Dailey, D., Zantal-Wiener, K., & Roach, V. (2000). Reforming high school learning: The effect of the standards movement on secondary students with disabilities. Alexandria, VA: Center for Policy Research on the Impact of General and Special Education Reform.
Findings from a five-year investigation on the factors affecting the inclusion of students with disabilities in standards-based reform across three states, six districts (including urban, suburban, and rural), and 10 high schools is reported. Overall, the authors state that special education programs need to interact more effectively with district and state accountability reforms in order to promote positive outcome for students with disabilities. Most states have not outlined mechanisms to ensure that IEPs align with content standards. Other key findings included the following:
- There is limited interaction between general and special education teachers, and there are few co-teaching opportunities.
- Materials that special education teachers use often do not pertain to the same content areas or standards earmarked for general education students, and the quality and related teacher resources for these textbooks are often of poor quality.
- Teachers, both general and special education, need training on how to link standards, assessment, and curriculum.
The authors make several recommendations:
- The IEP should be a central mechanism for promoting standards-based instruction.
- Teacher preparation programs should address the need for inclusion.
- Teachers should be offered continuous professional development on meeting standards through their curricula.
- Administrators should serve as “instructional leaders who understand the academic challenges of including all students, including those with disabilities, in a standards-based curriculum” (p. 38).
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has released the report “Mapping State Proficiency Standards Onto NAEP Scales: Variation and Change in State Standards for Reading and Mathematics, 2005-2009.” This report contains the findings of a study that compared the relative rigor of state proficiency standards in mathematics and reading using the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) scale as a common yardstick.
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