Creating IEPs Aligned to Common-Core Standards

In our Oct.1 #ewedchat, we looked for solid tips for special educators who are working to write standards-based individualized education programs that connect to the Common Core State Standards in reading and math. Staff writer Christina Samuels (@OnSpecEd) moderated the chat.

  1. In 2013, Education Week staff writer Christina Samuels reported on how many educators were struggling to break the core standards down into actionable goals:
  2. The challenge continues. To help special educators working to address the difficulties of tying common standards into IEPs, we hosted a Twitter chat looking for advice and resources.
  3. Educators offered different views on how much training they had received in writing standards-based IEPs.
  4. So let’s dive in! Q1: Have you had any #specialed-specific training on #CCSS in general? If not, why? Answer with A1 and #ewedchat
  5. A1: Gen ed teacher here but no there has been no specific training for #specialed #ewedchat
  6. A1: school mandated using #CCSS for writing IEP goals, but other than instr. in writing goals for alt assmt, no formal training #ewedchat
  7. A1: Have had some training in-house on using CCSS to write goals. Been writing based on CC for several years #ewedchat
  8. #ewedchat A1: Some. Ltd to General explanation, gen ed roll out via curriculum, and then wait and see attitude.
  9. Many teachers in the chat said that their state or district had some resources available to assist them.
  10. Q2: What tools, if any, are you using to help you write CCSS-aligned IEP goals? Answer with A2 and #ewedchat
  11. A2: our esped IEP system has a bank of the CCSS for each subject and grade to correlate to our goals. #ewedchat
  12. A2: MA puts out resource guides for alt. assmt with entry points all the way to profound needs. I work from those to build IEPs. #ewedchat
  13. A2: We started a school/district "goal bank" to help each other #ewedchat
  14. @EdWeekTeacher @OnSpecEd #ewedchat Partial CCSS bank on web based iep system. Sped teachers driving need/ priority for more resources.
  15. Linking student goals to standards requires sophisticated use of teachers' skills: 
  16. Q3: What work are you doing to make grade-level curriculums more accessible? Please answer with A3 and #ewedchat
  17. A3: use of aligned assessments and weekly co-planning time for teachers to collaborate #ewedchat
  18. A3: co-teaching, formative assessment and differentiation #ewedchat
  19. A3 We are at the beginning stages- Understanding the essence of the standards will be key #ewedchat
  20. @EWedchat A3 lots of thematic inquiry projects with varying entry points and varied endpoints, cotaught classes & students sharing outcomes
  21. Collaboration with general education teachers is key, some chatters said.
  22. Q4: Do your schools/districts encourage collaboration between gen-ed/specialed on CCSS and IEPs? Answer w/ A4, #ewedchat
  23. A4: yes!!! We built in co-planning time, pd sessions, cross-department time, and release time. #collaboration #ewedchat
  24. A3 New #ccss based textbooks offer lots of resources in both Word & pdf makes modifying & differentiating easier #ewedchat
  25. This question prompted many responses—a lot of educators indicated this was a concern for them. 
  26. Q5: Is there a built-in tension between "individualized" and "standards-based" goals? Pls answer with A5 and #ewedchat
  27. Q5 Absolutely! Tension and a disconnect to #ccss. Makes high stakes evaluations miserable for both Ts & Ss. #ewedchat
  28. A5: I see more tension btw developmentally-minded goal-writers and #inclusion minded #CCSS minded goal writers. Philosophy shift. #ewedchat
  29. A5: I have heard good Ts complain that #CCSS is taking the individual out of IEP. Need to educate Ts better. #ewedchat
  30. A5 PARCC testing & attaching those results to teacher evaluations makes special ed stuck between a rock & a hard place. #ewedchat
  31. @OnSpecEd @gallianstone i consider myself a "good" T and feel that #ccss provide greater academic freedom #ewedchat
  32. @DrYannucci @OnSpecEd As do I. But we need to educate the Ts who are struggling to see it, not throw them under the bus. #ewedchat
  33. @EdWeekTeacher @OnSpecEd #ewedchat q5 only if we think so. Writing goals unique 2 where each S is in progress 2ward standard seems logical
  34. Resources are available for teachers who need them, said some chatters. In a December 2013 blog post, I listed a few. 
  35. Q6: Are there places online (or elsewher) where #specialed teachers can share tips with others on CCSS and IEPs? A6 and #ewedchat
  36. @cherthelaughs Find materials You can modify. I have textbook materials that come in both WORD & PDF. Allows me 2 modify content #ewedchat
  37. A6: do know about sped teachers, but #SLPeeps go to @ASHAWeb for great info.#ewedchat
  38. This concluded the discussion. For more news and analysis related to special education, check out the On Special Education blog.
  39. Thank you to everyone who participated or watched our Twitter chat. These chats are held every first and third Wednesday of every month using the hashtag #ewedchat. Follow @EWedchat on Twitter for reminders and for archives of all chats.