Both the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEIA) and the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA) require every state to provide high-quality appropriate educational opportunities for students with disabilities. In particular, these federal policies stress support for individual student needs while targeting high academic expectations for all students. With ESSA, federal education policy continues the commitment to students with the most significant cognitive disabilities through mandates for Alternate Assessments based on Alternative Achievement Standards and evidence-based interventions for students with disabilities who consistently underperform. The accountability components in ESSA provide states with more autonomy in creating their own accountability systems for addressing all students, including those with disabilities.
edCount’s work reflects our focus on state and federal policy issues pertaining to the education of students with disabilities, effective instructional practices for this student population, and the appropriate inclusion and accommodations for all students in education assessments. Our staff includes educators with classroom and administrative experience in this area as well as researchers with expertise both in understanding and accommodating students with disabilities across the full diversity of the student population.