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IDEA and Special Education Annotated Essay

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Bowen, S. and Rude, H. (2006). Assessment and students with disabilities: Issues and challenges with educational reform. Rural Special Education Quarterly, 25 (3), pp. 24-30. Retrieved October 14, 2008, from Academic Search Premier database. Bowen and Rude pointed out that the 2004 reauthorization of IDEA reflected an effort to align IDEA with NCLB. This article focuses specifically on the problem of accountability, eligibility for special education services, summary of performance, and transition services for special education students. Also included are guiding principles for selecting appropriate accommodations for assessments.

Ketterlin-Geller, L. (2007). Recommendations for accommodations: Implications of (in)consistency. Remedial and Special Education, 28 (4), pp. 194-206. Retrieved October 14, 2008, from Academic Search Premier. The author noted the importance of appropriate accommodations for students who have special needs. Unfortunately, student IEPs are often not aligned with the actual accommodations that are made in the classroom. This disagreement between the classroom teacher and the IEP team results in inconsistent accommodations which, according to Ketterlin-Geller, have a negative effect on student outcomes.

The author outlined several possible causes for these inconsistencies.

Ketterlin-Geller concluded, “Regardless of the root cause for the disagreement between IEPs and teachers, the current system is placing teachers in the awkward position of enacting a set of predetermined, legally binding guidelines with the intention of providing the support needed for their students to succeed. ” Lynch, S. and Adams, P. (2008). Developing standards-based Individualized Education Program objectives for students with significant needs. Teaching Exceptional Children, 40 (3), pp. 36-39.

Retrieved October 14, 2008, from Academic Search Premier. Lynch and Adams noted the apparent conflict between the expectations of NCLB and the requirements of IDEA described guidelines that may be used to help districts to develop assessments that are inline with student IEPs. This article focuses on developing assessments that address pre-symbolic levels of learning, early symbolic learning, and expanded symbolic levels of learning. National Education Association (2004). IDEA and NCLB: Intersection of Access and Outcomes. Retrieved October 14, 2008, from http://www. nea. org/specialed/images/ideanclbintersection. pdf

This 47-page booklet describes the implications of NCLB for IDEA. Section One of the booklet addresses standardized assessments for students with disabilities, including acceptable accommodations under NCLB. The booklet also addresses how special education may affect Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) reports. The text includes several links to documents that may be used for policy guidance for districts that are developing policies for special education. Turnbull, H. (2005).

Individuals With Disabilities Education Act Reauthorization: Accountability and personal responsibility. Remedial & Special Education, 26 (6), pp. 320-326. Retrieved October 14, 2008, from Academic Search Premier database. Turnbull noted that IDEA 2004 reflects the concept that the teacher, the school, and the federal government share in the responsibility of improving student outcomes. Turnbull argued that this scope of responsibility must also include parents and students if learning and student achievement are to take place. U. S. Congress (2002). No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Public Law 107-110. 2002. Retrieved October 14, 2008, from http://www. ed. gov/legislation/ESEA02/107-110. pdf This is the full text of NCLB. Altogether, the law is 670 pages long.

The sheer volume of NCLB makes it difficult for many parents and school administrators to read through understand. References to IDEA and special education are spread throughout the bill; however, the most reference with the most significance for special education is found on page 1448-1449, in which “not less than 95 percent” of students, including students in special education, are required to take assessments “with accommodations, guidelines, and alternative assessments provided in the same manner as those provided” under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

U. S. Congress (2004). Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004, Public Law 108-446. Retrieved October 14, 2008, from http://www. copyright. gov/legislation/pl108-446. pdf The full text of the 2004 reauthorization of IDEA. It is interesting to note that although IDEA 2004 was passed 2 years after the enactment of NCLB, there is no reference to NCLB in IDEA 2004. IDEA 2004 does note, however, that “all children with disabilities are included in all general State and districtwide assessment programs” (p. 40).

Provisions are also made for alternative assessments. The philosophy of NCLB is also reflected in the IDEA 2004 requirement that states and school districts shall report the number of students who required an alternative assessment and how those students performed on the assessment (p. 41). Voltz, D. and Fore, C. (2006). Urban special education in the context of standards-based reform. Remedial and Special Education, 27 (6), pp. 329-336.

Retrieved October 14, 2008, from Academic Search Premier. Critics of NCLB have argued that children from low-income families are more likely to have difficulty passing standardized assessments. Voltz and Fore pointed out that education does not occur in a vacuum. To be effective, education reform must be linked to broader social reform, including reforms that reduce poverty and that address the effect of poverty on student achievement. Wakeman, S. , Browder, D., Meier, I. , and McColl, A. (2007).

The implications of No Child Left Behind for students with developmental disabilities. Mental Retardation & Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews, 13 (2), pp. 143-150. Retrieved October 14, 2008, from Academic Search Premier database. This review addresses how to develop appropriate alternative assessments for children who have developmental delays and the implications of NCLB for curriculum and instruction for these children.

The authors encouraged teachers to work towards meeting challenging academic standards for their students with developmental delays and noted that “there is no research indicating that functional skills must be mastered before academic learning can take place”. Wakeman, et al. , also pointed out that the requirements of NCLB may make it more difficult to recruit and to retain teachers who are qualified to work with this population. Wasta, M. (2006). No Child Left Behind: The death of special education? Phi Delta Kappan, 88 (4), pp. 298-299.

Retrieved October 14, 2008, from Academic Search Premier. In this editorial, Wasta argues that NCLB includes unrealistic expectations for the educational outcomes of students with disabilities. Wasta fears that NCLB may lead some schools to eliminate their special education programs altogether. Despite his concerns about NCLB, Wasta contends that special education students should not be exempt from assessments and other provisions of the law. Instead, NCLB should be modified to include realistic expectations for special education students and special education programs.

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