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Access to the General Curriculum for Students with Disabilities: A Discussion of the Interrelationship between IDEA ’04 and NCLB

policy brief
Author(s)

Joanne Karger

Publisher

National Center on Accessing the General Curriculum (NCAC)

Description

The legal provisions in IDEA ‘04 and NCLB associated with access to the general education curriculum for students with disabilities, how these provisions intersect with one another, and how these provisions translate into educational obligations for States and school districts are analyzed. A theoretical framework has been utilized that conceptualizes the overall right of students with disabilities in IDEA ’04 to have access to the general education curriculum. The first stage, “access,” requires that the general education curriculum be accessible to students with disabilities.  The second stage, “involvement,” requires that students with disabilities participate in the general education curriculum in an on-going and meaningful way. This includes specification in the IEP of how the student’s disability affects his/her involvement and progress in the general education curriculum, IEP goals, and identification of IEP supplementary aids and services. The third stage, “progress,” requires that students with disabilities be able to demonstrate progress in the general education curriculum through improved educational performance. Three aspects of progress in the general education curriculum include progress toward IEP goals, participation in State and district wide assessments, and establishment of State level performance goals and indicators. NCLB also requires the establishment of a system of accountability to measure whether schools and districts are making “adequate yearly progress” (AYP) toward enabling all students, including students with disabilities, to meet or exceed the proficiency level on the State assessments within twelve years. The accountability system called for under NCLB is intended to increase accountability for the educational performance of all students, including students with disabilities.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

Federal law governing rights of children with disabilities to receive free and appropriate public education in least restrictive environment.

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Individual Education Program (IEP)

Written plan individually developed for students identified as having a disability under IDEA.

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Cite As

Karger, J. (2005). Access to the general curriculum for students with disabilities: A discussion of the interrelationship between IDEA ‘04 and NCLB. Wakefield, MA: National Center on Accessing the General Curriculum. Retrieved [insert date] from http://aem.cast.org/about/publications/2005/ncac-curriculum-access-idea04-nclb.html