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!