The National Council on Disability (NCD) released a report documenting trends in academic achievement of students with disabilities, as a result of the implementation of No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The National Council on Disability is an independent federal agency making recommendations to the President and Congress to enhance the quality of life for all Americans with disabilities and their families. It is composed of 15 members appointed by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. The study was conducted by the Educational Policy Institute and the American Youth Policy Forum under contract to NCD. The report is based on the collection and analysis of NAEP and IDEA data regarding student academic achievement; interviews of state administrators and representatives about trends and issues related to NCLB and IDEA.
In general, recommendations from the report include:
- Maintain high expectations for students with disabilities. Interviewees acknowledged that not every student with a disability can achieve to high standards, but they recommended holding firm to high expectations, and keeping the pressure on the system to deliver higher-level instruction.
- Develop the capacity of teachers to provide differentiated instruction and a more rigorous curriculum. In order for students to benefit from a higher-level curriculum, teachers must have the content knowledge and pedagogical skills to work with a diverse group of learners, particularly students with disabilities.
- Create incentives to attract, recruit, and retain special education teachers. As special education teachers retire and leave the profession, more attention needs to be paid to how to develop the profession and maintain adequate numbers of teachers with the skills and knowledge to work with students with disabilities.
- Align NCLB and IDEA data systems and definitions. NCLB and IDEA require data collection and reporting on various student outcomes and program characteristics.
- Ensure that students with disabilities are measured on more than just academic skills attainment. The definition of what is assessed for students with disabilities should be broadened to include occupational, employability, and life skills.
- Increase funding for special education. Helping students with disabilities access a higher-level curriculum requires more support services, potentially more learning time, better-trained teachers, collaborative teaching, and new instructional approaches.
students with disabilities — учащиеся или студенты с особенными физическими потребностями (политкорректно)
to be appointed by smb — назначенный кем-либо
to deliver higher level instruction — проводить обучение более высокого уровня
a more rigorous curriculum — более строгая программа обучения
to create incentives — создавать стимул, поощрять
to align smth — соединить что-либо (например, информационные базы)
academic skills attainment — приобретение академических способностей
to be assessed for smb/smth — здесь: пересмотреть, переоценить в связи с чем-либо
to increase funding for smth — увеличить финансирование для чего-либо
collaborative teaching — педагогика сотрудничества