Aligning Education Laws to Effective Learning Frameworks Kim Mendenhall, Ph.D. Policy & Frameworks of Support • Since early parental advocacy, policy has been moving in the direction of educational integration and justice for all. • Frameworks that support learning & achievement align with policy tenets. 1965 ESEA (Elementary & Secondary Education Act) For “educationally disadvantaged” 1970s EHA (Education for All Handicapped Children Act) 1975 (P.L. 94-142) UD (Universal Design) FAPE/LRE Physical Access 1990s IDEA (Individuals with Disability Education Act 1990 (EHA reauthorized) UDL (Universal Design for Learning) Access to learning Access to Learning 2000s NCLB – No Child Left Behind (ESEA reauthorized - 2001) IDEA 2004 Greater accountability for student achievement Greater accountability for student achievement Greater involvement in general curriculum Greater involvement in general curriculum 2000s continued... IDEA 2004 UDL MTSS – system of assessment & evidencebased practice Framework of assessment & research-validated instructional options MTSS/UDL MTSS (Multi-tiered System of Supports) UDL Effective Instruction – researchvalidated Flexible learning opportunities – research-validated Assessment Assessment Interventions – teacher practices; Response – progress within intervention Implementing engaging activities that support access to general curriculum Discussion IDEA 2004 UDL MTSS ESEA Policy Foundations of IDEA 2004 Raised the bar for assuring access to general education curriculum MTSS as a framework for academic support and identification for services Established the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS) – greater access to general curriculum through technology “...shift from focus on access to a focus on learning” (Rose et al., 2009, p. 151) sets precedence for further research and development in new technology for the benefit of all students integrate technology with policy and practice Prepare students for challenges present in a competitive and advancing world. (Gordan, 2009; Karger, 2009; Rose et al., 2009; OSEP, 2007) Policy Foundations of ESEA Reauthorized (NCLB) & Current Driven by student performance Push for greater educational outcomes Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) – effective forthcoming reauthorization should be built on “the theme of IDEA” (CEC, 2010, pg. 1): Focus on individual need Better teachers Ensure success and high levels of achievement (Forte, 2010; CEC, 2010) IDEA 2004 & ESEA Both laws require states to establish higher and measurable standards and goals for students with disabilities and non-disabled peers Alignment of assessments with standards Improvement of teacher leadership Early intervention services (EIS) Accountability for struggling readers Both support goal of providing appropriate education for students with disabilities (D. Fuchs, Fuchs, & Stecker, 2010; Hardman, 2006; Lieberman & Walker, 2007) Alignment of IDEA 2004 & ESEA Attend to diverse instructional and individual needs of students in the general curriculum Greater focus on accountability, progress, and student outcomes Need for greater alignment with special and general education “Scientifically-based” research Allocation of excess funds from IDEA-Part B for schoolwide programs and ESEA activities as determined by LEA Unified indicators to determine progress towards goals (Hardman, 2006; Hehir, 2009: OSERS, 2007) Alignment of IDEA 2004 & ESEA cont... Recommendations: Find a balance with IDEA Congress “recognize differing levels of progress toward accountability matched with appropriate supports” (CEC, 2010, p. 11) Accommodations during instruction and assessment within a UDL framework based on individual need (CEC, 2010; Rose, Hall, & Murray, 2009) Vision of IDEA & ESEA Address student needs in a more inclusionary way Fair and equitable in meeting the needs of all students Improve outcomes High quality standards for teachers and learning Greater opportunity for ALL to learn (including children with disabilities) Greater collaboration between educators MTSS and UDL as a joint system of support (CEC, 2010; Blanton et al., 2011; Basham et al., 2010;Strangman et al., 2009) Instructional Framework of MTSS “...make general and special education a seamless system” (Division for Lerning Disabilities, 2007 p. 3) Teacher practices = INTERVENTION Progress within the intervention = RESPONSE Provides early intervention and instructional supports for ALL students (Kalberg et al., 2010; Sailor, 2009; Stangman et al., 2009; VanDerHeyden & Burns, 2011) Benefits/Features of MTSS Research-validated core curriculum Framework of supportive tiered interventions Universal screening and progress monitoring Use of data for instructional decisions and monitoring progress 3+ levels of support: Tier 1 – universal/primary Tier 