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CCSS in Context Can It Work for Children with Learning Disabilities? 1.

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Presentation on theme: "CCSS in Context Can It Work for Children with Learning Disabilities? 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 CCSS in Context Can It Work for Children with Learning Disabilities? 1

2 Looking Back Prior State Standards –Provide a map…a goal as well as a direction or route for reaching that goal –Variability in how standards were developed –Variability in specification of content –Variability in rigor across states –Standards that were a “mile wide and an inch deep” 2

3 CCSS: Core Components – Provide a coherent and cohesive map of the critical knowledge and skills needed by young people as they exit the K-12 system – Development process was consistent across standards and referenced to international standards as well as other evidence – Focus is on depth and mastery...not coverage – Require every state to “raise its game” 3

4 The CCSS In a sense it’s what we have asked for time and again! Parents when they understand it will love it! Preamble: define the rigorous skills and knowledge in English Language Arts and Mathematics that need to be effectively taught and learned for students to be ready to succeed academically in credit-bearing, college-entry courses and/or in workforce training programs. These standards have been developed to be: 1.Fewer, clearer, and higher, to best drive effective policy and practice 4

5 The CCSS 2.Aligned with college and work expectations, so that all students are prepared for success upon graduating from high school. Is average good enough? 3.Inclusive of rigorous content and applications of knowledge through higher-order skills, so that all students are prepared for the 21st century 4.Internationally benchmarked, so that all students are prepared for succeeding in our global economy and society; and 5.Research and evidence-based. 5

6 So, What’s New in Math? The standards stress not only procedural skill but also conceptual understanding, students can do hands on learning in geometry, algebra and probability and statistics. Standards focus on specific constructs that are central to mathematical thinking, depth of understanding and ability to apply mathematics to novel situations, as college students and employees regularly do. 6

7 So, What’s New in English Language Arts? The reading standards establish a “staircase” of increasing complexity in what students must be able to read and mandate certain critical types of content for all students. The cornerstone of the writing standards is ability to write logical arguments based on substantive claims, sound reasoning, and relevant evidence. 7

8 The Standards A focus on results rather than means By emphasizing required achievements, the Standards leave room for teachers, curriculum developers, and states to determine how those goals should be reached and what additional topics should be addressed. 8

9 The Standards The Standards do not mandate such things as a particular writing process or the full range of metacognitive strategies that students may need to monitor and direct their thinking and learning. Teachers are thus free to provide students with whatever tools and knowledge their professional judgment and experience identify as most helpful for meeting the goals set out in the Standards. 9

10 THE CCSS: What They Don’t Do- The Call to Action The standards do NOT define: How teachers should teach. All that can or should be taught. The nature of advanced work beyond the core. The interventions needed for students well below grade level. The full range of support for English Language Learners and students with special needs. Everything needed for students to be college and career ready. This is very Fertile Ground for collaborative professional learning 10

11 A Perfect Set of CCSS? Of Course Not! Are they complete? No. Do we have ready texts and lesson plans for implementing them? We are farther and farther along in some states and districts. Is it true they are not as good as some of the standards of the individual states? For some states, in some ways, yes, that is true. However by raising the bar, the CCSS force us to re-examine expectations and lessons to which we have become accustomed. They force us to ask what else we can do to better assist our students.(Adams, 2012) 11

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13 The CCSS Challenge: Kids are not really “Carved” that way! “Students with disabilities are a heterogeneous group with one common characteristic: the presence of disabling conditions that significantly hinder their abilities to benefit from general education (IDEA 34 CFR §300.39, 2004). Therefore, how these high standards are taught and assessed is of the utmost importance in reaching this diverse group of students.” 13

14 The CCSS Challenge: Kids are not really “Carved” that way! Strengths abound as well as areas of considerable need. Students with Disabilities deserve to meet the same standards “Promoting a culture of high expectations for ALL students is a fundamental goal of the Common Core State Standards.” 14

15 For CCSS to Be Successful “Prepare the child for the situation and the situation for the child” “Prepare the teacher for the situation and the situation for the teacher” “Prepare the school for the situation and the situation for the school” 15

16 Implications of CCSS for Students with Learning (and other) Disabilities The CCSS specifies the destinations…but there can be multiple ways to get there Our previous research into how teachers interpret and deliver standards is still relevant: Must begin with a shared understanding of where you are going…requires communication, shared focused Professional Learning, and collaborative learning communities. 16

