National Science Teaching Association: Case Study 3 - Students With Disabilities and the Next Generation Science Standards

The percentage of students identified with disabilities in schools across the nation is currently around 13%. As a result of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), school districts are held accountable for the performance of students with disabilities on state assessments.

Although students with disabilities are provided accommodations and modifications when assessed, as specified in their Individualized Education Plans (IEP), achievement gaps still occur between their science proficiency and the science proficiency of students without disabilities. This vignette highlights effective strategies for students with disabilities: (1) multiple means of representation, (2) multiple means of action and expression, and (3) multiple means of engagement. These strategies support all students’ understanding of disciplinary core ideas, scientific and engineering practices, and crosscutting concepts as described by the Next Generation Science Standards.

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