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The Laws and Legislature Governing Special Education By Amy Atkinson
NCLB-No Child Left Behind It was developed in 2001 to better serve the “neediest” of students in schools and hold schools accountable. It relies heavily on standards and high-stake tests in order to get accountability from schools. Some of the key provisions are… Increased Accountability Parent and Student Choice Greater flexibility to states, school districts, and schools Putting reading first Highly qualified teachers
Pros and Cons of NCLB Those who favor NCLB feel that because of it students with disabilities are not included in the accountability process of results. They are able to see a true picture of where students should be. Teachers, parents, and students should develop higher expectations resulting in higher achievement. Those who oppose NCLB feel that the same-standards approach can conflict with IEPs. Students on IEP or other intervention plans may have high failure rates because of the high-stakes testing and pressure with these tests.
IDEA 2004(EHA Public Law 94-142) Authorized funding to states to assist in the development, expansion, and improvement of special education. This law insured the rights of ALL children with disabilities.
FAPE-Free Appropriate Public Education(A principle of IDEA) Under IDEA came FAPE which said that school districts must provide special education and related services necessary to meet the needs of students with special learning requirements. If for some reason the school can not provide the necessary services at public expense it must provide transportation and/or other related services to ensure the best education for the student.
Zero Reject and Parent’s Rights(Principles of IDEA) Zero Reject states that no child can be denied education because they are “uneducable.” Parents have the final say in a child’s education. Under IDEA, before a child can receive special education parental consent must be granted and must be part of the team. Disciplinary language is also covered with the parents. They help in making behavior plans and other intervention plans.
LRE-Least Restrictive Environment and Due Process(Principles of IDEA) IDEA states that all schools must educate students with disabilities in the general education classroom. It provides an opportunity for students to attend school in the most inclusive setting. The Due Process ensures that children with disabilities receive FAPE.
Section 504 and ADA Section 504 is part of the Rehabilitation Act and states that ant student who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities can qualify for special services. Americans with Disabilities Act is similar to the the implications of Section 504. It represents broad civil rights coverage for individuals who are disabled. This law establishes guidelines for employment, public accommodations, transportation, etc. for individuals who are under this act. It protects individuals with disabilities who are “otherwise qualified” discrimination.
Standard Based Education and Student Accountability Standard Based Education is that what is taught must be tied to the state content and performance standards in all the core subjects. Student Accountability is the idea that standards need to have accountability and they receive that through student evaluations. All students take these standardized tests for accountability through NCLB. Students with disabilities take the same tests that students without disabilities take but receive accommodations. Those with more significant needs with be exempt or given an alternative test.
Inclusion, Differentiated Instruction and RTI(Response To Intervention) Inclusion-All children need and want the opportunity to feel included and accepted. They need a sense of belonging. Educators need to know how to respond to children with disabilities to ensure they are feeling included by differentiating their instruction. Differentiated Instruction- RTI-a multilevel or tier prevention system to maximize student achievement and reduce behavior problems. Schools identify students at risk for learning outcomes, monitor student progress, and provide interventions. Ongoing data is collected through this process to ensure students are monitored and guided enough so no further disabilities develop.
UDL(Universal Learning Design) and Evidence-Based Practices UDL- 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. -It’s a proactive approach, attends to individual needs in a general setting rather than drawing attention to just one individual, uses technologies and electronic resources. Evidence-Based Practices- teachers need to have evidence for why they are teaching what they are teaching. There must be reasons, standards, and evidence for what they teach.
Diversity Consideration Diversity has increased in the schools through a variety of items such as, behavioral, cultural, physical sensory, cognitive, racial/ethnic, sexual orientation, economic, ELL, and setting. It’s important to be aware of all this diversity when teaching. Teachers need to differentiate their instruction so all students get a positive and enriching learning experience. Diversity makes me a little nervous because I know I’m going to have a diverse classroom and I want all my students to get the most out of their learning. As a teacher I am hoping my lessons will accomplish this task.