According to IDEA, also known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, students should have access to the general education classroom and curriculum but should also be in the least restrictive environment in which they can meet their academic and social emotional goals. With tighter budgets many districts have welcomed mainstreaming students into general education classes as it is a lot more cost effective but not all students succeed in a setting with 35 other students. In addition, some vocational classes that teach students with disabilities valuable job and life skills are being cut. Inclusion should not be a one size fits all approach rather we should look at each individual student’s needs to see if it is the right placement for that student. Can they actively participate and receive the supports they need in the general education classroom?
Another question at hand involves Common Core Curriculum. If students do not have the basic skills such as math calculation skills, ability to write a sentence or paragraph, or are reading 3 grades below grade level, ?how can we expect them to solve multi-step word problems and write essays that include text and textual analysis? I believe we must have high expectations for our students who have special needs, but the purpose of an IEP is to have an Individualized Plan not an “everybody educational plan.” If you believe that your school is not meeting the needs of your child you have the right to request testing. If your child already has an IEP, you have the right to request a meeting if you believe that your child’s educational needs are not being met.
Beach Cities Tutoring has experienced tutors who specialize in working with students with varying disabilities. We also offer consult services if you have questions about the IEP process.