This article is the second in a series regarding student educational progress. The next posted article will focus on types of assessments and the limitations of curriculum based measurements in determining a child’s educational progress.
Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance is in Section II of the IEP. Under Present Levels of Academic Achievement, you should find information on how your child is progressing within the general education curriculum and state approved grade level standards, including current instructional levels in reading, writing, and mathematics.
The information in this section provides baselines for the IEP goals that will follow. Make sure that the level of achievement that is set in the IEP goals matches the levels stated in this section. For instance, if testing reported in the present levels reveals that your child is reading 23 correct words per minute on a first grade passage, this information sets the baseline from which progress will be measured. The achievement level of the IEP goal on reading fluency should be an educated prediction of how much progress your child will make in a year’s time. If this is not your child’s first IEP, there should be information in this section about whether your child reached the goals in the previous IEP.
It is good practice to bring your child’s current IEP (the one that was developed a year ago) to the IEP meeting. Using the goals from the current IEP as the beginning point, you should find information in the present levels of academic performance of the draft IEP (the new IEP being presented at the meeting) that clearly shows the amount of progress that your child has made on a specific goal. Using the example above, the draft IEP should contain information reporting the number of correct words per minute at a specific grade level passage so that you can compare “apples to apples”. Hopefully, the amount of correct words per minute and the grade level of the reading passages have increased. If this type of comparable information is not present in the IEP, you have the right to ask that it be included.
Students’ Rights attorneys can help you understand your child’s special education rights.
Additional articles in this series: