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Test Scores Dropping – What Can You Do?

07/24/09
by Wrightslaw

Did you receive academic test results for your child that were much lower than you expected?

In some cases parents say they received no scores for certain subjects or were told their child “either scored so low she could not be graded or she was not given the test.”

What can you do? First, focus on three things.

1. What information do you have about your child’s progress or lack of progress?
2. How can you collect this information?
3. Once you have accurate information about your child’s progress, how will you use it?

A group standardized test is not a great way to measure a child’s progress.

How does the IEP say your child’s progress will be objectively measured? This is the testing you need to focus on.

If a group achievement test was what the IEP team planned to use and the group test was not administered, ask the IEP team to use an individually administered educational achievement test to measure your child’s progress. Make sure the test(s) selected will measure key academic skills – reading, writing, spelling, math.

Take another look at your child’s IEP and answer these questions:

  • Is the IEP based on complete, current testing?
  • Does the IEP include all legally required components?
  • Does the IEP follow the recommendations of the evaluators?
  • Are the goals and objectives measurable?
  • Are the objectives appropriate?
  • If your child is not making progress, did the IEP team increase the intensity of instruction?
  • Are the instructional methods research-based?
  • Are the teachers trained in the research-based instructional methods that your child needs to meet the goals in her IEP?

You need to get a comprehensive evaluation of your child by an independent evaluator in the private sector. A comprehensive evaluation will give you a roadmap for the future. The IEP may need to be changed to meet your child’s needs and more closely follow the evaluators’ recommendations.

Remember, special education is a service, not a place. To reach her goals, your child may need to receive instruction from a teacher who has different certifications and training.

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6 Comments on "Test Scores Dropping – What Can You Do?"


Sharon
03/24/2010

Darrell:
My ADHD son was acting out and was getting suspended, etc. We requested in writing from the school a Behavior evaluation by a behavior specialist. This specialist evaluated my son by talking with him, his teachers, and by observing. After the evaluation the IEP team met and discovered the “triggers” that caused the bad behavior and solutions to counteract it. These behavior modifications were added to the IEP (do not let them just attach the behavior modification form but to actually write it in the body of the IEP because it does not count legally if only attached to the IEP). We added the behavior plan to the IEP. The person who did the plan taught the teachers what to do and not to do. It worked well. Good luck.

Linda
03/24/2010

Help! Our son is an 11 year old autistic. We have had success with Rapid Prompting Method. He is at grade level at home and at a 3 year old level in school. They continue to teach him colors, shapes and basic math every year, changing the IEP to make it seem like they are teaching him something. We asked for an eval and they say he is cognitively impaired because they don’t know how to teach him.

jp
03/23/2010

As a teacher and a parent of a special ed student I want to remind all of you out there YOU the parents are the number 1 educator! Your child and student is the second person in the equation and the teacher/sp educator is the third. Unless parents and child are willing to put 110% into their studies and this means more work than gen ed students then the greatest iep in the world means SQUAT! It is your child you’re talking about and you CARE MORE about the future of your child than anyone else. I have to drill my son every one on notes and make him read and write even when there isn’t an assignment. I instruct him on his moral duty to give his best effort on everything. In the real world after HS there won’t be sp ed support so start pushing now before its too late! Sometimes you have to ask yourself, is sp ed helping or hurting?