Feds: IEPs Should Align With Grade-Level Standards by Michelle Diament | November 17, 2015, Disabilityscoop (email)
“Beyond offering a free appropriate public education, individualized education programs for students with disabilities should meet grade-level requirements, federal education officials say.
In guidance released Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Education said that all IEPs should conform to “the state’s academic content standards for the grade in which the child is enrolled.”
The directive comes ahead of the 40th anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act — the federal law requiring appropriate school services for children with disabilities — later this month.”
“In the 40 years since this law was enacted, we have moved beyond simply providing children and youth with disabilities access to the school house,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “Today, we want to assure that these students have no less than the same equal shot at the American dream as their non-disabled peers.”
According to the guidance, IEP teams must ensure that programs feature grade-level academics, but that instruction and support services are tailored so children can learn the material and progress toward achieving their individual goals.
The guidance on FAPE from the USDOE link above has this statement:
“The term “general education curriculum” is not specifically defined in the IDEA. The Department’s regulations implementing Part B of the IDEA, however, state that the general education curriculum is “the same curriculum as for non-disabled children.” (USDOE – Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services Memorandum, Guidance on FAPE, November 16, 2015, Page 2, Interpretation of “General Education Curriculum”)