Thursday, January 7, 2016

The New ESEA and its Impact on Students with Disabilities

There are substantial changes in the ESSA which create new flexibility in accountability and eliminate federally-mandated interventions and turn around strategies. Gone are the highly qualified teacher requirements, replaced by a requirement that teachers are certified by states. The ESSA does maintain the basic architecture of standards-based reform and annual assessment requirements for states; however, the Secretary may not regulate or intervene with state standards. The law does require states to set challenging academic standards that must:

       Apply to all public schools and all public school children.
       Align with higher education institution entrance requirements without the need for remediation.
       Align with the relevant state career and technical education standards.
       Adopt language proficiency standards for English learners.
       Allow for alternate academic achievement standards for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities, aligned to challenging state standards.
Click here for full article and details on assessments, State accountability, State Plan requirements regarding seclusion and restraint, Diploma Options, and Family Engagement.

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