Special Report

Moving Beyond the Mainstream

Helping Diverse Learners Master the Common Core
October 30, 2013
How well educators manage to adjust the common core to the needs of each student could prove pivotal scholastically, but also politically, as the standards themselves face skepticism in the states. This special report looks at the challenges educators face in adapting the standards for students with disabilities, English-learners, and gifted students.
  • Special Education 'Read Aloud' Assistance on Common Tests Proves Contentious
    The consortia developing common assessments are taking different approaches to addressing the controversial issue of accommodations for students with print-related disabilities.
    Christina A. Samuels, October 28, 2013
    8 min read
    Gina Tampio sits for a photograph as her husband, Nick Tampio, plays soccer with their sons, Giuliano, 7, Luca, 5, and Nicola, 2, in their backyard in Mamaroneck, N.Y. Tampio says Giuliano, who is in 2nd grade and an advanced learner, has lost interest in school since common-core standards rolled out at his elementary school last year.
    Gina Tampio sits for a photograph as her husband, Nick Tampio, plays soccer with their sons, Giuliano, 7, Luca, 5, and Nicola, 2, in their backyard in Mamaroneck, N.Y. Tampio says Giuliano, who is in 2nd grade and an advanced learner, has lost interest in school since common-core standards rolled out at his elementary school last year.
    Ramin Talaie for The Education Week
    College & Workforce Readiness Common Core Needs Tailoring for Gifted Learners, Advocates Say
    Pedagogically, the common-core standards are already akin to gifted education but teachers will still need guidance on how to differentiate them for the most able learners.
    October 28, 2013
    7 min read
    Standards Common Core Ratchets Up Language Demands for English-Learners
    The Common Core State Standards' focus on persuasion, analysis, and other discourse skills is accelerating the push to teach English-language learners to master "academic" English.
    Lesli A. Maxwell, October 28, 2013
    6 min read
    Special Education A Common-Core Challenge: Learners With Special Needs
    For students with special needs, English-learners, gifted students, and others beyond the mainstream, educators have to work harder to make new standards fit.
    Catherine Gewertz, October 28, 2013
    6 min read
    Teacher Meredith Vanden Berg works with Jose Virgen, an English-learner in her 8th grade science class in Beaverton, Ore. She has been working with other teachers in her school to develop strategies for helping English-learners master the common core.
    Teacher Meredith Vanden Berg works with Jose Virgen, an English-learner in her 8th grade science class in Beaverton, Ore. She has been working with other teachers in her school to develop strategies for helping English-learners master the common core.
    Leah Nash for Education Week
    Federal ESL and Classroom Teachers Team Up to Teach Common Core
    In some schools, the new standards are leading to a closer collaboration between content-area teachers and those who serve students with special needs.
    Lesli A. Maxwell, October 28, 2013
    10 min read
    Laura Boelens, 15, (in white) and Adam Roberge, 20, (right) use BrailleNote Apex Notetakers in computer class with Kate Crohan, Teacher of the Visually Impaired in the Secondary Program at Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Massachusetts, USA, on Tues., Oct. 15, 2013. The Apex has wifi capabilities and works as a word processor, web browser, calculator, and email device. Roberge, here, also uses a computer that reads the contents of the screen to him. Boelens is using the Apex to read news articles that Crohan has picked out for her. The Apex device is controlled through the braille keyboard buttons at the top. Emails and other documents are displayed in braille across the bottom row of the device. Crohan's class helps familiarize students with these devices and also general computer literacy.
    Laura Boelens, 15, left, and Adam Roberge, 20, work with teacher Kate Crohan in a computer class at Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Mass.
    M. Scott Brauer for Education Week
    Special Education Tech Assistance in Testing Poses Practical Issues
    The developers of tests aligned to the Common Core State Standards wrestle with how to provide assistive technology for students with disabilities, while assuring test security.
    Christina A. Samuels, October 28, 2013
    6 min read
    Special Education Common Core's Promise Collides With IEP Realities
    While special education teachers hope the standards will help students with disabilities access the general curriculum, they struggle to align individualized education programs to the rigorous academic goals.
    Christina A. Samuels, October 28, 2013
    4 min read