The National Association of Secondary School Principals today released a set of recommendations for how lawmakers should change the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act when it’s up for reauthorization in 2010.
The group formed a task force, made up of 11 acting middle and high school principals and assistant principals and four representatives from higher education institutions, in 2007 to study IDEA and how to improve it. These are the task force’s nine recommendations, which touch on topics like assessments, paperwork, teacher shortages, and other issues that plague special education.
For more information on the following recommendations, check out the group’s Web site.
NASSP said the new IDEA should:
*Assist states and districts in effectively recruiting and retaining highly qualified special education teachers.
*Expand professional development opportunities and technical assistance that aids teachers, school leaders, and support personnel to more effectively provide instructional and other services to all students with disabilities.
*Begin transition planning that includes measurable postsecondary goals and transition services by the time a student reaches the age of 14 or by eighth grade.
*Research and develop exemplary models in the areas of instructional and intervention strategies, assessment tools, development of individualized education programs (IEPs), and transition planning in order to meet the needs of students with disabilities.
*Ensure a linkage between states’ data systems to streamline paperwork and increase consistent and appropriate access to services for students with disabilities who transfer between schools, districts, and states.
*Develop an assessment and accountability system for the purpose of calculating adequate yearly progress that allows for students with disabilities to be assessed at their current instructional level, as determined by the students’ IEP teams.
*Provide incentives for highly qualified teachers to acquire dual certification in special education and general education.
*Create a common set of standards of care and assessments for each of the disabilities enumerated in IDEA.
*Fully fund IDEA.
What do you think the new IDEA should address? Please comment below.
A version of this news article first appeared in the On Special Education blog.