Standards-Based Reform and Students with Disabilities
This chapter examines standards-based reform and its implications for students with disabilities. It describes the legal and policy frameworks for standards-based reform, and then addresses the critical components of standards-based reform. The chapter explores the ways in which students with disabilities are included in standards-based systems, the barriers to standards-based education reform for students with disabilities, and evidence of the consequences of their inclusion in standards-based educational systems. It reviews relevant literature and discusses implications for practice, policy, and future research. Current standards-based educational reform is grounded in five critical components: content standards, achievement standards, teaching/instruction, testing, and accountability. Understanding of these components has changed over time, and several of the components have been surrounded by confusion by educators and the public. Early in implementation of standards-based reform, the Donahue Institute examined educational practices that supported the achievement of students with special needs who were in urban public schools.