The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA or IDEA) Part B is the federal law that outlines "Assistance for Education of All Children with Disabilities".
An Individual Education Program (IEP) is developed and reviewed on an annual basis for every student who receives special education services. The IEP team consists of parents, educators, administrators, diagnosticians, and other people who have knowledge about the student and their disability. In Texas the IEP meeting is also called an Admission, Review and Dismissal (ARD) process. Annual IEP/ARD meetings are required and specific guidelines must be followed.
The current method in Texas for determining school/student performance/progress is through the administration of the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR). NCLB requirements have affected how students in special education are tested. In the past, the IEP/ARD team could agree to test the student using a variety of tests and could also test the student at a grade level different from the enrolled grade level of the student. For instance, a 5th grade student could be tested using a 3rd grade level test. Now, all students must be tested at their enrolled grade level and they must take a version of the STAAR test. Appropriate accommodations must be given to students during TAAR testing.
In addition to the STAAR, other assessments may also be appropriate for a student in special education in order to develop a statement regarding their "Present Level of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance"(PLAAFP), which is required during the student's annual IEP/ARD meeting. IDEA also requires that a deaf or hard of hearing student's language and communication needs must be considered, a communication plan is often helpful to guide the IEP team through this process.
When developing annual academic goals for a student to be included in the IEP/ARD, it is helpful to review the curriculum standards for all students at various grade levels. The Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) outlines the curriculum standards that are used in Texas.
Planning services for children requires planning and collaboration. Occasionally, this teamwork and collaboration can also require mediation or other strategies to solve disagreements.
CADRE (The National Center on Dispute Resolution in Special Education) provides state specific resources, national resources, a literature database, and a continuum of interventions for the stages of conflict.
CADRE (The National Center on Dispute Resolution in Special Education) also developed "Working Together" - a collection of resources created to facilitate the collaboration between parents, schools, and early childhood programs. This collection includes short videos, a study guide, and related resources categorized by "Listening," "Positions & Interests," and "A Tale of Two Conversations."