Part II: Support to Improve Instruction and Accountability
The Department of Education will direct $14 million from current fiscal year resources to increase State capacity for rigorous assessment, instruction, and accountability for students with disabilities.
- $5,000,000 for immediate technical assistance and support to States to improve assessments for students with disabilities.
- $3,000,000 to provide technical assistance and support to States to improve instruction for students with disabilities.
- $6,000,000 to conduct research on accountability for students with disabilities who are held to alternate and modified achievement standards.
The Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE), the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), and the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) will jointly implement the Action Plan detailed below. (Note: "Suport to Improve Assessments" was detailed in yesterdays Extra Credit, http://www.ed.gov/news/newsletters/extracredit/2005/04/0412.html).
Support to Improve Instruction
Goal: Provide support to States to improve instruction in reading and math for students with disabilities.
Resources: $3,000,000 from OSERS
Action:OSERS will issue two Requests for Proposals (RFP) for funding in 2005:
- An RFP to support a consortium of entities that will link with the three existing technical assistance regions for Reading First to provide technical assistance to States in reading and math. The RFP will require involvement of State Special Education Directors, Title I Directors, and Special Education Regional Resource Centers. ($2,000,000)
- An RFP to promote the development, demonstration, and use of technology to enhance standards-based reform for children with disabilities. The RFP will support projects that include technologies such as technology-based instruction aligned with State content standards and computerized curriculum-based measurement aligned with State academic content standards. ($1,000,000)
Support to Improve Accountability
Goal: Improve accountability for students who are held to alternate and modified achievement standards and track changes in practice as a result of the new flexibility.
Resources: $6,000,000 from IES
- IES will issue an RFP for funding in 2005 to conduct a study to address the validity and reliability of alternate assessments; their alignment with State content standards in reading, math, and science; and the number and type of students who take these assessments.
- OSERS will continue to direct significant IDEA discretionary funds to improve assessments, instruction, and accountability for students with disabilities.
- IES will invest several million dollars a year for 3 to 5 years for research grants to improve and evaluate instruction, and teacher training and professional development to improve reading, writing, math, and science skills for children with disabilities.
- OESE will support Comprehensive Technical Assistance Centers that will focus on improving assessments, instruction, and accountability for all students, particularly students with disabilities.
- OESE, OSERS, and IES will continue to collaborate to ensure that efforts are coordinated across special education and Title I programs and directly linked to improving student achievement.
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