Standards-Based Individualized Education Program Guidance

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA 2004) and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) provide students with disabilities greater access to the general education curriculum. According to the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE), a standards-based individualized education program (IEP) contains goals aligned with and chosen to facilitate the student’s achievement of a state’s grade-level academic standards. 

The required general education curriculum used in Texas public schools for grades Kindergarten -12 is the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).  Students enrolled in preschool programs for children with disabilities (PPCD) or prekindergarten programs have goals that either align with the Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines or with a school district’s standards for prekindergarten for students aged four and five.  

For additional information, Education Service Center Region 20 in collaboration with TEA has developed a question and answer document and a free online training to assist admission, review and dismissal (ARD) committees in writing standards-based IEPs that are compliant with the federal and state regulations.    

State Resources 

 The following are state resources related to the development of the IEP:
  • Access to General Curriculum (AGC) identifies priorities in professional development and technical assistance to ensure that all students with disabilities gain access to and show progress in the general curriculum at the enrolled grade level. The network provides current information on Standards-based IEPs. 
  • Low Incidence Disabilities provides leadership for building capacity to meet the needs of students who are severely and profoundly cognitively disabled, medically fragile, or deaf blind. 
  • The Legal Framework for the Child-Centered Process is a template in an electronic format that summarizes state and federal requirements for special education by topic, including the requirements for developing a students IEP.
  • The Curriculum Division oversees the development and implementation of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and the Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines in public schools as well as state graduation and curriculum requirements. Response to Intervention, or RtI, a multi-tiered approach to instruction, is evolving as the framework of the general education program for all students including those who experience difficulties either academically or behaviorally. RtI helps to ensure that students have the opportunity to experience a full range of educational opportunities through the general education program.
  • NCLB Program Coordination provides resources and guidance for the implementation of the NCLB Act.

National Resources 

 The following are national resources related to the development of the IEP: 
  • The National Association of State Directors of Special Education, Incorporated has produced a document that illustrates a recommended seven-step process with accompanying guiding questions to assist special education teachers and other professionals in developing a Standards-Based IEP. The Standards-Based Individualized Education Program examples are available on the NASDSE website.
  • The National Center on Educational Outcomes provides national leadership in the participation of students with disabilities in national and state assessments, standards-setting efforts, and graduation requirements.