Accommodations on Tests: WHAT IS A “READER” FOR TESTS?

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Debbie:  My 3rd grade son’s IEP has an accommodation for him “Testing Accommodation: Reader used for writing, math and science only.” His reading speed is 2nd grade but reading comprehension is kindergarten level. In his State testing, he was NOT given a “Reader” at all. I would like to double check that a “Reader” is someone who reads the question to him. This is correct, right? I don’t want to make a problem if there isn’t one but I interpret this as someone is supposed to read the question to him, right? If not, what does it mean?

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07/06/2016 10:00 pm

(part 2) Once he’s gotten the hang of it, you can collect some work samples with scribe and some without. If there’s a big difference, this will support your proposal.

07/06/2016 9:59 pm

I agree with the Wrightslaw comment that your child needs individualized instruction to remedy the underlying reading problem. However, I have a young friend with a similar problem, and I support this type of testing accommodation in certain situations. Your intuitive understanding of “reader” sounds good. If I were you, I would assume that your interpretation is correct, and try contacting several state ed offices to let them know that the accommodation was not provided (IEP oversight office, special education office, and office of assessment).

Note that “scribing” is a separate accommodation. You can request an IEP meeting to propose that this accommodation be added to the IEP. Try it out at home. A child needs to practice using a scribe for it to work well.

06/23/2016 2:13 pm

Debbie: You are probably going to hate me for this advice but you need to write a letter – a short letter – to the IEP team leader and ask. When they answer, you’ll have valuable info about how and what your child is being taught.

I think a “Reader” refers to an adult who reads math, science and writing questions to a child because his reading skills are not sufficient to read the questions. I don’t know if that person writes the answers for him. Several yrs ago, the USDOE told schools to stop using Readers because they don’t give an accurate picture of the child’s reading skills.

My burning question related to what the school is doing, or not doing, to bring his reading skills up to grade level. He is in 3rd grade. He doesn’t have more time to waste. Reading is the “gateway skill” – it is the gateway to learning everything else. You can’t let this slide.

06/22/2016 12:03 pm

The state education agency determines which accommodations are allowed on state assessments. This should be listed on their website. Your state parent training & information center can assist you.