Instructional approaches usually associated with special education are gaining traction as states and districts are faced with implementing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), reports Education Week. Two strategies, universal design for learning (UDL) and response to intervention (RTI), have been frequently cited in NCLB waiver requests for CCSS implementation in the section about how the state will implement the standards.
Broadly, UDL involves creating lessons and classroom materials flexible enough to accommodate different learning styles. The RTI approach can identify learning problems early and introduce focused lessons (interventions) to address those problems. The instructional methods have gained popularity because otherwise, educators are faced with narrow mandates and a broad population.
“Without a system to be responsive to student need, we’re back where we started with standards: aiming at the middle. There was going to be nothing intrinsically new unless we seized upon an opportunity to make this about every kid,” explains Emilie Amundson of the Wisconsin Education Department.
Districts already using one or both of these approaches believe they are best-suited for helping them implement the CCSS. Though new approaches to instruction won’t erase the challenges of implementing standards that are more rigorous than current state standards, it may make implementation more responsive and mitigate fears that the standards will once again turn students with disabilities into scapegoats for poor performance.
To read the full story, please visit http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/04/25/29cs-speced.h31.html?tkn=RSBFzoH5F9GTJL57UTdUa%2BcVqA06%2BesABqRF&cmp=clp-ecseclips