Discussion in 'Special Education Archives' started by Guest, Mar 9, 2003.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Mar 9, 2003

    Hi! I was wondering about how testing works in your schools and districts. I live in Illinois, and ISATS (Illinois Standard Achievement Tests) are coming up at the end of this month. I teach Special Ed, and all of my students are LD, or MR. I have 2 students who are currently working 4 grade levels below thier actual grade, and the rest are 1-2 grade levels below. But, I have to test them at their grade level. At this point, I'm really frustrated, because obviously I can't read the Reading test to them, and the Math test is going to be a joke. What is the point in even having Special Ed, and even modifying in the regular classroom for our slow learners, if we are going to say, "You need to give them work based on their ability level, but then we're going to test them at their grade level." I'm a first year teacher, and my stress level is so incredibly high right now. Basically, I'm just curious to know how other schools and special ed teachers handle this. With the NCLB Act, I'm not so sure our school is going to make it. I don't know, maybe I'm making something out of nothing. Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
  3. AngelaS

    AngelaS Cohort

    Jul 22, 2002
    Likes Received:

    Mar 9, 2003

    In Maryland, they basically teach the spec ed kids on their developmental level and then test them on their age level. So even if a ten-year-old has been doing a seven-year-old's work all year, come March s/he will be tested on information light years ahead of what that child is ready to comprehend. No child left behind, right?:mad:
  4. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Aug 2, 2002
    Likes Received:

    Mar 9, 2003

    Don't they care about the effect the testing process has on these children? Here you work so hard to help them feel good about what they do achieve, and the states come in and prove what they can't do. Very odd. It makes me very happy to be in a private school that gives the CAT test but doesn't emphasize it at all. We don't even send results home. The teachers are very rarely surprised by the results. Administrators know each and every child in the school and care about their well-being. We would never traumatize a child over testing (or anything else!)
  5. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Mar 10, 2003

    Don't stress on this. Tell your students this test will not affect their grade. Just tell them to try until it gets too hard and then turn it in. Example- "I can't read this, can you help me? Response- "Sorry, I can't help you. Why don't you turn it in and we will wait for the others to finish so we can have our party. Until then you can draw, listen to your headphones, read, etc.". I am in a similar situation as yours, have been teaching for 10 years, and use this approach. I take this thing so casually, that my students do too. If you stress,they will. Some finish in 1 minute, some take awhile. When they are done we have a party, so most are done in a few minutes. These tests have no meaning for these kids, so don't put any into it, like stressing out. No one will be in your room while you give the test, and they are scored off site. Just go through the motions. That all the administration really wants.

    PS Our jobs are full of these "offical" sounding/looking tasks. To survive, you will have to learn to not sweat them. 99% of them will be forgotten, changed, or dropped before you will ever be able to complete them. Just nod your head, look serious, and go back to your students and teach them what they need to learn to be as independent as possible as adults. These tests don't fit this description.

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