In response to the question about special education accountability, Seabolt says:

“This is a tricky situation. If a student is TAKS-M in science, I generally make them TAKS-M in math, and vice versa. Same for ELA and social studies.

It is more difficult to justify an ELA – math connection. One clever approach I have seen is to put kids in both regular and resource classes in the 9th grade. JM did this, as did I in my last school. The resource class was restructured to be an on grade level support of the regular class with a modified curriculum, of course. If the student failed the regular class, the resource class was there for credit. You can justify this as using the resource class as an intervention.

Now let’s look at this strategy closely. All 9th graders start as regular TAKS or TAK-ACC. If the student passes the regular course at mid-term with little modification, you have a TAKS-ACC student. If the student fails the regular class and passes the resource class, you have a TAKS-M student. You make this decision at mid-term. If the student is passing regular courses use the resource classes, as needed, as an intervention and take TAKS-ACC, you take the high road and they are recommended. If not, you take the low road.

This changes the philosophy of resource to one of on grade level intervention instead of primary instruction and gives the student full opportunity and flexibility. You can continue this for all grade levels, making adjustments as needed for the student. If the student passes regular math in grade 9, leave them TAKS-ACC. If in grade 10 at mid-term they are failing regular math or if they failed the TAKS-ACC, you can move them to TAKS-M.

You must be diligent, monitor instruction closely, and use common assessments to measure instructional quality in order for this process to be successful for your most fragile learners. In the above example, a student passing 9th grade math and 9th grade TAKS-ACC and then failing the regular math course at the mid-term in 10th grade would catch my full attention. And my full attention would include a focus on the teacher delivering the 10th grade instruction.”


Your turn…