17 Implications of CCSS for Students with Learning (and other) Disabilities Must have a full and complete understanding of a student’s present level of knowledge... including strengths and gaps. Must have a deep understanding of learning and skill acquisition in key areas such as mathematics, reading, spelling, writing, etc. (what is “foundational”, what can be “triaged”) Must have a rich and varied toolkit of interventions…and know how/when to apply them. Parents must be an integral part of this effort 17

18 Cautionary Tales and Concerns Prepare more students for college-level reading and writing. Curriculum and instructional design, however, is in the hands of publishers, professional interpreters and state department officials. The door is wide open for interpretations that are not optimal for students with learning difficulties. (Moats, 2012) The Kansas Department of Ed offers “a cautionary note about unpacking, unwrapping, and/or deconstructing the Kansas CCSS” as it may result in a checklist of discreet skills…not holistic integrated learning. 18

19 The Dilemma the CCSS Face “ALL means ALL” 34% of the fourth graders in the U.S. are “below basic” on the National Assessment of Educational progress in reading and are at risk for academic difficulties. Many of these students have the characteristics of dyslexia even if they are not labeled as such, and certainly are “poor readers” or “struggling readers” who are likely to demonstrate a mix of decoding and comprehension problems. (Moats, 2012) 19

20 The Standards Themselves Fewer, clearer, higher It is critical that any standards document be translatable to and teachable in the classroom for ALL students. 20

21 K-12 and Beyond… Post secondary providers in higher education should really be deeply invested in the success of CCSS K-12 and an increasing number are. Think about it! They were part of the motive to create the CCSS. Kids are arriving on college campuses ill prepared for rigors of undergraduate work. 21

22 Is Policy in Synch with Practice? There is concern that Policy associated with the CCSS may be way out ahead of the actual practice in place in our schools. Many states and school districts appear to be frenetically attempting to put CCSS in place before the practice, experience and knowledge base of how to align curriculum and integrate it is firmly in place. The tweaking that is necessary in any new reform effort may be too short in a rush to comply. 22

23 AFT Wades In The CCSS are a sharp departure from the too common superficial sprint through huge volumes of material, asking students and teachers instead to focus on in-depth explorations of essential skills and knowledge. If implemented properly-namely, by ensuring frontline educators are prepared to teach these rigorous new standards- we can provide all children with the skills they need to compete in today’s changing world 23

24 AFT Wades In This is a very BIG “IF”! CCSS will either transform the very DNA of teaching and learning or end up in the dustbin of abandoned reforms. The CCSS sets rigorous standards for all children, whether from Bed-Stuy or Beverly Hills, but high expectations must be matched with high levels of support, particularly for high-needs students and students living in poverty. 24

25 AFT Wades In Proper implementation of the CCSS- and equal opportunities for all children to succeed-can help reverse the troubling trend toward low skills and high inequality that for too long has done a disservice to our students and our country. Moratorium, not on the standards but on High Stakes attached to all associated with CCSS. (Weingarten, 2013) 25

26 Political Pushback: It is just beginning U.S. Rep. Martha Roby, a Republican from Alabama, has introduced a bill that would prohibit the U.S. Department of Education and the education secretary from using federal grant money or waivers to encourage states to adopt common standards or tests. This standalone bill— which is similar to language contained in the 2012 House version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act—comes as some states are embroiled in heated debates over their participation in the Common Core State Standards. 26

27 Political Pushback A handful of states (including Indiana, Alabama, South Dakota and Georgia) are either pulling back or considering it, and core supporters fear more states will too. A growing number of educators are complaining that states have done a poor job implementing the standards and are pushing core-aligned tests on students too early. And parents have started a campaign to “opt” their children out of the Common Core-aligned high-stakes standardized tests. This may become the true CCSS battleground. 27

28 CCSS and IDEA In order for students with disabilities to meet high academic standards and to fully demonstrate their conceptual and procedural knowledge and skills in mathematics, reading, writing, speaking and listening (English language arts), their instruction must incorporate supports and accommodations 28

29 CCSS and IDEA: Complementary Mandates Supports and related services designed to meet the unique needs of these students and to enable their access to the general education curriculum (IDEA 34 CFR §300.34, 2004). An Individualized Education Program (IEP) which includes annual goals aligned with and chosen to facilitate their attainment of grade-level academic standards (CCSS). Teachers and specialized instructional support personnel who are prepared and qualified to deliver high-quality, evidence-based, individualized instruction and support services. In a perfect world there would be convergence of RTI, IDEA and UDL, all mapping to CCSS. 29

