George Lucas Educational Foundation

Are your grades based on the IEP or state standards?

Are your grades based on the IEP or state standards?

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Big debate in my school about grades. General ed teachers think all students should be graded on the same scale as general ed students, but the SPED teachers say their students should be graded only on the basis of their IEP goals. What do you think? What do you do?

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LPS's picture
Cross Categorical/self-contained - Teacher

When I started out I thought they were based on IEP's, however after an audit, the district and the dept. of ed. said that grades must be done based on standards for general ed students. My kids all functions far below grade level standards. That's why they are in SPED, I include comments that tell parents what the expectations are and then refer them to the IEP progress notes. So I have to do 2 reports 1 based on GE Standards and 1 based on IEP goals which are aligned with state standards and alternate assessment standards.

mandy seward's picture

I feel there is no other way than basing students grades on IEP's. I always look at the percentage of the goal. If they are to accomplish a goal at 75% and they have done it 75% of the time than that is an A for them.

Lorren Pallone's picture

My students receive two reports.. one based on the state standards, which my students always show no progress. I hate sending that form home, it is discouraging to the students and the parents. Then I send home another form that has the students IEP goals and their progress on those.

LPS's picture
Cross Categorical/self-contained - Teacher

It is very frustrating for me because my students tend to be the last ones tested and it always feels rushed. I feel the same as Lorren because the students do not show progress based on the standards and expectations for their grade level. I strongly believe in setting kids up to succeed but with our current system we are setting them up for failure. NCLB has done a dis-service to students with disabilities. We used to be able to do our own assessments and had to show one years growth. Based on where students are.

Mr. Dodger's picture
Mr. Dodger
SDC Science in Los Angeles

My district hasn't issued any specific directives on grading IWENs, and we also are prohibited from including IEP goals in any core curricula areas besides Math & ELA. I include a statement in my roll book about "Grades are based on a combination of individual progress in IEP goals as well as State Standards." but that's really quite subjective on my part (since none will have a Science goal).
Students with more severe disabilities (MR, AUT, etc) do have a separate set of State Standards, by my students are still officially, held to those of the general population.

Audrey Kirsch's picture
Audrey Kirsch
Special Education Elementary Teacher

I give my students the grades based on the state standards using their accomodations and modifications.
I do think you are able to teach the state standards and meet IEP goals but it is tricky!
My students need to be taught in a different way, but not a different curriculum.
I try to teach the state standards and remidiate simultaneously or close to it.
We will be working on decimals next week and some of my students have IEP goals for word problems, adding, rounding, following a sequental pattern---so if I do those within the State Standards (understanding whole numbers and decimals, adding and subtracting decimals, ordering decimals). It is just tricky and sometimes the curriculum doesn't align as well as next week, then every Weds. I'll teach a whole group lesson on state standards then make centers and small groups with me to address IEP goals. This works, but I am always a bit behind :)

JB's picture
Intervention Specialist

Our school went to a double block Math schedule a couple years ago- 90 min. Math instruction/ 2 periods, since I teach a pull-out class, I use 1 block for prerequisite/IEP skills, and the other 7th grade skills as close as possible. At first,I was concerned with how I'd keep them on track for 90 minutes- but by breaking it up this way, the kids get both aspects. Grading in the reg. classrooms is based on a modified scale according to what % the spec ed student is expected to perform at- however, beginning next year- they will be held at the same % as the reg. kids...which I guess is fine, as long as the modifications are appropriate.

Lynn's picture
Special Education Teacher

I have students participate in mainstream classes and I modify expectations for participation. They are then graded on the modified expectations. Modifications can include reaching a level 2 rather than a level 3, writing one paragraph rather than 5, having a scribe write for them. They are then able to be graded against the modified expectations. IEP goals? I grade and update their IEP's. My students can receive their updated IEP goals and a grade in science or social studies.

Hope this helps.

Mrs. K. Brown's picture
Mrs. K. Brown
High School Special Education Teacher from South Carolina

I teach high school special education for what my state calls "Trainable Menatlly Disabled". I grade on academics but also mark on my teacher copy IEP's how my students are progressing on their goals. We are also required to keep work samples showing what is being done to cover our IEP goals. In elective classes, art, PE, etc. my teachers grade my kids on participation. This has worked well with no real problems from the other teachers or supervisors.

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