8. “Struggling Students”

As renewal of No Child Left Behind is approaching, The National Association of State Directors of Special Education recommends the adoption of Universal Design for Learning (NASDSE, 2010). IDEA and NCLB should work smoothly together but there is an issue of how to shape curriculum standards; “…while we are pleased that the Administration is supportive of the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), we want to encourage the Administration and Congress to incorporate these principles into the law and make them available for ALL students, not just students with disabilities.”

What is UDL? It is said to change assumptions for teaching and learning (cast.org3):

“Students with disabilities fall along a continuum of
learner differences rather than constituting a separate category

Teacher adjustments for learner differences should occur for all students, not just those with disabilities

Curriculum materials should be varied and diverse including digital and online resources, rather than centering on a single textbook

Instead of remediating students so that they can learn from a set curriculum, curriculum should be made flexible to accommodate learner differences.”

With this post details about how ULD would be implemented for at-risk children are lacking. Would it overlap with Response To Intervention? Would it cut down on the number of at-risk children sent to special education? Would programs be worked out cooperatively between general education and special education? Who would be in charge?

The notion of a continuum of ability overlaps with inclusion and least restrictive environment.

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