Access to the General Curriculum for Students with Disabilities: A Discussion of the Interrelationship between IDEA ’97 and NCLB
National Center on Accessing the General Curriculum (NCAC)Date
Through the interrelationship between the statutes, this paper addresses the legal provisions in IDEA ’97 and NCLB associated with access to the general curriculum for students with disabilities and how these provisions translate into educational obligations for States and school districts. A theoretical framework has been utilized that conceptualizes the overall right of students with disabilities in IDEA ’97 to have access to the general education curriculum. The first stage, “access,” requires that the general education curriculum be accessible to students with disabilities. The second stage, “involvement,” requires that students with disabilities participate in the general education curriculum in an on-going and meaningful way. This includes specification in the IEP of how the student’s disability affects his/her involvement and progress in the general education curriculum, IEP goals, and identification of IEP supplementary aids and services. The third stage, “progress,” requires that students with disabilities be able to demonstrate progress in the general education curriculum through improved educational performance. Three aspects of progress in the general education curriculum include progress toward IEP goals, participation in State and district wide assessments, and establishment of State level performance goals and indicators. The divergence between IDEA ’97 and NCLB is strongest in the area of accountability, with NCLB including more stringent requirements based on the establishment of a system of accountability to measure whether schools and districts are making “adequate yearly progress” toward enabling all students, including students with disabilities, to meet or exceed the proficiency level on the State assessments within 12 years.
Karger, J. (2004). Access to the general curriculum for students with disabilities: A discussion of the interrelationship between IDEA ‘97 and NCLB. Wakefield, MA: National Center on Accessing the General Curriculum. Retrieved [insert date] from http://www.cast.org/products-services/resources/2004/ncac-curriculum-access-idea97-nclb