In March of 2017, the world of education in the USA changed, for good and the better. The United States Supreme Court issued its determination speaking to a parent’s claim that their child was being warehoused as a student of a primary school in Colorado. The court in their review found that a child’s education could not be “de minimus” (used here to mean ‘warehousing’) but rather, that consistent with the concept of a child being entitled to a FAPE (Free and Appropriate Public Education) a school district also has an obligation under the law to provide for an education, without regard to different abilities, that is, it must be “appropriately ambitious.”
The interpretation and testing of this unanimous decision requires that districts must now meet a standard that though present in spirit, was not previously required by law. This decision now places a burden of proof on educators, schools and school administrators to be able to determine that a program of instruction is “appropriately ambitious.” In order to be able to demonstrate and meet the standard of showing appropriateness of an educational program, measurement is required. We believe the research supports very few interventions that provide that data; most notable of them being Applied Behavior Analysis.
The RBT (Registered Behavior Technician) credential and the introduction of evidence-based practice into education, is one of the most powerful tools available to advocates, educators and parents alike, to ensure that a program of study is “appropriately ambitious.”
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