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Roadmap to IDEA 2004:
IEPs, Highly Qualified Teachers & Research Based Instruction

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How will IEPs change under IDEA 2004?

In IDEA 2004, Congress added new language that parents, educators, advocates, and attorneys can use to ensure that children with disabilities are taught by highly qualified teachers and receive research based instruction. This article focuses on new requirements for personnel training, IEPs, and scientifically based instruction.

IDEA 2004 includes new requirements that schools provide "high-quality, intensive preservice preparation and professional development for all personnel who work with children with disabilities" so all school staff have "skills and knowledge to improve the academic achievement and functional performance of children with disabilities " . . . "including the use of scientifically based instructional practices."

Findings and Purposes (Section 1400) is the first section of IDEA. Findings (Section 1400(c)(5)) was changed significantly. (Note: the text below is from IDEA 2004. New words are in bold and italics)

Section 1400: Findings & Purposes

Over 30 years of research . . .

(A) unchanged

(B) strengthening the role and responsibility of . . .

(C) coordinating this title with other local, educational service agency, State, and Federal school improvement efforts, including improvement efforts under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, in order to ensure that such children benefit from such efforts and that special education can become a service for such children rather than a place where such children are sent;

(D) unchanged

(E) supporting high-quality, intensive preservice preparation and professional development for all personnel who work with children with disabilities in order to ensure that such personnel have the skills and knowledge necessary to improve the academic achievement and functional performance of children with disabilities, including the use of scientifically based instructional practices, to the maximum extent possible;

(E)(i) and (ii) - deleted in entirety

(F) providing incentives for whole-school approaches, scientifically based early reading programs, positive behavioral interventions and supports, and early intervening services to reduce the need to label children as disabled in order to address the learning and behavioral needs of such children;

(G) unchanged

(H) supporting the development and use of technology, including assistive technology devices and assistive technology services, to maximize accessibility for children with disabilities.

Section 1414: Evaluations, Reevaluations, IEPs

Congress added new language to the definition of IEPs in Section 1414(d). IEPs must include "a statement of the special education and related services and supplementary aids and services, based on peer-reviewed research . . ."

The following language about IEPs is from Section 1414. The text in bold & italics is NEW.

(d) INDIVIDUALIZED EDUCATION PROGRAMS -

1) DEFINITIONS - In this title:

(A) INDIVIDUALIZED EDUCATION PROGRAM -

(i) IN GENERAL -The term `individualized education program' or `IEP' means a written statement for each child with a disability that is developed, reviewed, and revised in accordance with this section and that includes--

(I) a statement of the child's present levels of academic achievement and functional performance, including--

(aa) how the child's disability affects the child's involvement and progress in the general education curriculum;

(bb) for preschool children, as appropriate, how the disability affects the child's participation in appropriate activities; and

(cc) for children with disabilities who take alternate assessments aligned to alternate achievement standards, a description of benchmarks or short-term objectives;

(II) a statement of measurable annual goals, including academic and functional goals, designed to--

(aa) meet the child's needs that result from the child's disability to enable the child to be involved in and make progress in the general education curriculum; and

(bb) meet each of the child's other educational needs that result from the child's disability;

(III) a description of how the child's progress toward meeting the annual goals described in subclause (II) will be measured and when periodic reports on the progress the child is making toward meeting the annual goals (such as through the use of quarterly or other periodic reports, concurrent with the issuance of report cards) will be provided;

(IV) a statement of the special education and related services and supplementary aids and services, based on peer-reviewed research to the extent practicable, to be provided to the child, or on behalf of the child, and a statement of the program modifications or supports for school personnel that will be provided for the child . . .

Full text of Section 1414 with changes.


IDEA 2004 at Wrightslaw

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