If a student is receiving instruction in a resource setting, do you determine grades based on progress toward their IEP goals or on progress toward mastery of the curriculum?

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All students are general education students first. For all students in the state of Texas grades K-12, the state standards are the TEKS. A student’s education setting does not change curriculum standards. Students should earn grades for activities in which they are accessing the standards.

The location in which a student receives services has no bearing on the types of grades he/she receives. Relative mastery of the TEKS, with or without accommodations or modifications, is the basis for a student’s grade.

Academic goals have a link to grade-level standards, but they are not the same as standards and serve a different purpose. The IEP progress report provides the ARD committee members, including the parents, with information about a student’s progress toward mastery of his/her annual IEP goals and gives the ARD committee information needed to make individualized decisions about the special education and related services a student requires in order to succeed.  However, grading communicates the student’s achievement toward mastery of state standards.

The material in this post was excerpted from Grading and Progress Monitoring for Students with Disabilities: A Resource for Teachers by Education Service Center, Region 20.  You can read and download this resource at