I will be hosting a webchat from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET today, Nov. 25, featuring two experts who will talk about connecting Common Core State Standards to individualized education programs—the education blueprints used for students receiving special education services.
Linking IEPs to academic standards took on a higher profile with the creation of accountability measures under the No Child Left Behind Act. IEPs have tended to focus on a student’s acquisition of basic developmental or functional skills, divorced from a connection to academic work. In contrast, so-called standards-based IEPs outline how a school plans to bridge the gap between a child’s present level of performance and grade-level academic skills. (Project Forum, a information resource created by the National Association of State Directors of Special Education, published a document in 2006 that, while dated, still offers a good background on the process.)
Teachers were already finding it challenging to weave academics into education plans. And the implementation of the common core, now in place in 45 states and the District of Columbia, has thrown in another twist when it comes to writing standards-based IEPs.
Our guest experts are Carol Kosnitsky, a special education consultant based in New Hampshire who has traveled around the country to talk to teachers about the common core and IEPs, and Barbara Van Haren, who has done similar professional development work as the director of special education at a cooperative educational service agency serving more than 30 districts in southeastern Wisconsin.
You can submit your questions now and tune in live (all you need is a computer with internet access), or come back later to read a transcript of the discussion. I hope you have a chance to take part in what promises to be a lively conversation.
A version of this news article first appeared in the On Special Education blog.