Standards-Based Individualized Education Program Guidance
Standards-Based Individualized Education Program (IEP) Process Guidance
The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) Guidance on Free Appropriate Public (FAPE), dated November 16, 2015, clarifies that individualized education programs (IEPs) for children with disabilities must be aligned with state academic content standards for the grade in which a child is enrolled.
The standards-based IEP process is based on the belief that students with disabilities can make progress on challenging goals aligned to the general education curriculum at the enrolled grade level with specially designed services and supports. Special education is not a separate and special place for learning, but services and supports that are individually designed to help students access the general education program. Students may be accessing the curriculum at different levels of complexity, at different paces, and/or in different ways, but they should all be working toward rigorous goals.
When designing a standards-based IEP for a student, the IEP is aligned to a student’s enrolled grade level or chronological age, including children younger than kindergarten age. The required general education curriculum used in Texas public schools for grades kindergarten -12 is the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). The Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines address content standards for children in prekindergarten or age 4. The Texas Infant, Toddler, and Three-Year-Old Early Learning Guidelines address content standards for children ages 0-3.
TEA’s Child Find, Evaluation, and ARD Supports network has developed a Question and Answer Document: Individualized Education Program (IEP) Measurable Annual Goals that provides guidance and best practices to local education agencies (LEAs) regarding ways to approach writing annual IEP goals that ensure involvement and progress in the student’s grade-level academic standards.
State ResourcesThe following are state resources related to the development of the IEP:
TEA’s Child Find, Evaluation, and ARD Supports Network provides Standards-Based IEP Process training. Synchronous and asynchronous trainings are available for special education teachers, related service providers, and any staff who draft IEPs. Abbreviated trainings are also available for administrators and evaluators.
TEA’s Technical Assistance: Individualized Education Program (IEP) Development document provides requirements, best practice guidance, and links to resources to assist in the development of appropriate IEPs for students.
TEA’s Texas Complex Access Network provides the online course, A Step Toward IEP Quality and Rigor. This course describes the development process of the present levels of academic achievement and functional performance (PLAAFP), goals/objectives, and progress monitoring methods of the IEP for students with significant cognitive disabilities. However, this course can assist any special educator needing to learn more about developing quality IEPs.
The PROGRESS Center provides information, resources, and support for local educators and leaders responsible for the development and implementation of high-quality educational programming for students with disabilities that ensures access to free appropriate public education (FAPE) and progress toward appropriately ambitious goals.
The IRIS Center offers two online training modules for developing High-Quality IEPs
IEPs: Developing High-Quality Individualized Education Programs explains the step-by-step process of developing high-quality IEPs, as outlined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and provides additional considerations in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Endrew F.
IEPs: How Administrators Can Support the Development and Implementation of High-Quality IEPs offers guidance on how to support and facilitate the development and implementation of high-quality IEPs and is the perfect way for administrators to ensure that they understand and are carrying out their crucial role in the IEP process.
The National Center on Educational Outcomes, under its Standards & Accountability tab, provides information about standards-based IEPs, where the IEP team considers state content standards as it develops IEP goals.