Extra test time

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by edu, Nov 3, 2014.

  1. edu

    edu Rookie

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    Nov 3, 2014

    I have only one student failing in my Algebra-2 class. This student is not sincere, doesn't bring textbook, doesn't do homework and doesn't have basic math skills at all. Upon student's request Principal came up with an SST plan that includes to allow extra test time for this student. Is there any rule to allow a regular student(not special ed, who is failing) take extra time?
    How can I answer if any other student also asks for extra time? Principal gave no good answer for this question. Please share your opinion.
     
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  3. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Nov 3, 2014

    Without testing and/or documentation, which usually goes with a 504, I am not sure that legally you can make that accommodation for one without offering it to all. In NJ that wouldn't fly.
     
  4. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Nov 4, 2014

    In NC that is precisely what you would do - give extra time due to a SST request. How else will you get information for creating a 504? If it turns out that the extra time doesn't help, a 504 won't be created.

    Lyne - does your school give 504 plans without data supporting interventions?
     
  5. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Same here in CA. SST is an intervention step and we consistently put extra time for tests as one of the methods. Students aren't dumb, they know why some kids get more time than others. They may whine about it but that it just them trying to get something and not any real sense of concern on their part.
     
  6. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Typically there would be testing done first, to see if there is a learning disability or physical reason for considering either classification or the creation of a 504 plan. Just getting to that step in HS seems out of step to me, but if other students are OK with it, it is fine. I simply knew a teacher who allowed one student to give oral answers away from the class, because handwriting was difficult, but not documented before HS, and there was flak when other students asked for the same testing environment.
     
  7. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    how do you know that testing hasn't been done already?

    Here, thankfully, testing doesn't automatically mean 504. Anyone can buy a diagnosis in any state of the union. Here we take a diagnosis under consideration and build a plan that may or may not benefit the student. We try it. If it works, we keep it. If it doesn't we modify and try again. We have plenty of students that have a diagnosis but never receive 504s. No sense making the school jump through hoops with there is no improvement.
     
  8. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Also, it is acceptable for teachers to implement SOME interventions on their own, without any disability documentation. For instance, I can give extra time for testing to anyone I want on my own tests. It can be available to everyone in the class. I can allow a single student in my class to highlight on the test but require others to keep the tests pristine for future use. If I see a need for the student, I can meet that need without a diagnosis.

    However, I can't say that Sally gets three weeks for her two week project, time after time, and not allow extensions for others. I would have to have some paperwork to be able to get away with that.
     
  9. edu

    edu Rookie

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    First I wrote an e-mail to principal to check if she qualifies for 504. Then principal arranged for a meeting including district Psychologist . The Psychologist concluded that the student didn't have any disability and so meeting concluded without offering any special services to the student. Then upon student's request Principal made an SST plan which I seriously felt not fair to other students.
    If any problem arises in future I am gonna send them to the principal.
     
  10. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Principal's call here. If he wants to give extra help to a student and calls it a SST mandate, you have to follow it.

    As far as the other students - you can either tell them it is none of their business or extend the same advantage to them.
     
  11. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    My question is how much a problem is this? Since high school math requires so much deep and critical thinking, I would think that most tests would purposely allow enough time for the vast majority of students to be able to finish the test.

    I agree with 2nd time Around and RockGuykev who said that the P has a right for a SST mandate in this situation.
     
  12. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    I believe in the teacher supporting students to the best of their ability and support their right to try interventions that may work, but also feel that IF you are going to consistently give extended test time to just one student without a documented need then the teacher SHOULD consider making the extended time available to any student who asks for it. Perhaps incorrectly, from OP's first post, it didn't seem to me that there was documentation that this student had that need and the concern was one of what is fair to all students. I work with SPED all day, and make plenty of accommodations according to IEP's, input from guidance department, social workers, and CST's. If OP wants to keep his job and stay on P's good side, then sure, do what the P mandates. Who would argue with that? Do I think that this intervention would be the first I would go to? No - I would have called for tutoring after school, parental involvement in assuring the student is coming to class prepared, that homework is being completed in a timely manner, or several other measures instead of giving more testing time. Since it is pretty much agreed that the teacher can somewhat allow more testing time for any student who asks, then I wouldn't deny the same courtesy to any other student who asked for it.

