Forty nine states mandate scholastic testing for students under the “No Child Left Behind” (NCLB) laws. Only California allows a parent to write a note and exempt their child, but the law discourages teachers and administrators from mentioning this to the parents.
Pearlsky has no communication at all. Period. How can she be tested? The “alternate” test for “special needs” students actually extends over at least 45 days (as opposed to two for the “normal” students) and has several MANDATED parts that are absurd.
At the end of a series of instructional activities in which strategies for reinforcement and/or consequences are used, it is important to provide opportunities for a student to evaluate and reflect on his or her performance. …
• One Data Chart
A completed data chart must be included that measures the student’s accuracy and independence in performing tasks on at least five different dates based on a single skill or outcome in the learning standard being assessed.
Data charts must show that the student attempted to learn a new skill. Therefore, data charts will not be scored when they indicate that the student’s performance started and remained at 80-100% accurate and 80-100% independent throughout the entire data collection period.
This part is so ridiculous, here is a screen shot of one requirement for the special needs version of the state testing to pass …
(click on image to enlarge)
OK, so things are ludicrous. I do not want my daughter subjected to this testing. To ask her questions, when she very well may understand what you are asking, yet not be able to do anything about it, not be able to answer, is actually cruel. The entire concept is outrageous.
So, we even went to the state house and met with the leaders of the state.
Pearlsky and three lawyer law makers!
The punch line? Nothing. No one has a solution, no one will let her out of testing. But here is the rub …
The state supreme court has upheld a student’s right to not take an exam. A student can go into school, even hand out brochures, explaining why s/he refuses to take a test. This is a right, as long as the student is not disruptive. Then the school must accommodate the student’s wishes, so the student stays in the library or something. This makes sense since you can’t really tazer the student, well, at least you shouldn’t … Note that the student will suffer the consequences of getting a failing grade, whatever they may be.
So, why can’t I say that my daughter does not want to take the test? No one will let me. The teacher will administrate it anyway since “she must.” (Yeah, “just following orders” … I know) Where as a “normal” student would be given a blue book (do they still use those for answers?) and they can just sit there, my daughter would be asked questions. Hence, the teacher takes an active part, not a passive one.
Simple question: Why can a “normal” student choose to opt out of the exam, yet my “special needs” student cannot? DOES SHE HAVE FEWER RIGHTS THAN THE ABLE BODIED? Well, yes.
(hey, this is my 100th post)