PLEASE discuss grading special service students!

Discussion in 'General Education' started by McKennaL, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. McKennaL

    McKennaL Groupie

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    Jan 17, 2011

    I have looked for answers for YEARS and not come up with a convincing agruement for how to GRADE special service students.

    Achievement? By what scale?

    Effort?

    Selecting a goal - say 15 points above their cold/pre-unit grade?

    What?

    How does your school/you do it?

    ***

    Students are going home with "honors" distinctions - and one on ones who spent the massive lion's share of the time are not even consulted as to their effort or to pass on their work. (If what THEY are doing is honors - then doesn't that dismiss REAL honors distinctions?

    I'm wondering what others are doing - but I HAVE to think there is a BETTER model out there than this.
     
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  3. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jan 18, 2011

    Our evaluation of our Special Ed students is based on the goals outlined in their IEPs. The report card states something like this for each subject to which the IEP applies: "The grade for English is based on the IEP goals which vary from the grade 7 expectations. Alex is working on grade 4 expectations in Reading and Writing."
     
  4. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Jan 18, 2011

    This has always been a hot topic at our school. We have one special needs child who always gets a token for straight As and meeting her AR goal. She is graded in S/N/U. Some teachers and parents get upset at it. She is in resource 100% (or 99.9%) now. When I had her, she was in my room for 2 - 3 hours a day (often without her aide). Her resource teacher is the one who is supposed to assign the grades and they are supposed to be based on her IEP and growth in those areas. Because she was in my homeroom I was the one who had to enter grades on her. I was told to give her all S's unless told otherwise, I was never told otherwise. I never saw the growth, but it was hard to see that when I was just trying to keep her calm and semi-quiet.
     
  5. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Jan 18, 2011

    I grade their work just as I do their peers' work. The idea is that the IEP is to level the playing field. It doesn't always accomplish that, of course, but I've gone ahead and "bought into" the lovely little idea and I'm therefore able to demonstrate each quarter just how flawed that concept is. F-a-n-t-a-s-y. Rarely do I have special education students fail, but still. Please understand I modify assignments, provide additional instruction and care, and so forth. But when the assignment is turned in, it's graded like the others in the pile. *Besides, this is exactly how the state test operates...students are provided modifications, they test, they are scored just as the other test takers are. And then the school is slapped on the wrist because our special needs population isn't proficient. Yeah, you think? It's quite said for these children...to be made to feel inadequate year after year.
     
  6. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jan 18, 2011

    JustMe, I do something similar as well. I grade the work at the same level as my other students. I don't even look at names. We modify tests, assignments, etc. They may even have a different assignment. They might not do as much work as the other students, but what they do complete is graded the same.

    So, if my students who are labeled special education receive an A (which many of them do), they honestly did earn it at what they are capable of doing.

    We call our A/B honor roll, which is not saying a student is doing honors work (high school), but is completing and doing their work well.

    With this being said, I will also fail a student labeled special education if they do not complete the work assigned to them (which may be less than others) or do not complete the work adequately.
     
  7. DaveG

    DaveG Companion

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    Jan 18, 2011

    To be in compliance with IDEA and NCLB, special education students should be graded on the same scale as their general education counterparts. The only exception would be if the student has provision for alternate assessment (stated and detailed in their IEP). Alternate assessment means actually taking an entirely different test designed to measure different outcomes, not modified work or testing accommodations.

    Grading against IEP goals (unless those IEP goals are tied academically to your state standards for all students at the selected grade level) is not a valid option under NCLB for the majority of students.

    For example, all sixth graders should be able to read at whatever the state defines as a sixth grade reading level. Whether they can or not is another matter entirely - it's simply saying that this is where we want all students to be. Thus, this needs to be the ultimate goal to reach and IEP goals should be formed around developing the skills to reach that level.

    Standardized testing and RtI measures (particularly progress monitoring tools like AIMSweb) are designed to address this at all levels. If, with accommodations and modifications and other supports in the gen.ed environment, a student is unable to successfully access the curriculum, then the IEP team needs to consider a change in placement.
     

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