Bridging the Gap between Policy and Practice: Using Negotiated Rulemaking to Build Consensus on Assessment in Special Education
Franciska A. Coleman, “Bridging the Gap Between Policy and Practice: Using Negotiated Rulemaking to Build Consensus on Assessment in Special Education,” 22 Am. U.J. Gender Soc. Pol'y & L. 693 (2014)
21 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2017
Date Written: September 1, 2014
This article uses Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) as a framework through which to critique federal regulation of special education assessment under NCLB. It uses the results of a CDA on the special education assessment regulations and interviews with special education teachers to underscore the wide gap between the assessment practices of special education teachers and the requirements of federal assessment regulations. This Article argues that the procedural failure to use negotiated rulemaking in the context of special education was a primary contributor to the flawed special education regulations that have been a primary source of controversy, and these flaws have remained uncorrected due to the devaluing of the knowledge of special education teachers, who are overwhelmingly female. It suggests that remedying this procedural flaw is a prerequisite to substantive improvement in the NCLB/IDEA assessment regime and the key to greater compliance and improved student outcomes.
Keywords: negotiated rule making, No Child Left Behind, compliance, assessment, special education
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