IEPs for All—Or Something Else?


Some of us imagined a public school system that would drop special education labels and look at all children individually and collectively for their strengths and what they need to learn. We thought of it as Individual Educational Plans (IEPs) for everyone.

You will likely hear about “IEPs for All” in the future, if you haven’t already, but it is a far cry from what we dreamed.

IEPs and words like “individualize,” “personalize” and “differentiated learning” are terms that have been hijacked from special education. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and “aligned” are words that get thrown about too.

Instead of professionals—teachers, school psychologists, guidance counselors and other relevant school staff—sitting down with parents to outline an educational plan for individual children, the plan is to plug children, all children, into academic programs where they can supposedly move at their own rate of speed—on the computer…

…I believe the goal is to have children learn at home with software and computers and with their mother’s assistance…or no help from anyone. There is also much discussion about “self-directed learning.”

This transformation will take a while to achieve, so online charter schools will be an intermediary step. Instead of teachers, children will get behavioral monitors–supervisors who make sure they stay put in their seats as they work and don’t talk….

…But next time you hear IEPs for All, if you didn’t already know, recognize they are really saying full-time online for all students probably at home…and alone.

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