Uh-Oh, Common Core for Special Education. What are Standards-Based IEPs? And which are the Pilot Districts?

That June 14th Annual IDEA Presentation from the Exceptional Children Group of the Delaware DOE to the Delaware Board of Education sure provided a wealth of knowledge. One of the things that was mentioned was standards-based IEPs. From my transcript in an earlier article, this was where Sarah Celestin spoke of this new form of IEP:

“The first standards based IEPs: This is a new initiative that really has just started since January. We’ve been doing some development work since last summer but the training kicked off in late January and early February. The reason we are moving towards standards based IEPs in Delaware is in our compliance monitoring of IEPs we saw that sometimes the rigor, there was a lot of remedial kind of goals and there wasn’t as much focus on how is a student gonna access grade level instruction. And you remember you need an accommodation, you need an accommodation of remediation and access goals and also goals that are gonna help the student really work on grade level skills. And so through standards based IEPs were really addressing that and we’re very fortunate to have instructional coaches that have a strong understanding of the Common Core and that also really understand IEP development and are able to help the teachers. So similar to what Tracy described to you, we have coaches that do not only the training, but go out and do individual and small group coaching with teachers. Right now we’re working with four school districts on that. The plan is that over the next two school years to go to state to scale up state wide with charters and districts.”

In a nutshell, this is adding common core to IEPs. You know, those INDIVIDUALIZED education plans special needs children get. The Delaware DOE found a way, without any focus groups or parental input, to literally CHANGE how an IEP is written. Is it legal? I don’t know, but I will find out.

According to Mary Ann Mieczkowski, the four pilot districts for standards-based IEPs are Woodbridge, Red Clay, Colonial and Brandywine. Once again, no charter schools were chosen for this world-changing special education initiative? I wonder why that is? Maybe because with the exception of Gateway and Positive Outcomes, most of them don’t know how to write the old IEP, much less a new one! And some don’t even know how to GIVE an IEP.

I would love to talk to ANY parent from any of the four districts above to know how their child’s IEP was created with these new common core standards implemented into a federal document. IEP Task Force…you can’t come soon enough!

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14 thoughts on “Uh-Oh, Common Core for Special Education. What are Standards-Based IEPs? And which are the Pilot Districts?

  1. What does this mean… in English?

    “The reason we are moving towards standards based IEPs in Delaware is in our compliance monitoring of IEPs we saw that sometimes the rigor, there was a lot of remedial kind of goals and there wasn’t as much focus on how is a student gonna access grade level instruction. And you remember you need an accommodation, you need an accommodation of remediation and access goals and also goals that are gonna help the student really work on grade level skills. And so through standards based IEPs were really addressing that and we’re very fortunate to have instructional coaches that have a strong understanding of the Common Core and that also really understand IEP development and are able to help the teachers.”

    Second, who is the purveyor being paid to do the coaching, so we can track it on Delaware’s Checkbook?
    Second.

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    1. Kavips, It means accommodating for common core, not special needs students. This was a literal transcription I did of this presentation. Every…single…word. 40 minutes of….this. But look at all that has come out of it.
      Good question on the coaching. And who pays for it? The DOE or the districts?

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  2. (If they can’t be clear when speaking to adults, so we can understand, how is a child with learning disabilities supposed to absorb whatever it is they think they are saying?… )

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  3. Where are the results of all these pilots? No pilot results, no implementation elsewhere. And why is Delaware piloting stuff everywhere all of a sudden?

    Where is the guidance for Delaware re: what constitutes ‘research based intervention’ anyway? Who decides that?

    I want to know what curriculum they are using to help my child gain access to the standards? Until the learner has access to curriculum that is proven to produce improved learning you can accommodate and remediate and coach all you want, you’re only going to frustrate and cause emotional distress to children.

    Shaking my head.

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  4. My son is starting in colonial school district with an IEP and it was a mess to get it established. Reading this does not make me a happy camper, to say the least.

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  5. California has had standards based IEPs since I moved to Special Education 5 years ago and perhaps a decade prior. Our challenge is now changing from the old state standards, from which we could select the goals from a useful database and individualize them, to common core standards. We have had little to no direction, just a few webcast. Hopefully we will get some coaches and professional and access to a good goal database to assist in IEP development.

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    1. “Our challenge is now changing from the old state standards, from which we could select the goals from a useful database and individualize them, to common core standards.” Do you believe these IEPs, with the new standards, invalidate the spirit of IDEA? How is it individualized if it is tailored to a nationwide curriculum?

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  6. Reblogged this on Exceptional Delaware and commented:

    Standards-based IEPs are coming. They are already here in some Delaware districts and across the country. Since I wrote this article a month and a half ago, I’ve found out standards-based IEPs have been around since No Child Left Behind was introduced back in 2002. But designing IEPs to fit the Common Core standards is a newer thing, going back to 2010 in some states. Delaware is just starting this “initiative” in 2014. This is dangerous, and deceptive, just like the Common Core Standards and the Smarter Balanced Assessment. Our special needs students have never needed their parents to speak up more. This is the line in the sand, and we have to cross it now. We have to rise, like an army, and fight with our voices. We must unify, we must retaliate, and we must say no. If we don’t, our children will be subjected to a hell we have never seen before. The very nature, the very essence of an Individualized Education Plan will change forever. And if we say nothing, we are allowing this to happen. We are saying “Please let my child go through the rigor of common core so the proficiency gaps can close.” But here’s the catch. No matter what, that gap will not close under Common Core. This standard is not the answer. Every single special needs parent in Delaware needs to go to the IEP Task Force meeting on Tuesday, September 23rd, and tell them you will not sign an IEP that inserts Common Core into your child’s IEP. Brian Touchette, the director of assessment at the Delaware DOE has been assigned by Governor Markell as his designee on the task force. This is a shrewd move by Markell to get this initiative inserted into IEPs across the state. Say no!

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  7. My read is that someone realized if they didn’t put Common Core into special ed curriculums, that meant it would become very costly go buy materials since all materials now have to be common core.

    Hence the homework you showed us, was only there because it is now cheaper than individualized education plans. Perhaps since bought off the shelf, they can cut even more people out of education and and steer even more money to their buddies, the consultants.

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  8. Whom do we contact to have a voice in this situation. Where should parents/educators go to stand up for out special needs students?

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