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Common Core Resources for Special Education

Resources and guidelines on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for the Special Education Community.

Educational standards describe what students should know and be able to do in each subject in each grade. In California, the State Board of Education decides on the standards for all students, from kindergarten through high school. Since 2010, 45 states have adopted the same standards for English and math. These standards are called the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Having the same standards helps all students get a good education, even if they change schools or move to a different state. Teachers, parents, and education experts designed the standards to prepare students for success in college and the workplace. For details regarding the CCSS for all students visit the main CCSS Web page.

This site offers resources and guidelines on what the CCSS and the new tests will mean for California students in the Special Education Community.

CCSS

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English and math were adopted in 2010. These standards define what students need to learn at each grade level. They provide a chance to improve access to quality content standards for students with disabilities.

General Assessment

Alternate Assessment

  • National Center State Collaborative (NCSC)
    On October 1, 2012, California joined the National Center and State Collaborative (NCSC) Consortia as a Tier II state. The NCSC is a project led by 27 states (18 Tier I core states and 9 Tier II states) who have committed to develop professional development modules and curriculum/instruction resources, create alternate achievement standards and to develop a multi‐state comprehensive assessment system for students with significant cognitive disabilities. Tier I Core States are involved in the governance of NCSC and have decision-making authority. Tier II states help develop an individualized plan to implement professional development modules and curriculum/instruction resources, including formative assessment strategies and progress monitoring tools.

    • Join the CDE NCSC electronic mailing list by sending a blank e-mail to subscribe-ncsc-update@mlist.cde.ca.gov. If you are on the e-mail list and wish to unsubscribe, send a blank e-mail to unsubscribe-ncsc-update@mlist.cde.ca.gov.
    • Frequently Asked Questions for the NCSC Phase 1 Assessment Pilot

    • Guidance for IEP Teams on Participation Decisions for the NCSC Alternate Assessment (DOC)

    • NCSC Wiki: Resource Materials External link opens in new window or tab.
      This wiki has been created to host the materials that educators will need to accomplish these goals and deliver instruction aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The materials are grouped in three categories:
    • Instructional Resources (reference materials created to support classroom teaching)
    • Curriculum Resources (reference materials created to reinforce educators' understanding of curriculum content)
    • Classroom Solutions (solutions or accommodations created by educators and shared here)

    • NCSC Presentations External link opens in new window or tab.
      On this site is a set of training materials on NCSC content, curriculum, and instruction resources. These materials offer information on the CCSS content resources, model curricula, and other tools that will eventually be housed on the NCSC Wiki page.

    • CDE, NCSC Presentations
    • Common Core State Standards Special Education Assessment Update (PDF)
      Presented to the Advisory Commission on Special Education on May 2, 2013.
    • Special Education Alternate Assessment and Common Core Standards Update (PDF)
      Presented to the Common Core State Standards Roundtable on April 16, 2013.

    • NCSC Frequently Asked Questions

    • The NCSC Web page External link opens in new window or tab. showcases the NCSC work and provides information on activities, milestones, and events.

    • PARCC and Smarter Balanced plus the Alternate and English Proficiency Assessment Designs External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF; 3MB)
      ETS K-12 Center cross-consortia booklet that offers an overview of all the assessment consortiums across the nation.

    • NCSC Overview External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)
      This webinar presentation provides an overview of the NCSC comprehensive assessment system along with some background information on the CCSS and the GSEG projects. Guiding principles for development and teacher resources, and emerging models of learning and understanding are presented.

    • NCSC approach to Content for Students with Significant Disabilities External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF; 3MB)
      This presentation provides general information on the NCSC assessment system and describes the foundation for the content. It outlines the components of the system that help to make the content accessible to students with significant disabilities. The steps involved in creating the content strands along with examples of math and ELA strands are presented. A brief description of the teacher support being developed, including curricular resources, lesson plans, and sample activities, are also included.

    • NCSC Collaborative approach to content for students with significant disabilities External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF; 4MB)
      This presentation provides general information on the NCSC assessment system and describes the approach to making the content accessible for students with significant disabilities. It also provides a description of the teacher supports being developed including curricular resources, unit and lesson plans, and content modules.

    • New developments in alternate assessments for students with significant cognitive disabilities External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF; 1MB)
      This webinar presentation provides a description of the five assessment consortia and the states involved with each, including the NCSC GSEG. It also includes a description of what college and career readiness means for students with significant cognitive disabilities. The presentation outlines key ideas that form the foundation of the NCSC GSEG assessment system development, including the development of curriculum and instruction. The presentation goes on to cite the importance of communicative intervention with augmentative communication devices and provide ideas on how University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) can be involved.

    • National Center and State Collaborative General State Enhancement Grant External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)
      This presentation provides an overview of the NCSC – GSEG project and includes challenges identified by the partners and states and key ideas for building the foundation of the system. The presentation also includes information on the development and validation of the “core content connectors” which are aligned with the common core state standards and the learning progressions.

Parents and Students

  • ¿QUÉ NECESITAN SABER LOS PADRES? External link opens in new window or tab.
    Una serie publicada por Education Northwest para mantener a personas interesadas, informadas sobre la iniciativa de los Estándares Básicos Comunes.

Other Resources

Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS)

A MTSS is a framework for serving all students that supports the systematic provision of interventions directly related to students’ needs. The needs to be addressed are determined by consistent monitoring of each student’s unique learning progression. A successful MTSS framework supports all students through high-quality and universally designed general education instruction at Tier 1 and more-intensive interventions at Tiers II and III, including universal screening, progress monitoring, flexible mobility between tiers, problem-solving teams, and parent input.

Instructional Supports for Learning

Instructional supports for learning based on the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) foster student engagement by presenting information in multiple ways and promote equal opportunities to learn for all students.

Instructional Accommodations

Instructional accommodations provide many pathways to learning and consist of strategies that consider each individual’s unique strengths, needs and learning preferences within the existing classroom structures. Accommodations change materials and procedures allowing students to learn within the framework of the CCSS, but do not change the standards.

Assistive Technology

Assistive technology (AT) is technology used by individuals with disabilities in order to perform functions that might otherwise be difficult or impossible. AT devices and services along with accessible instructional materials (AIM), aid in access to the general education curriculum and the CCSS for all students.

National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials External link opens in new window or tab.
This site is a resource to educators, parents and others interested in learning more about and implementing accessible instructional materials.

Set of Webinars from the Maryland Assistive Technology Network online External link opens in new window or tab.

Accessible Instructional Materials External link opens in new window or tab.
This video explains Accessible Instructional Materials in easy to understand language.

AIM Teaching and Training Resources External link opens in new window or tab.

Questions:   Kristen Brown | SEDCCSS@cde.ca.gov | 916-445-1064
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