Individualized Education Programs and Special Education Programming for Students with Disabilities in Urban Schools

By Yell, Mitchell L.; Conroy, Terrye et al. | Fordham Urban Law Journal, December 2013 | Go to article overview

Individualized Education Programs and Special Education Programming for Students with Disabilities in Urban Schools


Yell, Mitchell L., Conroy, Terrye, Katsiyannis, Antonis, Conroy, Tim, Fordham Urban Law Journal


Abstract

This Article examines the individualized education program (IEP) requirement of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and presents a method for improving the education of students with disabilities in urban settings by appropriately developing IEPs. Part I considers the unique problems facing special education in urban school districts. Part II presents an overview of the IDEA and its requirement that school districts provide students with a free appropriate public education (FAPE). Part III examines the components of an IEP and the process for developing students' IEPs--the key vehicle for providing a FAPE. Part IV outlines a process for developing educationally meaningful and legally sound IEPs for students with disabilities. Finally, Part V discusses the important issues in professional development for ensuring that urban school district personnel understand their responsibilities in crafting IEPs.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction
  I. Special Education in Urban Settings
 II. The IDEA and FAPE
III. Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)
     A. IEP Requirements
        1. Parental Involvement
        2. Participants in IEP Development
        3. IEP Content
           a. Present Levels of Academic Achievement and
              Functional Performance
           b. Measurable Annual Goals
           c. Special Education Services, Related Services,
              and Supplementary Aids and Services
           d. Extent to Which a Student Will Not Participate
              in General Education
           e. State- and District-Wide Assessments
           f. Behavior Interventions
           g. Transition Plans
     B. Implementing and Revising IEPs
 IV. Placement and Students with Disabilities
  V. Developing Educational, Meaningful, and Legally Sound
     IEPs
     A. Question One: What Are the Student's Unique
        Educational Needs that Must Be Considered in
        Developing the Student's Instructional Program?
     B. Question Two: What Measurable Goals Will Enable
        the Student to Achieve Meaningful Educational
        Benefit?
     C. Question Three: What Services Will Be Provided to
        the Student to Address Each of His or Her Needs?
     D. Question Four: How Will the Team Monitor the
        Student's Progress to Determine if the Instructional
        Program is Effective?
     E. Professional Development Activities
        1. Provide Professional Development Activities
           Based on Evidence-Based Procedures
        2. Ensure that Principals and Assistant Principals
           Understand Their Roles and Responsibilities
           Under the IDEA
        3. Ensure that Administrators, Teachers, and Parents
           Understand the Importance of Parental
           Involvement in the Special Education Process and
           Use Methods to Ensure that Meaningful School-
           Home Collaboration Occurs in the IEP Process
        4. Ensure that General Education and Special
           Education Teachers Understand Their
           Responsibilities Under the IDEA
Conclusion

INTRODUCTION

Individualized education programs (IEPs) are at the heart of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the purpose of which is to make a free appropriate public education (FAPE) available to every student in special education. (1) An IEP is: (a) the written document that records the essential components of an eligible student's special education program, and (b) a collaborative process between a child's parents and school personnel to design this program. (2) During the IEP planning process, the student's needs, annual goals, special education and related services, evaluation and measurement criteria, and his or her educational placement are determined and implemented. (3)

The purpose of this Article is to examine the IEP requirement of the IDEA and to present a method for improving the education of students with disabilities in urban settings by developing IEPs that are educationally appropriate and legally sound. …

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