We live in an unprecedented era where schools are dealing with shrinking budgets and fewer resources but still must figure out how to educate an increasingly large number of student age children. This is compounded by the fact that class sizes are increasing and the number of credentialed Teachers are decreasing due to layoffs. Just like every other area of education, school districts are trying to figure out ways to cut special education costs as well. Even though cost cannot be a factor when determining services in an Individualized Education Program (IEP) the children receiving the appropriate services are the ones whose parents are educated and prepared when attending their child’s IEP. This makes it even more important to be prepared for your next meeting. This article will help you truly prepare for the next IEP meeting. Read the rest of this entry →
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As of May 11, 2012, forty-eight states, the District of Columbia, and two American territories have adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). That means, whether your state is one of the adopters or not, CCSS are changing the face of education.
So what are the CCSS and what does this all mean for your child? The Common Core State Standards are a set of expectations for what students should learn during the course of their educational careers. CCSS create a measure of continuity across state lines in the content that will be taught and, more importantly, raises the bar for students and teachers alike. States and territories using CCSS are charged with teaching standards that are often more complex than most states’ current academic content standards—demanding a change in how teachers present information to their students as well as demanding a deeper level of comprehension from the students themselves. How is this achieved? CCSS requires a focus on higher-order thinking questions and skills. For instance, in math class, rather than asking which numbers are even, students will be asked which numbers are even and how do they know that (i.e., the numbers are divisible by two, they have a pair). English Language Arts (ELA) is now explicitly tied to history/social studies, science and technical studies, meaning that all of these content areas will require complex thinking and analysis rather than rote memorization. Look at the difference between these two questions: Read the rest of this entry →
Consider this your call to action! The Common Core Standards are coming to your State and every Teacher and Parent of a child with special needs MUST have this free app on their phone, tablet or iPad. As a parent of a child with special needs I don’t go to my son’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting without a copy of California’s State Standards for his grade level. I use these standards to write goals for my son’s IEP based on his individualized needs. Check out Ten Steps for Writing Effective IEP Goals for more information. With this app I will always have the information at my finger tips and I get to save a tree as well (the standards for each grade level are quite long). Since, 45 States have adopted the Common Core Standards this change effects the majority of the United States. To double check if you State has adopted these Standards click here. Read the rest of this entry →