2 – supplemental Tier 3 – tertiary/intense Instructional Framework of UDL Encourages flexible learning opportunities & student choice Eliminate barriers: Meeting goals Utilizing materials Conducting assessment Provide research-validated options for ALL learners to Acquire information Become engaged Express themselves (Basham et al., 2010; CAST, 2011; Jimenez et al., 2007; Rose & Gravel, 2009; Stangman et al., 2009 Benefits/Features of UDL Improvement in student productivity, performance, and behavior More engagement and enthusiasm for learning Greater focus on student need More collaboration Greater enthusiasm for teaching Reduction in special education referrals Improved test scores Curricular enhancement through use of technology (Gordon 2009; Rose, 2009; Sopko, 2009) Bridging MTSS and UDL Emphasis of both: Effective instruction Research-validated curriculum Differentiating instruction Assessment – inform instruction & intervention Bridging MTSS and UDL cont... UDL ≈ MTSS Encouraging flexibility Research-validated instruction & curriculum MTSS ≈ UDL Screening students Progress monitoring Decision on course of action Tiers of support (Stangman et al., 2009) Bridging MTSS and UDL cont... Access to learning environments MTSS = Tiers of support UDL = modifying curriculum, accommodations Researchers – effective decision making Aligning UDL & MTSS Focus on preventing difficulties Differentiation Instruction – engages & motivates (Basham, 2010; Hehir, 2009;Jimenez et al., 2007; Stangman et al., 2009) Bridging MTSS and UDL cont... IDEA 2004 – UDL Assistive Technology Act Rose (2009) Appropriating educational funds – innovative technology: Assistive technology Digital curricula – digital representation displayed in a variety of ways more effectively than print UDL framework for ALL students Continuum of funding – advancing assistive & augmentative technology Innovative technology – accessible for ALL students (Edyburn, 2010; Rose, 2009; Sopko, 2009) Bridging MTSS and UDL cont... IDEA 2004 – NIMAS Further development & alignment of curriculum & assistive technologies UDL & technologies Breakdown of barriers Greater access MTSS & UDL Bridge special and general education Ensure “that all children reach a high level of achievement” (CEC, 2010, p. 1) (CEC, 2010; Rose et al., 2009) Aligning IDEA & ESEA within a Unified MTSS & UDL IDEA & ESEA united Access to curriculum High quality education – bridge between special and general education IDEA & ESEA separate Meeting high performance = could overshadow meeting student needs IDEA provides a balance to high standards of ESEA (Hehir, 2009; Karger, 2009; Owen, 2011) Aligning IDEA & ESEA within a Unified MTSS & UDL cont... IDEA Identify students with disabilities Provide fair and appropriate academic experience ESEA Provided accountability to carry out “IDEA’s goal of aiding disabled students’ educational achievement” (Owen, 2011, p. 9) at a time when expectations and accountability for their teaching and learning was suffering. Aligning IDEA & ESEA within a Unified MTSS & UDL cont... Next reauthorization Cohesion & balance between general & special education More prepared and stronger workforce of educators Equal access to assessment and accountability for ALL students Meeting needs & improving outcomes of ALL students (included gifted learners) Balancing IDEA & ESEA within a collaborative system of support Implementing UDL – unbiased assessment tool for students Accommodations with individual needs in mind School wide plans – include UDL & MTSS Increase in ESEA funding for school improvement (OSERS, 2007) Aligning IDEA & ESEA within a Unified MTSS & UDL cont... Researchers suggest: Differentiation of research-validated curriculum in unified MTSS & UDL frameworks – Fewer tiers needed for intervention with an increase in universal student response Great emphasis on effective instruction and curriculum Teacher quality maximized Reduction in special education referrals Funding reallocated within a collaborative and unified system (Stangman et al., 2009; Levenson, 2011) Aligning IDEA & ESEA within a Unified MTSS & UDL cont... UDL supports inclusion & meeting diverse needs MTSS supports addressing students needs (intervention) & identifying progress through collection of data (response) Aligned IDEA & MTSS - facilitate successful outcomes through unified MTSS & UDL (Kalberg et al., 2010; Rose, 2009; Sailor, 2009; VanDerHeyden & Burns, 2010) Conclusion Common Core State Standards Initiative Alignment of important components of IDEA & ESEA with effective learning frameworks of MTSS & UDL – can work within this initiative Funding for ESEA needs to increase (CASE, 2011) = greater success in alignment An aligned IDEA & ESEA, within a unified MTSS & UDL framework may reshape education in an equitable way for all students.