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 big test versus special needs test 
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I have mixed feelings about "The Big Test." I know we all need (in public/private school) an accountability system; and I also know that universities and community colleges need some sort of criteria for entry or else the diploma and degrees that you earn would not mean anything. However, I feel there is a huge disparity between the EOG's and EOC's and the Curriculum and the "educational testing" and "IQ" testing that is used to place students in exceptional children's programs. We (classroom teachers) are held most accountable for children's "growth" yet the children that need help usually don't qualify for any help or testing modifications. I have referred several children this year who can barely read and can't write worth a hoot (2nd grade level), but they are working at a "3rd grade level" according to the Woodcock Johnson. They didn't qualify for any help and those grade level equivalencies make it look like they're genuises. It is very frustrating to teachers and very deceiving to parents. If we are going to be forced to use the NCSCS to guide our lessons and forced to leave no child behind and forced to pass the EOC/EOG and denied supplements and have our name sullied through the newspaper or school meetings; then we NEED CURRICULUM BASED testing for exceptional children's programming rather than ability and IQ based testing alone. I plan on taking this issue to the mat (no offense Amy Price - I love ya). Next year at the Superintendent's committee, I plan on sending a request for curriculum based testing for special ed at every meeting until it is addressed. I realize their qualifications are pushed through state and federal avenues; but if no one ever says anything, it will NEVER change and our children who could benefit the most from that extra support and nudge will continue to fall through the cracks. Amy, I am interested particularly in your opinion.....

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Stella


Thu Jun 01, 2006 7:46 am
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Well, you said a mouth full! and I hope they listen to you. I had 3 to go to remediation for making a 2 on the eog and they were retested today. Two of them made a 3. Did they learn in 3 days what I've been teaching for 175 days? (not discounting what was taught during k-2). I know you know the whole nine yards about testing varibles and anxiety but the higher up you go in the system the deafer and dumber they become to this situation. And I wish sometimes I had more 'Joan of Arc' tendencies and could stir up a revolution for the cause.
P.S. please forgive my spelling, but I can''t find the 'spell check' for this program.
Hugs, Elaine


Thu Jun 01, 2006 4:22 pm
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Stella, I agree with every word that you have written. I am experiencing the same difficulties at my school. On an average year, around 30 children are referred for testing and normally half qualify for special services through the Exceptional Children's program at GW. This year out of 28 referred for evaluations, at this point 4 have placed for services. There are several problems that I have seen. 1. The Woodcock Johnson (academic eval) is based on national norms. North Carolina's Standard Course of Study that we teach from has much higher expectations than it does. We expect that our Kindergarten students will be reading by the end of the year. On the WJ, they only need to identify a few letters to be considered average on the letter/word section. By NC's standards, that child would have serious delays. We need a better test, that measures attainment of NC goals. 2. Personnel issues. 'Nuff said. 3. The IQ test results are coming out low this year. (Refer back to #2) If you need a 15 pt. discrepancy to qualify, it is not possible to get that with high academic scores and low IQ's. 4. The RTI model is not in place yet. The 15 pt. discrepancy model is going away very soon. Students will qualify for services as Learning Disabled based on their "Resistance to Intervention". It might sound like it will be easier to get kids to qualify, but from what I'm hearing, it won't be. There will have to be proven documentation that the child has been receiving research-based instruction and is still not making progress. Well, what qualifies as "research-based"? That is still to be determined. I will be attending 10 days of training on that this summer. I'll let you know what I find out.


Thu Jun 01, 2006 9:39 pm
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Amy
I am on the RTI committee for Nebo and will be receiving training during the school year next year. I'm glad to be on board with ya........maybe we can be the VOICE.
Stella

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Stella


Sat Jun 03, 2006 10:07 am
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We are definitely test crazy in our educational system. Third grade gets slammed a lot. How do you score a level II on the End of Grade, but somehow you are within a specified range right below the level III, and you can still pass without retesting? Also, there a quite a few students that pass the retest. Is it simpler? Do they dummy down the second time? We had a teacher her first year that couldn't pass the Praxis seven times. She had one more chance to pass it before June when she would lose her position, and guess what? She passed it the eighth time in order to keep her job. Was testing somehow made easier for her that last time so the state could keep a teacher? What does that say about the whole testing process?

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Sat Jun 03, 2006 4:56 pm
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Post EOG
One of my kids was sick on the day of the reading EOG's and came to school because such a big deal is made about not being out and having to do a make-up test. On that day she scored a level 2, but after remediation and the retest she scored a level 4. But the 2 is what is computed into AYP. That is not an accurate reflection of her ability. The test does not allow for the possibility of illness, stress, lack of sleep, trouble at home. But aren't these normal occurances in the lives of our students?


Sun Jun 04, 2006 9:12 pm
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I have one student that placed out of resource classes. I did not understand and questioned the results of the test. Does anything happen if a teacher does not sign in agreement with the results? I would llike to know more about the battery of tests the students are given. I also referred two other students and neither of them placed. I'm confused. Emily mentioned that something was up with the test. I think she is correct.


Tue Jun 06, 2006 8:28 pm
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Amy I would like to learn more about this RIT model. Our Special Ed. teacher for K-2 mentioned it to me and seemed to think that it would “cut downâ€

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Jennifer Davis


Tue Jun 06, 2006 10:27 pm
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