Insanity reigns in a southern state

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by stephenpe, Feb 25, 2016.

  1. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2003
    Messages:
    1,927
    Likes Received:
    158

    Feb 25, 2016

    I just talked to the ESE teacher about the student(s) I will test next week. It is a writing test and these guys have accommodations. No problem. I understand them. Now I discover this one kid I will test is expected to look at this writing prompt and work on it for 4 HOURS. He has 2x accommodations. The regular ed kids have just two hours. To begin with his abilities will max out at 20-30 minutes. So when he is through we (he) have to sit there and can do nothing in all that time. Not read or anything, We do have some breaks and his lunch but this is beyond insane. We will go from 8-12:55 on something that will be over for him by 9 am. He has 55 minutes total in breaks in this time period. I told the ESE teacher I will need some meds for this idiocy. Who makes this #@($& up? Who in their wildest imagination could think a 10 year old with problems (he has more than a few) will write for 4 hours. Somebody shoot me or the one that created this abomination.
     
    MLB711 and Backroads like this.
  2.  
  3. dr.gator

    dr.gator Comrade

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2008
    Messages:
    438
    Likes Received:
    20

    Feb 25, 2016

    We were told that if they got double time to offer it to them and mark it down as an accommodation that was provided but not used. I'm in the same boat you are in coach, plus I have to offer a ten minute break every 30 minutes. So praying the kid says done well before the four hour time limit. It is crazy what we are asking of our students.
     
  4. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2015
    Messages:
    1,358
    Likes Received:
    840

    Feb 25, 2016

    I'm confused. How does this fit into the student's IEP? Forcing a student to sit and do nothing for 4 hours (and be late for lunch?) does not seem like the "least restrictive environment".
     
  5. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2003
    Messages:
    1,927
    Likes Received:
    158

    Feb 25, 2016

    We do have small breaks and a lunch break. But now the guid. counselor says it may be just offered and if not used done in 2 hours.
     
    otterpop likes this.
  6. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6,595
    Likes Received:
    1,499

    Feb 25, 2016

    That idiocy is one reason I no longer teach in public school. Another reason is the school I taught at for several years that had me give all my sped students in grades 3-5 their state tests simultaneously with just my assistant to help. We are talking about 30 + students testing together in a portable with each grade taking a different test and each student being read to individually. We tested for six hours per day for two weeks straight to get it all done. We were allowed half hour for lunch!
     
    Backroads likes this.
  7. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    10,535
    Likes Received:
    2,594

    Feb 26, 2016

    The only thing that I can offer is the observation that this is not unique to any specific geographical region, which means that it can show up anywhere, especially around standardized test season. Since I work in an all SPED school, I have seen more variations of this than you can shake a stick at. Not very reassuring, is it??
     
  8. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2015
    Messages:
    1,358
    Likes Received:
    840

    Feb 26, 2016

    Realizing that this is the Internet and perhaps school officials or politicians might be reading this, I'm going to offer a suggestion. Even though standardized tests are to follow a standard, SPED students already do not fall into the average area of a bell curve. Perhaps it would be best to deregulate their standards and allow the teacher to have discretion as to how to administer the tests, or better yet, get rid of the tests entirely. They do not give that much information, not as much as is seen in the regular classroom on a day to day basis. Some might argue, well, how will the teacher's performance be judged? I would ask, doesn't the principal, through observation, have an idea if the teacher is doing his/her job? Why should students be granted that kind of evaluative authority through their pencil (or mouse) to evaluate the worth of their teacher according to how they succeed on a test that doesn't measure all of their learning in the first place!
     
    Upsadaisy, bella84 and Backroads like this.
  9. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    4,615
    Likes Received:
    1,212

    Feb 26, 2016

    I understand if it's being "offered" but if not needed then why make the kid sit there? My students would fall asleep!
     
  10. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    10,535
    Likes Received:
    2,594

    Feb 26, 2016

    Falling asleep would be so much more preferable than some of the ways that these students have to react. In reality, they can turn it up, create bedlam, and turn into the trigger that sets off the entire school or department.
     
