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

Page 14: Summary

Although the wide variety of changes that can be made to instruction and assessment for students with disabilities can be confusing, it is helpful to think of them as a continuum.

  • Of course, for some students, such as those receiving only speech and language services, no changes may be necessary to the content or the instruction that is provided within the general curriculum.
    • For other students, instructional accommodations are made, but the student is expected to learn the same curriculum content as his or her peers in the classroom.
    • Increasing in intensity, curricular modifications begin to change the expectations regarding content as well as learner achievement and outcomes.
    • Finally, for some students, teachers may need to define a totally individualized set of content goals. These students usually do not participate in general assessments but instead receive alternate assessments.

Although you have just learned that changes to instruction and testing are critical for students with disabilities, it is not uncommon for other students or parents to complain that such changes seem unfair.

Listen now as Virginia Richardson describes how she responds when she hears complaints that accommodations or modifications received by students with disabilities aren’t “fair” (time: 1:29).  

 
 

esp_richardson
Virginia Richardson
PACER Center
(Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights)
Parent Training Manager
Minneapolis, MN

The following table outlines this continuum of changes that can be made to instruction and assessment for students with disabilities:

No Accommodations or Modifications Accommodations Modifications Alternate Assessment
Individualize all instruction
(IEP Goals/Objs)

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Instruction in general education

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Full participation in state and district assessment

List standards & special accommodations

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Instruction with accommodations in general education

down arrow

Individualized skill instruction
(IEP Goals/ Objs)

down arrow

Participate in state and district assessment with accommodations

Different or modified curricular goals

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Describe supplemental services and supports

down arrow

Individualized skill instruction

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Goals and Objectives based on modified content standards and or access skills

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Document reasons for alternate assessments

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Participate in state and district assessment or alternate assessments

Design Individualized Instruction

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Document compelling reasons for exemption from state and district assessments

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Describe alternate assessment

(Nolet & McLaughlin, 2000)

 

 
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