Creating Access to the General Curriculum With Links to Grade-Level Content for Students With Significant Cognitive Disabilities: An Explication of the Concept

Browder, Diane M.; Wakeman, Shawnee Y.; Flowers, Claudia; Rickelman, Robert J.; Pugalee, Dave; Karvonen, Meagan
March 2007
Journal of Special Education;Spring2007, Vol. 41 Issue 1, p2
Academic Journal
Current federal policy requires that students with disabilities participate in large-scale assessments and be included in schools' scores for adequate yearly progress. Students with significant cognitive disabilities may participate in an alternate assessment with alternate achievement standards, but these standards must be linked to grade-level content and promote access to the general curriculum. Because most research with this population has focused on nonacademic life skills, few guidelines exist for teaching and assessing skills that are linked to grade-level content. One challenge to developing research and practice in grade-linked academic content for students with significant cognitive disabilities is the absence of a clear conceptual framework. This article—developed by a team of special education, curriculum content, and measurement experts—proposes a conceptual definition and criteria for linking instruction and assessment to grade-level academic content.


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