17th November, 2015
Today, we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). IDEA is a civil rights law, guaranteeing a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment to millions of children, many of whom were excluded 40 years ago from the American education system.
As educators, advocates, parents, and policymakers, we need to work toward creating a culture of high expectations; ensuring students with disabilities have full access to college- and career-ready learning opportunities and assessments; and supporting students with disabilities so that they may excel in the general curriculum for college and career success. To do so, the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice have released several resources including the:
- Dear Colleague Letter: Clarification of FAPE and Alignment with State Academic Standards, which clarifies that individualized education programs for children with disabilities must be aligned with state academic content standards for the grade in which a child is enrolled.
- IDEAs That Work: Preparing Children and Youth with Disabilities for Success website will connect teachers and families with resources to assist them in improving instruction and supporting academic, social, emotional, and behavioral needs of students with disabilities as they become college and career ready.
- Supporting and Responding to Behavior: Evidence-Based Classroom Strategies for Teachers toolkit, which summarizes evidence-based, positive, proactive, and responsive classroom behavior intervention and support strategies for teachers.