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Standards-Based Individualized Education Program (IEP) Guidance


The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA 2004) and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) are designed to provide students with disabilities greater access to the general education curriculum. A standards-based Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a process and document that is framed by the state standards and that contains goals aligned with, and chosen to facilitate the student’s achievement of, state grade-level academic standards, according to the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE).

 The required general education curriculum used in Texas public schools for grades Kindergarten -12 is the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Students enrolled in Preschool Programs for Children with Disabilities (PPCD) or prekindergarten programs should have goals that are aligned with either the Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines or district standards for prekindergarten for students ages 4 and 5. The Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines have been developed for district use and offer detailed descriptions of expected behaviors across multiple skill levels to be observed in 4 to 5 year old children by the end of their prekindergarten experience.

 For additional information, Education Service Center Region 20 in collaboration with the Texas Education Agency has developed a Question and Answer Document and a Free Online Training to assist Admission, Review and Dismissal (ARD) committees in writing Standards-Based IEPs that are compliant with the federal and state regulations

Individualized Education Program Annual Goal Development Questions and Answer Document
Standards-Based IEPs Goal Development Online Training 2009-2010

Step-by-step Registration Directions for the Standards-based IEP Goal Development Online Training 2009-10

State Resources

Technical Assistance - Education Service Centers

Access to General Curriculum (AGC) identifies priorities in professional development and technical assistance to ensure that all students with disabilities gain access to and show progress in the general curriculum at the enrolled grade level. The network provides current information on Standards-based IEPs.

Low Incidence Disabilities provides leadership for building capacity to meet the needs of students who are severely and profoundly cognitively disabled, medically fragile, and/or deaf blind.

The Legal Framework for the Child-Centered Process  is a template in an electronic format that summarizes state and federal requirements for special education by topic, including the requirements for developing a students IEP.

Texas Education Agency Resources

Student Assessment Division manages and oversees the development, administration, scoring, and analysis of the statewide assessment program: Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS), including TAKS (Accommodated), TAKS-Modified (TAKS-M), or TAKS-Alternate (TAKS-Alt). All assessments are based on grade level content as required by NCLB. In addition, the Division has developed TAKS-M Resources and TAKS-Alt Resources.

Curriculum Division oversees the development and implementation of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and the Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines in public schools as well as state graduation and curriculum requirements. Response to Intervention, or RtI, a multi-tiered approach to instruction, is evolving as the framework of the general education program for all students including those who experience difficulties either academically or behaviorally. RtI helps to ensure that students have the opportunity to experience a full range of educational opportunities through the general education program.

Program Monitoring and Interventions Division reviews, monitors, sanctions, and intervenes in school districts and campuses to ensure excellence in education for all students through Performance-Based Monitoring.

NCLB Program Coordination provides resources and guidance for the implementation of the NCLB Act.

National Resources

National Association of State Directors of Special Education, Incorporated
The National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) has produced a document that illustrates a recommended seven-step process with accompanying guiding questions to assist special education teachers and other professionals in developing a Standards-Based IEP. The Standards-Based Individualized Education Program examples are available on the NASDSE website at

National Alternate Assessment Center
The National Alternate Assessment Center (NAAC) is a five year project funded by the United States Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) that is designed to bring together and build upon high quality, technically sound alternate assessments.

National Center on Educational Outcomes
The National Center on Educational Outcomes provides national leadership in the participation of students with disabilities in national and state assessments, standards-setting efforts, and graduation requirements.

National Center on Student Progress Monitoring
OSEP has funded the National Center on Student Progress Monitoring. Located at the American Institutes for Research, it is a national technical assistance and dissemination center dedicated to the implementation of scientifically based student progress monitoring.

Learning Opportunities for your Child Through Alternate Assessments
The booklet introduces school improvement efforts under NCLB and IDEA and provides information to help ensure that students can benefit from these efforts.  

Technical Assistance and Training  

Education Service Centers

For technical assistance and training on this topic and other aspects of the provision of services for students with disabilities, contact your regional education service center. 


Division of IDEA Coordination

1701 North Congress Avenue | Austin, Texas 78701-1494

Telephone: 512.463.9414 | Fax: 512.463.9560



Last Updated: January 11, 2011

Page last modified on 9/10/2014 02:50:59 PM.