Core Commitment Concerns I am deeply disturbed after reading “Core Commitment” in the April 3ASHA Leader, and seeing ASHA’s uncritical acceptance of the statement that disability accommodations, including IEPs, are supposed “to facilitate a student’s attainment of grade-level academic standards.” Is ASHA aware of the partisan politics surrounding these mandates, or the lunacy ... Inbox
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Inbox  |   May 01, 2012
Core Commitment Concerns
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Development / School-Based Settings / Professional Issues & Training / ASHA News & Member Stories / Language Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Inbox
Inbox   |   May 01, 2012
Core Commitment Concerns
The ASHA Leader, May 2012, Vol. 17, 2-38. doi:10.1044/leader.IN2.17062012.2
The ASHA Leader, May 2012, Vol. 17, 2-38. doi:10.1044/leader.IN2.17062012.2
I am deeply disturbed after reading “Core Commitment” in the April 3ASHA Leader, and seeing ASHA’s uncritical acceptance of the statement that disability accommodations, including IEPs, are supposed “to facilitate a student’s attainment of grade-level academic standards.” Is ASHA aware of the partisan politics surrounding these mandates, or the lunacy of declaring that all children, with the help of an IEP and a teacher held “accountable” to core standards, can achieve grade-level academics?
May I introduce you to my students with profound communication disabilities? These kids may never achieve “grade level,” but that does not mean they are not learning or being challenged. The purpose of special education, and IEPs in particular, is to create individual education programs based on the needs of the student. Each plan considers curriculum standards appropriate for that student, but that does not mean expecting grade-level academics from students with profound disabilities. That’s not just unreasonable; it’s downright mean.
Students with disabilities learn differently and at different speeds. They deserve to be educated as individuals, not as data-points in our test-crazy quest for the educational master race. Uncritical acceptance of the “core standards” dogma leads to labeling these children as failures if they do not achieve grade level. It is the antithesis of individualized education, and it is wrong.
ASHA should be advocating against unrealistic educational policies that label our most vulnerable clients as failures because of their disabilities—not mindlessly validating those dangerous policies in our professional literature.
Melissa Petersen Seattle, Washington
*Editor’s note: The reader raises important concerns about how the Common Core State Standards apply to students with severe disabilities. The authors plan to address these and similar issues in a subsequent article.
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May 2012
Volume 17, Issue 6