Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Common Core Academic Standards Adopted

WILMINGTON, OH - DECEMBER 18:  Taylor Rolfe, a...Image by Getty Images via @daylife

The Common Core Academic Standards have been announced. You can review them here. The common academic standards for English and Math for grades Kindergarten to 12 were developed by the National Governor's Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. All but two states (Texas and Alaska) were involved in the development of the standards. Adoption of the standards is a required component of receipt of federal Race to The Top funding, but the federal government was not involved in developing the standards. Here is a news article. The common standards appear to have the endorsement of the teacher's unions as well.

This does have an impact upon special education. The FAPE requirement requires that special education be provided consistent with state standards and the definition of special education includes specialized instruction which requires adapting to ensure access of the child to the general curriculum. See 34 CFR §§ 300.17, 300.39.

What impact do you think that the core academic standards will have upon special education?


  1. So we will have yet another way to point out to students receiving Special Education services that they are performing behind their peers. Not especially helpful in my humble opinion.

    If Special Education Teachers are forced to teach a certain curriculum at a certain time to certain grade levels, (possibly in conflict with an IEP) I don't see that scenario as especially helpful either.

    The problem with these types of top down initiatives is that they are: 1. Inherently political in nature. 2. Focused on the "What to Teach and How to Test," rather than on the "How to Teach, Plan and Respond to Individual Needs," in Special Education.

    The only solution is to break the divide between General and Special Education and focus on the "How to Teach, Plan and Respond to Individual Needs" for all students.

    We worry too much about making all kids the same as opposed to helping each individual reach his or her potential. We have trouble facing the fact that kids actually have different potentials. Until we get over that inconvenient truth - teachers, students, school leaders and the public will continue to hear this broken record of top-down "school reform."

  2. Thanks Anon,

    I appreciate your comment.


  3. I think this is great! As a self-contained special education teacher, I try to prepare my students for the general education setting. I like the idea of using a "common" language with the general education teachers. The Common Core Academic Standards will help me and my parents understand where the students are performing, and what they still need to learn. In addition, the standards will provide a road map of what I need to teach. I feel this will have a positive impact on special education.

  4. Thanks Anon,

    I appreciate your comment.