Special Education and Common Core: Humans of New York

When I first began teaching, my mentor told me: ‘If there’s anything about the system that you want to fight, just make sure it’s the hill you want to die on’. Humans of New York

(2/3) “Even in special education, our curriculum is based on Common Core standards. I’ll have to teach about seasons…

Posted by Humans of New York on Wednesday, December 30, 2015


Teachers are in the trenches of education. They are the first to see when certain education trends are successful. They are also the first to see them fail. That is what makes this post from Humans of New York so honest. The quote above was the last line of her post. The struggle is real. If teachers speak against policies that hurt their students, they could lose their jobs. That is a “hill no teacher wants to die on.” 

This teacher gave an excellent description of why the Common Core Curriculum State Standards (CCSS) may not address the needs of her special education students. She struggles to change the materials to meet her students’ education levels. In some cases, she realizes that their time would be better spent on learning life skills. So, she tries to adjust the level of the assignments so that her students follow the standards.  Is that effective learning for her students?

How do you adjust Common Core aligned assignments to meet the needs of your special education students?