Modifications for Standardized Testing

Discussion in 'General Education' started by ATXMusic, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. ATXMusic

    ATXMusic Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 1, 2013

    I'm required to to Oral Administration for some students on our STAAR tests. The SPED department is giving them STAAR Modified tests in all of our benchmarks, but I don't have any documentation that this is necessary.

    I don't have an IEP for one student at all. The other student's IEP states he gets Oral Admin and a small group setting. Nothing about fewer answer choices to be seen.

    I'm hesitant to administer the STAAR-M to students who don't have it on their IEP. Especially with all the fire and brimstone associated with a botched test. At this point, I want to refuse to administer a STAAR-M until someone can show me an IEP with Modification on it.

    What are y'alls thoughts on this? Am I overreacting or is this something that could potentially burn me for administering the wrong test?
     
  2.  
  3. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Messages:
    5,110
    Likes Received:
    475

    Apr 1, 2013

    You need to ask their special ed. teacher to see their IEP, especially the modifications page. Let them know what is going on and what you need to do. If they are no help, talk to the special ed. coordinator for your school.
     
  4. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    4,330
    Likes Received:
    573

    Apr 1, 2013

    I agree. You do not want to be giving modifications to a child that does not have written instructions for such. That may come back to bite you big.
     
  5. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,935
    Likes Received:
    1,923

    Apr 1, 2013

    Ask your sped dept. for a copy of all students' IEPs. You should have received those prior to the first day of school or as soon as a newly qualified student had one written. All teachers that work with a student must have access to the IEP legally. It's even better to have your own copy on file. I agree with the other posters that you need to see the IEP before deciding how to administer the test. If the wording on the accommodations and modifications page isn't clear, ask the sped teacher for clarification. Since this is a standardized test (state test, I'm assuming?), be sure to look at the state assessment accommodations and modifications page, not the regular accommodations and modifications page.
     
  6. comaba

    comaba Cohort

    Joined:
    May 21, 2011
    Messages:
    624
    Likes Received:
    1

    Apr 1, 2013

    Out of curiosity, I checked out the TEA modification requirements.
    http://www.tea.state.tx.us/student.assessment/special-ed/staarm/partreqs/

    If I'm reading this correctly, the modifications don't have to be in the IEP until next year. This year, the ARD (we call it CST or PST in my area) fills out a form for each child attesting to the child's need for modifications.

    I would still check, but it may be perfectly legit.
     
  7. ATXMusic

    ATXMusic Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 1, 2013

    My school's SPED department has had a 50% turnover during this school year. The two that aren't new to the school don't speak very well, so I've had issues communicating this problem with them.

    We just started getting IEP's last month. They trickle in a few a week. One child has no mention of sate test modifications, just oral admin and small group. I don't have one for the other child. Whether this is because she doesn't have one or because they just haven't gotten it to me yet is unclear.

    I've brought this issue to them for the benchmarks and nothing changed. There's a white board in the SPED office with a grid that puts student names in different categories for the accommodations and modifications. My students were in the "regular" column and the "Oral Admin/Small Group" column. We'd been giving them modified tests for the first several benchmarks, so I asked why they had been given modified tests. The SPED teachers apologized, made new copies of the test (identical to the ones I already had), and then wrote "modified" next to their names.

    Honestly, I'm more confused after I asked for help than before.
     
  8. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,019
    Likes Received:
    19

    Apr 1, 2013

    Do you have a testing coordinator at your school? That person should be overseeing who gets which test.
     
  9. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Messages:
    3,786
    Likes Received:
    250

    Apr 1, 2013

    I agree about the testing coordinator comment by Special-t. The proctor shouldn't be determined who gets what test, just which one is administered.
     
  10. bros

    bros Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Messages:
    4,105
    Likes Received:
    68

    Apr 2, 2013

    It is rather logical to be hesitant to provide modified testing when it is not called for in their IEP.

    Talk to the sped head or testing coordination , or even better, both
     
  11. ATXMusic

    ATXMusic Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 2, 2013

    Our school only has 4 SPED faculty. The head of SPED is the one that just marked "modified" on the white board when I pointed out that I had no documentation to back up modified testing. Since it's a charter school, almost all the positions y'all mentioned are the same one or two people.

    For some reason, they've changed all the proctor assignments and I don't have either of those kids today. Hopefully whoever gets those kids knows how to handle it better than I do.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  12. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Messages:
    3,786
    Likes Received:
    250

    Apr 2, 2013

    So is the head of SPED also the testing coordinator? Someone at the school level has to be in charge, whether that's the principal, SPED coordinator, etc. I would go with whatever they say.
     
  13. catlover

    catlover Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2011
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 2, 2013

    In my experience as a Texas special education teacher, proctors for STAAR do not get student IEPs.

    In fact, the proctor can easily be a sub, a counselor, or a teacher who does not teach those students on a daily basis. Instead, it is the testing coordinator for your school who is responsible for verifying the info and telling the proctors what to do. In my district, the info gets printed on the testing roster.

    As the music teacher for these students, I don't think you have the information needed to know what version of STAAR these students get.

    Consider this: You probably get a few pages of information for each student, but most IEPs I've seen run around 20 pages (and often longer). For obvious reasons, we don't photocopy all 20 pages for each teacher -- only the pages relevant to that subject. For example, it is commonplace for a student to get modified tests in one subject but not another, or supplemental aids in one subject but not another.

    In some districts, all subjects are lumped together on a single page. In other districts, each subject prints out on a different page. So the math teacher gets the math page, for instance.

    As a music teacher, you might only get the pages that pertain to electives or "all subjects," but not the math, science, or language arts specific pages. So if your pages say nothing about modified testing or fewer answer choices, that might be because the students aren't ARDed to get that *in music*. But even if you get comprehensive classroom modifications/accommodations info, you probably still can't tell for sure what state test they get.

    That's because in most Texas districts, state testing info has its own, totally separate IEP page. That page goes to the school's testing coordinator, but not to classroom teachers. It is the coordinator's job to tell the test proctors what to do on test days.

    If you think the testing coordinator has made an error, you should ask them to verify the information. But based on what you've said, you don't have access to enough information to figure it out on your own. In my opinion, you would land yourself in a heap of major trouble if you were to strike out on your own and withold the Modified version when you were told to give it.

    Sounds like your school's special ed department needs to do a better job of communication!! Must be very confusing to try to do things by the book if no one is explaining how the system is supposed to work.

    Keep up the good work! Sounds like you're a teacher who cares about making sure everything is done right.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Colliemom,
  2. miss-m,
  3. vickilyn
Total: 314 (members: 4, guests: 279, robots: 31)
test