  11. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2003
    Messages:
    1,927
    Likes Received:
    158

    Feb 26, 2016

    I am still waiting on confirmation on this from the district office. I have to even question why many of our ESE kids are required to take the same test and be expected to pass it. I have seen so much frustration and finally negative reactions from kids, that through no fault of their own, cannot pass these tests. And the school is held accountable (with school grades) when said students fail it.
     
    bella84 likes this.
  12. a2z

    a2z Maven

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    5,885
    Likes Received:
    1,804

    Feb 26, 2016

    You haven't shared the underlying problems of the students which you refer to, but the reason only a small percentage are allowed to not take the test at all or take an alternative test instead is because history has shown a process of low expectations and providing students with any meaningful services. The idea was that school systems would design and implement better learning plans for students if they were held accountable to grade level standards for most with disabilities. Unfortunately, most districts have not provided services needed to produce the progress needed. Much of the time you can look at the services and know there is no way that the amount of progress needed will happen.

    I may be one of the few, but I am all for the students taking the standardized tests. I've seen too many instances of students IEPs saying they are making progress using grades from the classroom that are inflated by various methods. Sometimes they are inflated just because the school would have to provide better and more intensive services if the goal's progress monitor showed minimal to no progress.

    If I were to believe that all schools would provide the services the students needed, I could back the idea that the testing is unnecessary. Sadly, there has to be at least one measure that is more difficult to influence and falsify.
     
    Obadiah likes this.
  13. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    8,365
    Likes Received:
    1,507

    Feb 26, 2016

    In my experience, the extra time accommodation must be offered and made available, but it doesn't translate into the student being tied to a chair for the entire time.
     
    2ndTimeAround and donziejo like this.
  14. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,468
    Likes Received:
    2,485

    Feb 26, 2016

    This has been my experience as well.
     
  15. a2z

    a2z Maven

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    5,885
    Likes Received:
    1,804

    Feb 26, 2016

    In my state all state tests are untimed. While students have a window for which all students are scheduled, any student who needs more time will move to another room to complete the test using as much time as needed. In HS this has equated to staying beyond the school hours when the test was scheduled for an afternoon slot.

    OP, when you talk about the students ability do you mean that he only can focus for short bursts or that he is incapable of writing so 15 minutes will produce all he could produce even if he is given breaks and more opportunities to add to his writing?
     
  16. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6,595
    Likes Received:
    1,499

    Feb 26, 2016

    I have to disagree with your thought that all students should take the exam. I have taught students who are incapable of passing a grade level exam due to their intellectual ability. Doesn't matter how many services they receive, they will never pass the test based on their chronological age. For those students, the testing is absolutely unnecessary.
     
    bella84 likes this.
  17. a2z

    a2z Maven

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    5,885
    Likes Received:
    1,804

    Feb 26, 2016

    My apologies. I first wrote about the small population that are exempt for which in my state includes those students with intellectual disabilities. I went on to say all students without clarification. In my mind, I had already excluded the students which were exempt when I wrote all. It was poor writing on my part. Thank you for pointing that out.
     
  18. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6,595
    Likes Received:
    1,499

    Feb 26, 2016

    That makes more sense, and I agree completely. In my area, no more than 1% can be exempt. So, what happens when we have more than 1% who should be exempt? Sorry, the overflow have to take the test. I had a child one year who enjoyed filling in bubbles. He wasn't toilet trained, couldn't tie his shoes or speak much, couldn't read or do much more in math other than count to 5, but he was a wonderful colorer. His test looked just like a lighted Christmas tree when he was finished. Funny thing is, he answered almost 25% of the questions correct with his random bubbling!
     
  19. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2015
    Messages:
    1,358
    Likes Received:
    840

    Feb 27, 2016

    I kind of agree with a2z, also. I'm not in favor of the way standardized tests are being used and interpreted, and I wish it was limited to 1 test per year, but I am concerned about the way IEP's might be mishandled, too. Students need the least restrictive environment. I am concerned about interpreting progress from a single test, also, and defining progress as how one completes a specific type of test.

    Slightly off the subject, but the recent fictional movie No Ordinary Hero provides an interesting viewpoint of IEP's from a student's and parents' perspective. (It's also quite an enjoyable movie).
     