30 CCSS and IDEA Standards. In order to participate with success in the general curriculum, students with disabilities, as appropriate, may be provided additional supports and services, such as: – Instructional supports for learning― based on the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) – Instructional accommodations changes in materials or procedures― which do not change the standards – Assistive technology devices and services to ensure access to the general education curriculum and the Common Core State Standards. 30

31 CCSS and RTI: ( More to come from Barbara ) A connection between what students ought to be able to know and do in order to be college and career ready- CCSS RTI is the how states, in their schools, go about providing the additional support that students need in order to close learning gaps. RTI is, well, Response to Intervention. For these two initiatives to work really well together, teachers need to know: – the Common Core State Standards to which they teach – their students really well( characteristics, strengths and needs) – How to effectively teach using the research based methods for instruction and support (SEL). 31

32 UDL and CCSS Principle I: Provide Multiple Means of Representation (the “what” of learning) There is not one means of representation that will be optimal for all learners; providing options for representation is essential. Principle II: Provide Multiple Means of Action and Expression (the “how” of learning) There is not one means of action and expression that will be optimal for all learners; providing options for action and expression is essential. Principle III: Provide Multiple Means of Engagement (the “why” of learning) Affect represents a crucial element to learning. There is not one means of engagement that will be optimal for all learners in all contexts; providing multiple options for engagement is essential. 32

33 CCSS and the Realities of Students with Learning Disabilities The ambitious goals of the CCSS and the realities of students with learning disabilities as we understand them from research may not be easily reconciled. Raising standards and expectations without sufficient attention to the known causes and remedies for reading, writing math and other academic failure, and without an effective deployment of existing or additional resources to educate and support teachers, is not likely to benefit students with mild, moderate or severe learning difficulties. 33

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35 It is All About Principal’s Leadership The principal must be the instructional leader! The principal’s most significant challenge is in preparing and further developing the knowledge and skills of not only special educators, but all teachers and related service personnel who are sharing the instructional responsibilities for students with disabilities. 35

36 Access for All: 6 Principles for Principals to Consider in Implementing CCSS for Students with Disabilities (McLaughlin, 2012) 1.Recognize that students with disabilities are a heterogeneous group and require individualized educational planning. 2.Distinguish between accommodations and modifications. 3.Support an environment and set expectations that teachers will understand, and use evidence-based practices. Principals are central to enabling teachers to understand how to better address the learning needs of students. 36

37 Access for All: 6 Principles for Principals to Consider in Implementing CCSS for Students with Disabilities (McLaughlin, 2012) 4. Augment end-of -year state assessments with a schoolwide assessment program that can measure progress and growth. Assessing the progress of students in the CCSS will be essential. 5. Understand and support the alignment of IEPs with the CCSS. 6. Hire and support the best special educators. 37

38 Concerns and Hopes Will kids with learning disabilities get the interventions and directed instruction they need to access the general curriculum in a meaningful and successful way and meet the CCSS? Will they be “fully” counted in the assessment and measure of whether CCSS works for them and they can materially achieve the CCSS? Will teachers have the opportunity for good professional learning using the tenets of UDL and mapping those to CCSS? 38

39 Concerns and Hopes A focus on results rather than means. Ownership of the CCSS. Use of processes like the six principles for principals We know more than we do Rampant misconceptions about the learning potential of students with disabilities. “Specially designed instruction does not mean working at a lower level or weakening the curriculum.” Fewer, clearer, higher: One of the goals of this process was to produce a set of fewer, clearer and higher standards. It is critical that any standards document be translatable to and teachable in the classroom. 39

40 What needs to happen to make CCSS successful for kids with learning disabilities To provide instruction of sufficient quality to prepare students with LD to master the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to meet the demands of the CCSS, teachers will need the following: Deep understanding of underlying and prerequisite skills and interconnections across thinking, speaking, listening, reading, and written expression. Use of data (formative assessment) to inform and adjust instruction to meet the needs of individual students with LD. Infusion of principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Differentiated instruction that gives students with LD equal access to learning and the means for demonstrating their knowledge, skills, and abilities on assessments wihtout compromising the standards. Use of evidence-based instruction demonstrated as effective with students with LD. Application of these instructional approaches to the content specific language and literacy skills needed for mastery of Math, Social Studies, History, Science, and Technical Subjects standards. (White, 2011) 40

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42 Looking Forward More Questions Than Answers…A Long way to GO But We are Off to a Good Start 42

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