Common Core and FAPE: On a Slippery Slope

Common Core will damage this child

Common Core will damage this child

Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) is mandated under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and it means your child has the right to a public education that is free and that emphasizes special education and related services that are “designed to meet their unique needs” and to “prepare them for further education, employment and independent living.” 20 USC 1400(d).

This means that children with IEP’s need to receive “meaningful educational benefit.” Before I go any further, I want to help clarify what that means.

On June 28, 1982, in the .S Supreme Court decision, Board of Education of the Hendrick Hudson Central School District, Westchester County et al., versus Rowley by her parents Rowley et ux., the Court held that the requirement of FAPE is met when a child is provided with personalized instruction with sufficient support services to benefit educationally from that instruction.

DB v. Sutton, 07-cv-40191-FDS (D.Mass.2009)required that at a minimum the school district must provide students with “a meaningful, beneficial educational opportunity.”  Polk v. Central Susqehanna, 3rd Ci. 1988, further defined it by stating that educational opportunities must be “meaningful not merely trivial or ‘de mimimus’.”

In Cypress-Fairbanks Indep. School District v. Michael F., the Fifth Circuit Court quoted from Rowley and concluded that “the educational

Common Core will damage this child as well.

Common Core will damage this child as well.

benefit that an IEP is designed to achieve must be meaningful.” In order to determine whether an IEP meets this standard, the Cypress-
Fairbanks court identified four factors: (1) the program is individualized; (2) the program is administered in the least restrictive environment (in the regular classroom as much as possible); (3) the services are provided in a coordinated and collaborative manner; and (4) positive academic and nonacademic benefits are demonstrated.

Hearing officers and courts also consider whether or not the child is advancing from grade to grade and/or is making passing grades regardless of whether the child is at grade level. The Rowley decision itself it states “The grading and advancement system thus constitutes an important factor in determining educational benefit.  Children who graduate from our public school systems are considered by our society to have been ‘educated’ at least to the grade level they have completed, and access to an ‘education’ for handicapped children, is precisely what Congress sought to provide in the Act.”

Why did I just explain all of that to you?

Because Common Core violates IDEA and makes it impossible to provide FAPE for students with IEP’s.

By mandating that all students meet the same standards in their respective grade levels, regardless of ability, Common Core ignores the intricacies presented by disabilities, as well as mandated provisions such as Individualized Educational Plans that are”designed to meet their unique needs.”

Further, it makes it impossible to create meaningful and measurable goals based on Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (PLAAFP), which means starting with baseline information about a child’s knowledge and skills and then developing appropriate goals for progress. Many students with disabilities are not able to perform at grade level, but they are able to learn and to progress.

Example of an appropriate goal: Johnny has a learning disability that makes it difficult for him to process information that he reads. He is in the fifth grade and currently reads at a second grade level. He comprehends 5% of common sight words for third grade reading levels. After identifying what reasonable progress should look like (based on historical evidence), as well as supports and services, an appropriate goal might read “Johnny will increase comprehension of third grade sight words from 5% to 45% by December, and from December to May, Johnny will increase comprehension fro 45% to 90%.

Example of an inappropriate goal (based on the same information) Johnny’s reading skills will be proficient at his grade level by the end of the 2013-2014 school year.

The second example is what Common Core dictates.

I reblogged a post a few days ago entitled “Special Needs Out of Luck with Common Core” in which Jill Stine, a Trainer at The Center for College and Career Readiness, openly admits that Common Core does not address special needs students or provide for appropriate accommodations.

This decimates the ability of a student with disabilities to benefit at all from his or her educational experience. In fact, meaningful educational benefit comes to a screeching halt. Common Core puts students with disabilities at the bottom of a very steep corporate-made hill made of steel and ice–harsh, cold, slippery, unnecessary, brutal and impassable–and then tells them to climb it, blind and with no climbing tools. Alone.

When did Arne Duncan and his corporate goons decide that this was ok?

All children CAN learn!

All children CAN learn!

When did it become alright to throw out federal protections that took years to obtain, and that have been strongly upheld by courts, including the Supreme Court?

And how do they sleep at night?


14 thoughts on “Common Core and FAPE: On a Slippery Slope

  1. Pingback: Common Core Violates IDEA And Makes It Impossible To Provide FAPE For Students With IEP’s. : Education Watch USA

  2. Pingback: If you have a child with a disability-pay attention! Common Core violates IDEA | Saint Simon Common Core Information

  3. Pingback: Special needz studentz and the Black community | Moorbey'z Blog

  4. Pingback: Privacy and Corporate Funding in Public Schools | westernimpression

      • My biggest concern has to do with students that have special needs; however, I also believe that various teaching techniques and styles should always be used and no one style should take precedence over the others just because no two people learn the same way. Although some will be successful no matter what approach is used, I believe it’s extremely unfair to the others and putting some at an extreme disadvantage from the start.


        • Yes, it does; however, Common Core is trying to sell people with the idea that it gives students with disabilities “better access and a better education” by requiring them to meet the same grade level standards as their peers, while making it virtually impossible to create a true, beneficial IEP that meets the students’ INDIVIDUAL needs. Common Core creates “one-size-fits-all” education, unattainable by many students with disabilities.


  5. Pingback: WHAT MAKES EDUCATION TICK? | Love Dynamix

  6. Excellent. You are my new best friend. As per the laws you amazingly stated, we, the parents of special needs kids in NYS have an attorney and a class action lawsuit in the works. I will be sharing your information blog in our lawsuit Facebook group. Thank you. For more info, click here:


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