The contents of the Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) of 76 students with mild disabilities in grades 4 and 8 were compared to nationally and locally defined standards for mathematics. The contents of the National Assessment of Educational Progress proficiency levels, local standards, and IEPs were categorized using a taxonomy with the following dimensions: level of mastery, nature of the material, and operations. Student IEPs addressed almost exclusively lower arithmetic skills on the Level of Mastery dimension. Less then 15 percent of the objectives addressed application (problem solving) processes. None of the IEP objectives addressed number sentences, algebraic sentences, or geometry. Most objectives required students to perform the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and/or division. Analysis suggests a widening of the gap between what students with disabilities are taught and the assessments with which they are tested. Implications for actions by the special education and standards-setting communities are discussed.
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