Announcing ABC’s Framework

Our First BIG Challenge…

In February and November of 2018, ABC brought together experts, educators, parents, and community members from around the country to develop the Framework for Special Education Quality, describing a new approach to high-quality special education programming.   Our starting point: If we want to identify promising practices for supporting diverse learners, we first need to know what we mean by “high-quality.” This is a critical move as we redefine special education improvement – we must know what schools are aiming for.  

Our current measures only look at a piece of the puzzle – either focusing on an individual student’s progress to goals, pushing schools to engage in lengthy compliance exercises, or measuring special education students by the same standardized measurements as their general education peers.  Each of these metrics is critical but does not present a well-rounded picture of what is happening at a school, district, and statewide level. Transformative school practice calls for a more comprehensive, reliable, and trusted view of success.

So now, we’re issuing a challenge to the field…Help us turn the Framework from a consensus draft into a North Star – a paramount structure to guide us on the path to redefining special education improvement.  

Review our dimensions and add a comment – How should we order them? What comes first and why?

A couple notes about the framework:

First, our document is framed by three main elements:   

  • Each component of the Framework should be examined through an applied equity and personalization lens which is why that column appears to the left of the document and runs the entire length of the chart.
  • Next, our organizing principles are the 8 dimensions which describe the key drivers for building a high-quality program.
  • Finally, markers list many of the elements that are present when the dimension is most fully implemented with fidelity.

Second, the Framework is ultimately meant to be a practical guide, that represents our best collective thinking.  It must empower schools to think globally and inspire educators to dig deep and self-reflect about how they are delivering services and supports driven by the highest expectations for our young people.  We want critical feedback. We want honest thoughts. We want constructive ideas that will make the Framework reflective of where we hope to be as an industry. Add comments here, tweet them, send thoughts via email, or use whatever platform you find most engaging.  We will engage. And we hope that as we continue to build out our Framework for Special Education Quality, you will join our movement along with others who have already done so.

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