  20. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,507
    Likes Received:
    1,481

    Feb 27, 2016

    I agree with your sentiment, a2z. In far too many cases, the services that students are receiving are just not appropriate to help them to make the progress that they should. The problem I have though, is that we limit very specifically which students are eligible for an alternate assessment. In my short career, I've worked with at least two students who did not qualify for an alternate assessment because they did not have a low enough IQ and the adaptive skill deficits needed to qualify... but they had no business taking the standardized assessment. It's cruel that they are being forced to. It's not because my expectations for them are low or that the schools are providing inappropriate services (although in both cases, the schools are...). It's just that they learn differently and have a skill set that cannot be measured by the standardized test model. Their IQs are not below 70 and they can take themselves to the bathroom, but their IQs are not much higher than that. Even with the best services in the world, they wouldn't make progress that could be adequately measured by a grade-level standardized test. I've always been troubled by the fact that a student with a 69 IQ can be excused from the test, but a student with a 71 can't. There's not much difference there in terms of cognitive abilities, yet the impact on the students' day-to-day life is tremendously different. There has to be a better solution than forcing kids who are stuck in the 70-79 zone to do the same things as all of their average-intelligence peers simply so that schools can be pressured into having higher expectations for students.
     
    Obadiah and donziejo like this.
  21. a2z

    a2z Maven

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    5,885
    Likes Received:
    1,804

    Feb 27, 2016

    There is always that line, and I agree that some schools are much worse than others and determining the line. Sometimes it is really the state's decision and other times it is those in charge at the school level. There will be those that are caught in the middle of any cut off. When a child doesn't fit the criteria, there should be major questioning as to why. It may be that the school had something to do with the situation the student is in because they failed to identify the child with a disability early enough or that the parents wouldn't allow testing and the school didn't pursue due process (both at fault in that case). Was the program adequate and when little progress was made were the services increased? A student can be hurt by decision of the adults in charge.

    Our state had special education teachers abusing the alternate assessment when they started to allow "special exceptions" to the criteria. It was amazing how many students were taking them and the absolutely amazing pass rates of those students. You know the student who had half of her brain removed and didn't know how to read a word but somehow passed at the highest levels. The child that still couldn't hold a pencil but managed to handwrite an entire essay.

    So, there is good and bad in it all. In my opinion, it is more harmful as seen in my state to start allowing exemptions freely, especially when these assessments end up being a data point that is looked at when determining services (I didn't say the only data point). But inflated alternate assessments with inflated grades mean fewer services and a student who is loosing ground with each year they are getting that non-INDIVIDUAL education plan.
     
    Obadiah likes this.
  22. a2z

    a2z Maven

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    5,885
    Likes Received:
    1,804

    Feb 27, 2016

    I agree that is an issue. The students instruction needs should be dictated by what they need, not by an arbitrary IQ. However, we still have the same problem with the kid with the 80 or 85 IQ. They rarely get enough services or any services. The excuses tend to perpetuate up the scale until you get to the above average kids without disabilities who provided the right materials will pass the test regardless of what is done in the classroom.
     
    bella84 likes this.
  23. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,507
    Likes Received:
    1,481

    Feb 27, 2016

    I can agree with that. I guess I'm just stuck in my idealist mindset where I wish that all teachers and schools could be trusted to do what's right by all kids, so that no student has to be stuck taking a standardized test (or doing some other task) when it's really not appropriate for them as an individual.
     
    a2z likes this.
  24. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,507
    Likes Received:
    1,481

    Feb 27, 2016

    True. I didn't mean to imply that everyone with an IQ of 80 and up wouldn't be affected. In fact, as you've said, they are often the ones who get the fewest services or support, if they get any at all. I was just trying to make the point that the 70s aren't that far from the 60s.
     
  25. a2z

    a2z Maven

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    5,885
    Likes Received:
    1,804

    Feb 27, 2016

    I understood. Slippery slope though since there are teachers claiming that kids with 90 IQs can't pass the standardized tests either. Yes, there is a huge difference between the child with a 90 IQ and a child with a 70 IQ, but it doesn't stop that "shouldn't take the standardized test" argument from coming up until you get to the range where the kids have a high enough IQ that they really don't need much from the teacher to learn the material. I do agree that kids lower on the scale probably will never pass a standardized test, but I do know a kid with a 74 IQ who passed all of his tests. He had to retake some. He needed some extra help, but he passed every one. Learning is harder, but he could learn. He will never be college bound, but he is literate and numerate enough to be a functioning adult.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Backroads
Total: 386 (members: 3, guests: 365, robots: 18)
test