    The second post by OP gets to the heart of the matter. The student lacks a disability that would warrant a 504, and I am assuming, lacks an IEP. The P is probably caving to parental pressure, and who hasn't been part of that scenario? Adding test time would still be my last resort intervention if I really wanted to help this student. More one on one time, after school, or in study hall would be first on my list, coupled with the need for the student to be held accountable for homework assignments. I might try smaller assessments, quizzes instead of tests, for this student to pinpoint where the learning is breaking down. That is no less fair and is infinitely more productive to precision teaching for a student with a problem. The question that screams at me is simply this: is this a poor student without interest in the subject matter who is blowing off the class or a motivated student who would truly benefit from additional instruction to get past some bumps in the road?

    This response is not one that should have the state of NJ on trial for what I believe, but it is rooted in experience with parental pressure, student entitlement, poor student prep and participation, and the question of what to do when an able student won't find the help that could really benefit them because it involves work and effort. I would not have responded at all except for the prior experience with a similar student and my observation of how that played out. I do think that we should keep in mind that this student apparently passed Algebra 1 to get to Algebra 2, so not without some skills. Students can be using alcohol/drugs, be over-extended in non-curricular activities, have little parental support or supervision, involved in activities that steal time from study time, or more reasons than this reply warrants. Trying to get the student to commit to more structured study/instructional time would be higher on my list, but I'm not going to argue with NC or CA if they want to do things differently. This is, after all, my experience, my take on the situation. As a science teacher, I will go with a classic - there is more than one way to skin a cat. :mellow:
     
  13. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Nov 5, 2014

    How much of a problem is it to offer extra time to students who ask? Is there time built into your day (before school, after school, study hall, intervention period, whatever) for this?
     
  14. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    How did the psychologist conclude the student didn't have a disability?

    What stuck out to me in your first post is that this student has no basic math skills. I know there are reasons other than a disability that can put a situation in a place such as this such as social promotion without any interventions to help the student develop the skills. But honestly, lack of sincerity, lack of doing homework (which one needs basic skills to do), and lack of interest in class because a student with no basic math skills won't understand what is going on anyway is to be expected.
     
  15. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    In our school district, students are often passed on with quality points or methods. There are kids sitting in Algebra 2 with no math skills. Passing with a D will not give a student math skills needed for Algebra 2. Passing with a D where the teacher has so many give-me grades and extra credit for batteries or other such nonsense built in doesn't mean the student has the skills to be in the Algebra 2 class. Heck, we have kids that passed with Cs that have no business in Algebra 2 classes because the classes are designed in such a way a student almost has to make a huge effort to fail. We shouldn't look at passing as the gold standard that the student should really be in the class because he has the skills.
     
  16. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    As long as it is not a state or district-mandated (and thus timed) exam; I have no problem giving students extra time if they need it on a test even if they do not have an IEP/504.

    Here, if SST says to give a student extra-time, they get extra time. It is not the teacher's call or place to question this.
     
  17. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Same here.

    In my district, Algebra 1 is an 8th grade course and many kids get passed onto HS even though they failed Algebra 1. All 9th graders at my school are automatically put in Algebra 2 and it usually takes a while, sometimes years, before anyone in Admin realizes that the student needs to retake and pass Algebra 1 so they can graduate HS.

    We have plenty of Seniors taking Algebra 1; some, while they are also taking Pre-Calc ...
     
  18. 2ndTimeAround

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    Nov 7, 2014

    I wanted to add, it is doubtful to me (and probably your principal too) that extra time will make much of a difference if the student is missing the required skills. If you don't know it, you don't know it.
     

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