Pushing Back against High Stakes for Students with DisabilitiesReport as inadecuate

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American Educator, v38 n4 p19-23 Win 2014-2015

The author is a special education teacher in New York and a mother of two children on the autism spectrum. The author's intimate involvement in the education system has made navigating the world of special education for her children easier in some ways, but also infinitely more difficult and heartbreaking in others. Since the passage of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) in 2002, the practice of compelling all students, to take one-size-fits-all, high-stakes tests has become policy. These tests were originally touted as a way to shine a bright light on educational inequalities based on race, class, and disability. While these tests can have negative effects for many students without special needs, they actually prevent many disabled students in particular from receiving an individualized education that meets their needs. The author and many special education teachers, have questioned why the practice of administering one-size-fits-all tests to special education students persists when it flies in the face of logic and sound pedagogy. Fortunately, many are no longer willing to remain silent about the flaws in this system. The author shares her opinion and views in this article.

Descriptors: High Stakes Tests, Disabilities, Testing Accommodations, Accessibility (for Disabled), Individualized Education Programs, Special Education, Special Needs Students, Educational Policy, Educational Practices, Advocacy, Teacher Role, Teacher Leadership, Policy Analysis, Accountability, Program Effectiveness, Barriers, Elementary Secondary Education, Teacher Attitudes

American Federation of Teachers. 555 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001. Tel: 202-879-4400; e-mail: amered[at]aft.org; Web site: http://www.aft.org/newspubs/periodicals/ae

Author: Tanis, Bianca

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=1507&id=EJ1049070

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