High Stakes Tests
I know schools are required to give state-mandated tests. But are children required to take these tests?
My child is significantly learning disabled. I don't see the point of putting him through the frustration of taking state mandated tests in 4th and 8th grade.
We understand that some parents of children with disabilities do not want their children to be tested. Like you, parents are afraid. They want to protect their children from pain and frustration. Before we answer your question, we'd like to talk about the issues with you and other parents.
High Stakes Tests
As parents listened to these groups, their anxieties grew. Parents were afraid their children would not be able to pass these tests. Some parents banded together to eliminate or water down the Standards of Learning.
We live in a rural county of Virginia. The population of our county is less than 10,000 people. The median income and education level is lower than most counties in the state. Teacher pay is low.
are four schools in our county - two elementary schools, a middle
school, and a high school. These schools are small. Teachers know
when children are having problems.
How did our schools do on the high stakes tests? One elementary school passed all the Standards of Learning tests. The other elementary school, middle school and high school passed all but one or two tests. Some children with disabilities are exiting special education because they passed the Standards of Learning tests. These children will continue to receive support they need to learn.
not know that Pete was diagnosed with severe learning disabilities
when he was 7. He had intensive one-on-one Orton-Gillingham remediation
from Diana Hanbury King every day after school for two years. For
years, he felt / feared that he was defective.
Because Pete had remediation, his reading and writing skills improved dramatically. And he can touch type very fast - almost as fast as he thinks.
State & District Assessments
In August 2000, OSEP published a report on state and district assessments. In this report, they discuss several reasons why parents should allow their kids to be tested:
Parents are change agents
It's our belief that if children are tested, parents will know if their kids are being taught the basic skills (which should happen in special ed). If children are not being taught, we believe that parents will pressure schools to provide effective educational remediation - and improve results.
We understand that parents want to protect their children from painful experiences.
that if parents pull their children out of state and district testing,
accountability will go down in smoke.
This is a hot topic with no easy answers. Stay tuned for more information.