Special Education in an Era of Inclusion and Standards Tracie Bristol
Critical Legislature in Special Education Legislation has had a significant impact on special education, both positive and negative. For many years, educational services were not provided to those with disabilities, and with the current legislation, it is now mandated for all. Laws that had a specific impact on the education of students with special needs include No Child Left Behind, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Section 504, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) (PL 107-110) This law, created under President Bush, is the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. There are few key provisions included in this law: Increased accountability through the implementation of statewide standards in the core subjects, annual testing of students, and adequate yearly progress (AYP) evaluations for districts and schools Parent and student choice - funds available for parents to move their children out of a failing school as well as obtain supplemental instruction for their student if needed
No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) (PL 107-110) Greater flexibility to states, school districts, and schools with the distribution of educational funds Putting reading first by setting a goal that all students can read by the end of third grade Highly qualified teachers - set a goal of having all teachers fully qualified by 2006, a goal that has not yet been achieved
No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) (PL 107-110) NCLB is a law that has a clear emphasis on standards and high-stakes testing as a way of assessing progress. This law applies to all students, but it comes into play in special education in that, in the past, students with special needs were not always included in the assessment process. Now the students are required to meet the standards and demonstrate their knowledge through statewide testing.
Individuals with Disabilities Act of 2004 (IDEA) (Public Law 94-142) This particular law had been amended three different times prior to 2004. The original law initially provided funding to the states to help develop, expand, and improve special education programs. The law helped to provide an appropriate education to all students, especially those with special needs, as well as ensured the rights of such students. There are six key provisions of IDEA: free, appropriate education, appropriate evaluation, individualized education program, least restrictive environment, parent and student participation in decision making, and procedural safeguards.
Individuals with Disabilities Act of 2004 (IDEA) (Public Law 94-142) Free, Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) Special education or related services necessary to meet the needs of a student with special learning needs must be provided by the student's school district, at the district's expense Appropriate Evaluation A full, individual, nondiscriminatory evaluation must be conducted, and a parent must approve such an evaluation
Individuals with Disabilities Act of 2004 (IDEA) (Public Law 94-142) Individualized Education Program (IEP) Written document, required for all students receiving services, that summarizes a students learning goals and the services the student requires, based on the student's present levels of performance The process creates better lines of communication between parents and other educational professionals by requiring regular meetings about the student's IEP Requires that transition planning - a set of activities that prepares the student for the transition between school and their post-school path - start for students before reaching age 16
Individuals with Disabilities Act of 2004 (IDEA) (Public Law 94-142) Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) Provides students the opportunity to study in the most inclusive setting, most commonly defined as the general education setting Parent and Student Participation in Decision Making Parental consent must accompany every decision that affects their student with special needs Procedural Safeguards Specific safeguards set up to protect the rights of the student and the parents
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act The major importance of Section 504 is that it allows for students that are not accounted for under IDEA to receive the accommodations they need. These are students who suffer from a physical or mental impairment that substantially limit their ability to perform major life activities, such as learn in a classroom setting without accommodations.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) The ADA was passed in 1990, and while it's educational implications are nearly the same as those afforded under Section 504, ADA gives broader civil rights coverage for individuals with disabilities, a key element being protecting those who are &quot;otherwise qualified&quot; from being discriminated against.
Key Elements of Special Education in Schools Today In educational reform, there has been a consistent demand for accountability and system reform. Absent from those calls for reform was attention to the students requiring special services. This changed with the passing of NCLB, and now special education became a focus, gaining the opportunities and answering to the accountability set forth by the law. There have been a number of key elements in special education that have been introduced in schools today, including standards-based education, inclusion, response to intervention or multi-tiered instruction, universal design for learning, differentiated instruction, evidence-based practices, and diversity consideration.
Standard-Based Education All content that is taught must be tied to the standards set forth by the state in the core subject areas Two key features of standards: Types of standards Content - knowledge and skills obtained in academic subjects Performance - levels that students must achieve through demonstration of proficiency Elements of standards Standard - general statement of what a student should be able to do Benchmark - specific statement of what a student should be able to do Indicator - statement of demonstrated knowledge or skills in reaching a benchmark
Standards-Based Education Student Accountability NCLB requires that all students in grades 3-8 participate in high-stakes testing - including those with special needs Most students with disabilities take the same assessment as their non-disabled peers Some students with disabilities require accommodations to take state assessments Still fewer students will be exempt from the same assessment as their peers and will be administered an alternative assessment The accommodations needed by the student are documented in the student's IEP
Inclusion Inclusion means that students with special needs are educated in the general education classroom, but also that they feel as though they belong and are accepted by their peers. It is the responsibility of the instructor to create en environment of belonging and success for all.
Response to Intervention Multi-Tiered Instruction This instructional technique provides levels of intervention to meet the needs of students who are at-risk or have special learning needs. All of the interventions are research-based. The evidence for each student is documented and evaluated in order to determine if the current level of instruction is yielding results for the student. If not, the student will be referred to a higher tier. A student will be referred for special education services in tier 2, and only if the student is unsuccessful with the supplemental instruction provided in tier 2.
Response to Intervention Multi-Tiered Instruction Tier 2: High-Quality Targeted Supplemental Instruction Supplemental instruction given in a small group setting in addition to the general classroom setting Serves approximately 15% of students Tier 3: High-Quality Intensive Intervention Supplemental instruction provided in a very small group or individual setting in addition to core instruction Serves approximately 5% of students Tier 1: High Quality Core Instruction. Students achieve expected goals in the general education setting Serves all students
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Universal design for Learning curriculum designed to be accessible to all students, with built-in supports so even those students who need extra assistance will find the curriculum accessible. Curriculum that incorporates UDL features: Goals that provide students with challenge Materials are flexible to allow multiple representations of content and support for all students Methods are flexible and diverse Assessment is flexible and gives teachers the opportunity to adjust instruction as needed
Differentiated Instruction Differentiated instruction reformulates the term &quot;individualized instruction.&quot; It allows for a wide range of student needs to be met within the general education classroom.
Evidence-Based Practices Current legislation require teachers to use interventions that are research-based - the technique an educator is using needs to have evidence that it is effective with the group of students with which he or she is using it.
Diversity consideration Diversity means that not all students represent the stereotypical image of a student. There are different dimensions of diversity including: Cultural Racial-Ethnic Setting English Language Learners Economic Sexual Orientation Intellectual/Cognitive Physical/Sensory Behavorial
Things to take away... Legislation has helped to protect the rights of persons with disabilities Curriculum needs to be designed for the student, not the label Inclusion is more than location, it is also a sense of belonging
Sources Polloway, E. A., et al. (2008). Teaching Learners with Special Needs. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall. Inclusion is Belonging. YouTube video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9-XX9227ek Response to Intervention: A Tiered Approach to Instructing All Students. YouTube video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkK1bT8ls0M UDL At A Glance. YouTube video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDvKnY0g6e4 http://www.schools.manatee.k12.fl.us/webdisk/6141PROFDEV2/rti/triangle.gif http://bryanking.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/special_education1.jpg