ASK - Advocates for Special Kids
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Developing IEP Goals and Objectives Based On State Content Standards

Changes in IDEA 97, require that all children have IEP's with goals and objectives written based upon the core curriculum and state and district standards. This is being done to improve upon the service delivery and quality of education provided to children in special education, and to bring accountability to school districts to ensure that ALL children are learning what they need to learn to be independent adults. Goals and objectives that “roll over”, year after year, are not acceptable. Higher expectations and more accountability is the best interest of all kids!  

This is also related to the requirement that all students in grades 2-11 must take the Stanford 9, or an alternate assessment, according to state and federal law: (Star: Per SB 376), and the new requirement that all students wishing to graduate with a high school diploma must take the, HSEE, High School Exit Exam, beginning in 2004 including students in special education.

All special education students must be tested in the state assessment tests, in either one of the categories below: (Parents may sign a waiver excluding their children from the testing, however, if we do not start to assess the kids and get a "baseline" to understand where they are performing, then we will not know if they are learning, or what they are learning, and then you cannot hold the school district accountable. That is the purpose of all of the changes in the education laws!)

Group 1- Students who receive most of their instruction in regular education programs take the Star exam, with or without accommodations as described in their IEP. (This would include most students who are "fully included", and in RSP classrooms, NPS, but not necessarily exclude all students in an SDC,  (some of these students may be able to take the exam one grade level lower, with accommodations). This would need to be determined by the IEP team).

Group 2- Students with severe disabilities who are unable to participate in the district's regular assessment process should be assessed with alternative approaches consistent with the criteria for measuring learning progress described in their IEP's. (This would include most students with severe cognitive disabilities who are currently receiving services in an SDC or an NPS or even some students fully included in the general education classroom- again this needs to be determined by the IEP team, but the child must be assessed by an alternative method, to ensure that the child is learning and progressing, and that data can be collected to indicate learning for accountability purposes).

In addition to this, all parents should have a basic understanding of AB 1639 and AB 2X relating to promotion and retention and how children are identified to receive remediation if they are not learning and progressing according to the state guidelines on promotion and retention. The California Dept. of Education, Special Education, includes a link that can be found here -

ASK Suggestions to Prepare for an IEP:

1) Print up your school district standards for your child's grade level, and/ or 1-2 grade levels above or below, (or the grade level that corresponds to your child’s present level of performance), to help you have a more clear understanding of how your child's academic goals and objectives should be written. You also may want to look at the state standards if you need any comparison or clarification.

2) Also included below, are the Standards from Vermont, a full inclusion state, where approximately 90% of all kids with disabilities receive their education in the general education classroom. Their standards also cover the following: Communication, Reasoning and Problem Solving, Personal Development, and Civic and Social Responsibility, which you can use as a guide to help you write and improve upon your own child's IEP goals and objectives in these specific areas!   Also, a web site that will assist you in drafting some goals and objectives in the area of social/emotional communication, and vocational skills is

EXAMPLE:  Please remember that if your want your child to learn to develop and improve upon more appropriate social skills, then you will need to include language in the IEP that uses the following phrase, “ With typically developing peers…”. In other words, if you want your child to receive DIS counseling for social skills development with typical peers, (in an environment that can be generalized to real life situations), you will need to request and have written in to the IEP, that the service will take place during recess or lunch, or typical environments where the activity normally would occur, including the general education classroom. This will drive the DIS service and facilitation of the social skills to be learned by your child, in a group setting with typically developing peers.

Ed. Services for MBUSD. This is where you can find the standards for English, Math, History and Science, as well as other services and information listed:
For the standards only:

This is where you can find the State Dept. of Education Standards:Curriculum Frameworks:  
Content Standards (K-12)
Curriculum Frameworks & Instructional Materials

You can access the essential standards in reading, writing and math, that have been identified for mastery in order for passage of the California High School Exit Exam,  by the California Association of Resource Specialists: These standards range from K-12, but the ones necessary for mastery of the CAHSEE begin in 4th grade. We have suggested to parents to download this and take it to KINKO's and have it bound and take it to your IEP's!

ACSA and CARS+ Handbook on Goals and Objectives Related to Essential State of California Content Standards is now available for download
For students with significant cognitive disabilities 
Core Curriculum Access   California Content Standards for CAPA

If your child is in PEP, then you should have received something from the teacher about what the class objectives and goals will be targeting. You can also print up the Kindergarten standards so that you are aware of what will be expected of your child next year, and you can compare that to how your child is currently performing now and throughout the school year.

To assist you in understanding how children are identified for remediation in math or reading, we have included information below related to promotion/retention and remediation programs that must be provided to children according to law. It is a good idea to become familiar with your school district’s policy on promotion and retention and what criteria they are using to identify children for remediation programs.