The Common Core State Standards are well on the way to implementation across the country, but many special educators are still finding it a struggle to connect those standards to their students’ individualized education programs—and still meet their students’ varying needs.
That was one of the takeaways during a Twitter chat held Oct. 1 that focused on the topic. Some participants said they had received specific training on the issue and had been writing standards-based IEPs for a long time. But there were also teachers who said that they had been given no specific guidance, and their questions showed they were still worried about how best to help students, for instance, having to write goals related to early literacy for a student who is a junior in high school.
Part of the challenge for teachers is that IEPs aligned with academic standards are, for some, still a “learning process,” as an educator said for a story I wrote back in 2010. Many of the educators in the Twitter chat demonstrated sophisticated knowledge of how to do this, but like any practice, some have a more solid understanding than others.
Many educators indicated positive—or at least neutral—feelings about the standards themselves. That is an iinteresting counterpoint to the loud, negative assessments coming from many quarters. But there was considerable concern about common-core assessments, particularly how they may be used to evaluate a teacher’s performance. (Many states have decided to take the federal government up on its offer to keep student test scores out of teacher evaluations until the end of this school year.)
A recap is below. And remember: Follow @EWedchat for updates and recaps on all of our Twitter chats, which are held on the first and third Wednesday of each month.
A version of this news article first appeared in the On Special Education blog.