Thursday, May 3, 2007

No Acronymn Left Behind

While the Secretary of State, Condolezza Rice attends the peace talks in Syria, Mr. Bush is standing by his words about the value of our education. IMLS, that stands for the Institute of Museum and Libraries Services, has given a great amount support to hiring new librarians for the millenials and moved IMLS funding from the materials meant for millenial's to research. The ADA and the Congressional Budget Office is responding to the needs of the elderly and disabled by looking at ways to afford insuring their health over the next century, and watching how Medicare and Medicaid insurance stagger. How are we to forget the acronyms in our health benefits plans? HMO, PHHP, MCI, LLAL etc. I am not exactly harvesting all of these in one blog, but I can see the confusion already. My estimate is one acronym will be generated for every one hundred dollars spent on health care. One hundred acronyms will be generated for every two hundred dollars spent in classrooms by teachers who obey these acronymns. A sample of them are the IEPs, CATs and SIMs. These are evaluation tools designed to see the achievement in students each year. Hopefully, the teachers have bought enough books, paper and pens to ensure each child's chance during the No Acronymn Left Behind years.

IEPs are created by a multidisciplinary team of education professionals, along with
the child’s parents, and are tailored to the needs of the individual student.

The IEP is a
blueprint for everything that will happen to a child in school for the next year. Special and
general education teachers, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists,
school psychologists, and families form the IEP team and meet intermittently to discuss
student progress on IEP goals. Before the IEP team meets, an assessment team gathers information together about the student to make an evaluation and recommendation. The school psychologist, social worker, classroom teacher, and/or speech pathologist are examples
of educational professionals who conduct educational assessments. A neurologist may conduct a medical evaluation, and an audiologist may complete hearing tests. The classroom teacher also gives input about the academic progress and classroom behavior of the student. Parents give
input to each specialist throughout the process. Then, one person on the evaluation team coordinates all the information, and the team meets to make recommendations to the IEP team. The IEP team, which consists of the school personnel who work with the student and families, then meets to write the IEP based on the evaluation and team member suggestions.
“The IEP contains information about the student’s strengths and needs, as well as goals
and objectives based on these areas of need. Regular monitoring of student progress not only
helps to evaluate whether the student is making progress toward these identified goals, but also
helps the teacher to examine the effectiveness of the curriculum and the strategies used to
teach the student.”
− Autism program specialist IEPs always include annual goals, short-term objectives, and special education services required by the student, as well as a yearly evaluation to see if the goals were met. Annual goals must explain measurable behaviors so that it is clear what progress should have been made by the end of the year. The short-term objectives should contain incremental and sequential steps toward meeting each annual goal. Annual goals and short-term objectives can be about developing social and communication skills, or reducing problem behavior. A parents and teachers guide to follow is available on the web:

See Appendix D which provides more information on writing objectives and developing measurable IEP goals for learners with autism. Some excellent blog feeds on NCLB