Since academic underachievement is one of the primary criteria that determines a student's eligibility for special education, how are special educators supposed to employ the text complexity indicator of the CCR anchor standard in language arts, which mandates that students read grade level texts independently?
Students with disabilities typically under-perform academically when compared to their non-disabled peers. The common core seems to ignore this and instead seems to expect that students with disabilities will perform up to the same standards as their non-disabled peers, as if the disability did not exist. As James Kauffman wrote in his opinion piece, Waving to Ray Charles (2005), "The danger of assuming that we can eliminate the gap between the achievement of students with disabilities and that of those without is twofold. First, this assumption sets expectations for students with disabilities that are totally unreasonable; as a group, the students will be bound to fail. Second, it sets expectations for teachers that are totally unreasonable; no teacher can succeed."
My fear is that there is not enough flexibility build into the standards to allow teachers to address skills taught in previous grade levels or to choose texts that students can be both successful with and challenged by.
- Pre K-12
- Common Core / Special Education