Those with special education needs must have access to regular schools which should accommodate them within a child centered pedagogy…” ◦ “Regular schools with..inclusive orientation are the most effective means of combatting discriminatory attitudes, creating welcoming communities, building an inclusive society and achieving education for all…” (p.viii-ix)
  4. 4. Inclusive Education and Education Outcomes: International Context Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank promote equal access to education for all children … equity in access to education is considered a central strategy in improving economic productivity through the development of specific skills …such as mathematics, science and technology
  5. 5. Inclusive Education and Education Outcomes: The US experience 1965 ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION ACT (ESEA) 1975 EDUCATION OF ALL HANDICAPPED CHILDREN ACT (PL 94-142) Goal was to address educational inequities with a primary focus on students living in poverty Provide access to publicly funded education to any and all children with a disability (ages 321)-”zero reject” Goal was to “close the achievement gap” between low income students and middle class students Each child was to have an “appropriate education” which is individually designed through a legally prescribed process and which must provide some (meaningful) educational benefit (IEP) Primary focus was on providing additional money to states for schools
  6. 6. Inclusive Education and Education Outcomes: The US 1980-1990 NATIONAL EDUCATION POLICY SPECIAL EDUCATION POLICY Closing gap in achievement and global competitiveness become the nation’s focus Boundaries between general and special education are solidified Nation at Risk Special education focuses on “inclusion” defined as the education of students with disabilities in general classrooms Educational Summit Standards and assessment reforms become the the dominant model
  7. 7. Inclusive Education and Education Outcomes: The US 1990s-present NATIONAL EDUCATION POLICY SPECIAL EDUCATION POLICY Standards, assessment and accountability mandates increased and include all students Focus shifted to closing the achievement gap Focus on closing the achievement gap sharpened Concerns about global competitiveness heightened Policies and practices directed to providing access to the regular curriculum and grade level standards, full participation in all assessments and full accountability and transparency of the achievement of students receiving special education
  8. 8. Current US Policy Students with Special Education Needs Outcomes are universally defined and measured through common assessments and selected key indicators such as school completion and post-secondary enrollment and independent living. ◦ The current US educational policies that are based on universal standards, assessments and accountability is aligned with the OECD and other international policies that view the outcomes of education in terms of economic growth and competitiveness Inclusion is measured by the extent to which every student achieves the specified outcomes and provided an equal opportunity to learn the same content as other typical students. The emphasis is on ensuring access to the same curriculum and same quality of teaching which has led to increased access to the same classrooms for many students
  9. 9. What are the implications of the US policy shift and what has been learned? Common Curriculum Skilled General Education Content Teachers and Special Education Teachers Multi-System of Supports
  10. 10. Curriculum Curriculum policies must consider all students and curriculum must be designed to lead to the specified outcomes. The curriculum will drive specific school and classroom practices for students with special education needs with the goal of enabling students to reach the specified academic and social emotional outcomes ◦ Inclusive education assumes that there is a single curriculum that should be delivered to all students..but there is no assumption that there will be a single set of outcomes ◦ A major problem with the education of students who require special education has been the fragmented approach to education that too often results in “splintered knowledge and skill development”
  11. 11. Curriculum It is important to understand what is meant by the term “curriculum”… ◦ The formal curriculum defines the scope….the breadth of content… and the sequence…what gets taught each year of schooling leading to the specified outcomes. ◦ The taught curriculum refers to how teachers design day to day lessons that reflect the goals of the curriculum but can deviate from the curriculum. ◦ The taught curriculum should incorporate a variety of teaching strategies and accommodations that permit all students to have the opportunity to make progress toward the outcomes ◦ The taught curriculum should consider the principles of Universal Design for Learning or UDL http://www.cast.org/udl/ that provides multiple ways for students to obtain information and express what they know
  12. 12. Examples of common accommodations LEARNING PROBLEM EXAMPLE OF ACCOMMODATIONS Students who read slowly or with difficulty a “read-along” technique with taped texts and materials can allow the learning of printed materials Difficulty with memory Difficulty following instructions Difficulty learning through experience or observation tape lessons or a fellow student might share notes Give simple directions with visual cues and check student’s understanding Provide direct and explicit instruction
  13. 13. Skilled Teachers Never underestimate the importance of skilled general and special education teachers…some research in the US and UK estimates that anywhere from 30-40% of children who are considered to have special education needs are really the product of poor or inadequate teaching What skills should teachers have: ◦ General education teachers must have deep knowledge of the curriculum content they are expected to teach ◦ Special education teachers must know how to make accommodations that help individual students access the curriculum ◦ General and special education teachers must collaborate in designing instruction to individual or small groups of students who require more specialized or intensive teaching
  14. 14. Multi-System of Supports Schools should be organized to provide multi-level system of academic, social and other supports that involves all teachers and allow flexibility in where students learn and how they are instructed. These systems are being adopted across a number of states and schools districts in the US (see for example: http://www.fldoe.org/bii/pdf/fmtss.pdf
  15. 15. Multi Level System of Supports Individualized intensive instruction 5% of the students Supplemental small group instruction 15% of the students Whole class core curriculum with differentiated instruction 80% of the students
  16. 16. Schools must support collaboration among teachers and other professionals A Multi-System of Supports requires collaboration among teachers and other professionals Principals and school administrators must: ◦ Expect that teachers will use varied instructional strategies as well as help teachers learn those strategies through collaborative team-based professional development, planning and teaching http://nichcy.org/research/summaries/abstract81 ◦ Provide time and space for teachers to meet and discuss ways to improve instruction for struggling learners ◦ Monitor and evaluate the progress of all students
  17. 17. Summary •The education of students with special education needs must be guided by clearly stated and explicit expectations of what the outcomes should be. •We must shift the focus from where a student is educated to what students are learning and what outcomes they are attaining •Having clear outcomes for students with special educational needs will direct what students are taught •Teachers must be highly skilled in content as well as various instructional approaches and must be provided opportunities to collaborate and learn from each other •Schools must be organized flexibly in order to support students who may need more specialized instruction for some periods of time
  18. 18. Thank you!
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