Date of Submission
Doctor of Education
Transformative Leadership; Special Education; Neoliberalism; Assessment; Individualized Education Program; Equity
This organizational improvement plan (OIP) addresses the inequitable assessment measures that are currently used to support students, all with complex needs, within an urban Educational Service District (ESD) in the Western United States. This Problem of Practice (PoP) considers strategies that can be implemented to ensure that students with complex needs are supported with assessments and curricula that are responsive to their unique needs. Grounded in critical theory, with its focus on social justice and the amelioration of marginalizing practices, the PoP is at its core a consideration of the ways in which students with complex needs are marginalized as they are supported using tools designed for neurotypical or less complex students. The problem is considered within an organizational and historical context, with particular attention paid to the neoliberal context that continues to be prevalent in American education. In addition, the problem is situated within the author’s particular leadership and theoretical belief systems. Guiding questions focus on the connection between collaborative opportunities for teachers and more responsive student assessments and curricula, the connection between increased teacher and parent input and more responsive student assessments and curricula, and the possibility that increased administrator engagement with classroom work of students would lead to more responsive student assessments and curricula. The gap between current and future state is considered, and the change readiness of the organization is discussed. The framework for leading change is considered through a transformative leadership lens. Possible solutions are discussed, with a recommended solution that includes a multi–loop process incorporating an administrator community of practice, a dialogic community group, and classroom knowledge communities. A multi–step framework for change implementation is selected within the context of a discussion of a range of change implementation frameworks, as well as strategies for monitoring and adjustment. Finally, next steps and future considerations provide concrete actions moving forward. When implemented, this OIP will provide the systems and structures needed to ensure that students with complex needs are supported with curricula and assessment tools that are responsive to their specific needs, allowing them to demonstrate their strengths in a meaningful way.
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Hart, M. E. (2021). Equitable Curricula and Assessments for Students With Complex Needs: Structures to Support. The Organizational Improvement Plan at Western University, 212. Retrieved from https://ir.lib.uwo.ca/oip/212