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Standards Based Goals

Standards Based Goals are the core of a standards aligned IEP. IDEA 2004 requires that all students be provided with access to the general curriculum. IEPs must therefore be developed in a manner that allows for that access.

Overall, when thinking about a student's IEP and access to standards, the IEP team must exert caution to avoid simply relisting the educational standards, or a subset of them. Every student is to be taught the standards. The IEP team must determine the priorities for this student's education in order to allow them to access the general curriculum given the unique needs that arise from their disability.

It is therefore recommended that the IEP team consider access to the curriculum from a two-fold lens:

  • What skill deficits are keeping the student from independently accessing the general curriculum? What skills can we teach that will help the student build the foundation that will allow future independent access to the curriculum?
  • Given the student's current skill level, what strategies can enable them to access grade level content to the maximum extent currently possible?

Given the IDEA mandates to address both the academic and functional needs that arise because of the student's disability, it is helpful to expand this two-fold lens to both academic and functional areas.