Supports for Students with Disabilities in the Math in Common Districts

by Diana Blackmon; Dona Meinders; Frances Reade; Rebecca Perry; Tony Fong

Apr 1, 2018

As school districts across California work to implement the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics, thousands of students with disabilities are falling behind. In the 2016 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP), 37 percent of all California students across tested grades (grades 3-8 and 11) met or exceeded standards in mathematics, while only 11 percent of students with disabilities did. Under the state's new accountability system, 163 school districts were flagged as requiring Level 2 support, or "differentiated assistance," due at least in part for failing to meet state targets for their students with disabilities subgroup on state priorities.

Answers to a survey of administrators in the 10 Math in Common (MiC) school districts laid out some of the challenges that districts face in building strong systems of support for students with disabilities. Most crucially, they reported that it is difficult to schedule necessary collaboration time to enable general education teachers and special education teachers to plan and co-teach together. In addition, special education teachers have not been offered adequate professional development to improve their math content knowledge.