Standardized testing and students with help tech

In recent years there has been a boom of standardized testing in American schools. Students are tested in reading, math, science, social studies for standards and school district standards that are used to show compliance with No Child Left Behind, along with NCLB testing students are also beaten with graduation tests, testing to advance in school progression ( I.e. a student must perform the test before going to the next grade level).

With the increasing number of tests to students whose results are difficult for the school, school districts or the performance of individual students, where do students with disabilities fall into this mix? Where special students with assistant technology or augmentative communication? Federal law requires states and school districts to include students with disabilities in large-scale assessments, and to report their scores publicly, in disaggregated form, as a way to determine how well schools serve the students. This is a matter of system accountability. Federal law is silent, but whether states or school districts should impose high-stakes consequences on individual students with disabilities who fail major tests. In other words, while federal law mandates participation in large-scale tests and public reporting of disaggregated scores, it is for states to determine whether large-scale tests will result in individual high-stakes consequences and, if so, for which students (Heubert , 2002).

Accommodations can be given to students with disabilities without losing the standardization of the test. An accommodation is considered, each change in the standard test format to assess the abilities’ abilities, rather than his or her

Disabilities. Although allowable accommodations are different, but, in general, they are one of the four

Presentation (for example, reading instructions / questions aloud, large print).

Answer (for example, use a writer).

O Setting (small group or individual testing, study barrel).

O Timing (Extended Time, After Breaks; Wahburn-Moses, 2003)

IDEA requires that the IEP team document all accommodations in the student plan for students. As Washburn-Moses (2003) stated, “the IEP team

Should focus on the strengths, weaknesses and individual learning characteristics of the student, and refrain from visiting their disabilities

Direct or current placement. Team members should consider only those accommodations that the student uses during classroom instruction and testing, as opposed to introducing new accommodations specifically for the state test (Thurlow et al.). It is completely

Important to document the IEP the team’s decision regarding accommodations, as well as the justification for that decision. ”

Dunne (2002), stated in an article from Education World, “In Wisconsin, students with disabilities are allowed testing accommodations so that more can take the test. The accommodations include increased time to take a test, use a writer to write answers, and Use a reader to read instructions and ask questions aloud.These types of accommodations allow about 85 percent of students with disabilities to participate in the Wisconsin State Assessment System, according to a study author by Eva M. Kubinski at the University of Wisconsin. Education research.

For those students who cannot be tested, even with accommodations, the state developed an alternative performance indicator tied to the Standards Standards for use by schools to assess the 2 percent of Wisconsin students with severe disabilities or limited English proficiency, Kubinski wrote in her paper ”

What does this mean for students with ASIP technology or AAC? Based on the research that has been found, if an assistive technology technology device would allow an IEP team to determine if accommodations on standardized tests are needed. Each student is as unique as their assistive device technology, and it can be said that each student will face different circumstances when it comes to testing in school. According to IDEA, as previously stated, the IEP team must decide what accommodations must be made for the student to be successful on the test. The accommodations must be written in the IEP students.

Since the students who use AT / AAC are very different and many have underlying issues about why they have AAC devices, such as other confounding disabilities. It is important that the IEP will determine whether the means that the student uses for communication will be part of the accommodation for the standardized test or if it is not needed. It is important to determine this and then prepare the student that they will or cannot use the device during the test. This is especially important if the device cannot be used during the test, as this is the students voice.

IEP teams must work to find the best accommodations for the student to be successful. There are different ways to do this, including the dynamic assessment of testing.

Accommodations (DATA), which helps teachers decide what students want

Benefit from that accommodations.

Based on the information provided, it can be concluded that each student case will be very different, but overall every student who is qualified for special education, including those who use assistant technology or augmentative communication devices, may be eligible for special accommodations of standardized testing . Let the students perform the tests with a reasonable score.


Dunne, D. (2000). Are tests of high stakes that punish some students? Weekly Education 34 (1) 32-35.

Heubert, JP (2002). Disability, race and high-stakes testing of students. NCAC. 4 (1) 38-45.

Sindelar, T., Hager, R., & Smith, D. (2003). Testing standards for high stakes for students with disabilities. Neighborhood Legal Services, Inc.

Washburn-Moses, L. (2003). What every special educator should know about testing at high stakes. Teaching Exceptional Children 35 (4) 12-15.

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