What questions should Ms. Flores and Mr. Ericson ask the general and special education teachers?

Page 8: Legal Standards

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that special education practices be included in standards-based reform. To specify how a student will access the general education curriculum, a student’s individualized education program (IEP) must include:

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  • A statement of the child’s present levels of educational performance, including how the child’s disability affects his or her involvement in the general curriculum.
  • Measurable annual goals related to meeting the child’s needs.
  • Descriptions of modifications or supports that the child will need to:
    • Advance toward attaining the annual goals.
    • Progress in the general curriculum.
    • Participate in extracurricular or other nonacademic activities.
    • Participate in activities with other children with and without disabilities.

These requirements apply to all children with disabilities, regardless of their educational setting.

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In the past, students with disabilities were isolated from general education. Assessments for these students tested immediate and discrete skill deficits. IEPs were collections of isolated skill objectives that led to isolated instruction. The IEP too often became the curriculum for the student, rather than a tool for defining how to implement a general education curriculum. The mandate to link the IEP to the general education curriculum and standards reflects the higher standards that should be expected of students with disabilities.

 
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