With 46 states across the country at varying stages of implementing the Common Core State Standards, it is little surprise that the challenges faced by education departments nationwide vary from one state to another. However, many states are struggling with the technological implications of the CCSS, such as how to pay for and use technology in the classroom that aligns with the standards. Although the CCSS provide states with a great deal of flexibility in terms of how they are taught and assessed, schools with students living with disabilities could face unique obstacles of their own, Education Week reported.
To ensure that students with disabilities can benefit from classroom technology that aligns with the CCSS, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium are currently devising a standardized approach to student evaluation and how technology plays a role in this process.
However, while action is being taken to address this important issue, some experts remain unconvinced that tackling such a potentially large problem at this stage of the implementation process will work.
“Both of the [consortia] thought they can get around this by saying, ‘We built in similar technology into the assessment itself,’” David Dikter, CEO of the Assistive Technology Industry Association, told the news source. “It’s saying one size fits all, and that is not true and it has never been true.”
Understanding the scope
One of the greatest challenges to groups that are evaluating how students with disabilities should be assessed is the unique needs of individual students. Assistive technology such as screen readers may be highly useful to some students with eyesight conditions, but not for others. This makes it extremely hard to develop the standardized approach to student evaluation currently being explored by the PARCC and SBAC.
However, other organizations are doing what they can to ensure that students with disabilities have the tools they need to succeed. According to eSchool News, a new website launched by the Center for Technology Implementation, PowerUp What Works, aims to provide students with ongoing support, resources and information regarding how the CCSS will affect education for students with disabilities.
“Technology can help teachers personalize instruction for individual students and help them successfully meet the Common Core State Standards,” Tracy Gray, project director for PowerUp What Works, told the news source.
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