IEP Issues - High Stakes Testing,
Standardized Testing, Assessment & MEAP
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Assessment Resource Websites
from eSchool News
The Assessment of Basic Language
and Learning Skills (ABLLS)
An invaluable resource, the ABLLS manual contains an actual
assessment (protocol) that identifies a young learner’s skills and
deficits. The initial scoring allows you to systematically
determine intervention priorities and establish an individualized
curriculum for each child. The second part of this two part
package contains the ABLLS Scoring Instructions and IEP
Development Guide. Once the assessment is complete, it can be used
to outline an IEP and develop a baseline for working with children
at their skill level. *Note that this is a 2 booklet set that
comes with one protocol already included. Price: 59.95 USD; Soft
Cover, 2 Volume Set by James W. Partington, PhD and Mark L.
When An Adult Took Standardized
Tests Forced on Kids - A longtime friend on the
school board of one of the largest school systems in America did something that
few public servants are willing to do. He took versions of his state's
high-stakes standardized math and reading tests for 10th graders, and said he'd
make his scores public.
Testing? YES! --
Standardized Testing? NO! - Here, in three short sentences, is why No
Child Left Behind is dumbing down America's kids: 1. Teachers always teach to
the test. 2. Under NCLB, the only tests that count are standardized and machine
scored rather than teacher created and scored. 3. Machines can't evaluate and
attach a number to complex thought processes, so complex thought processes don't
Assessment and Achievement - Few issues are hotter than
assessment—thanks to the No Child Left Behind Act and similar measures—but
few are more misunderstood. With the generous support of Software Technology
Inc., the editors at eSchool News have assembled a variety of news and
information as well as outside resources to help put assessment in clearer
perspective and to tie it more closely to its primary purpose—namely, better
test scores through improved instruction.
Test Scored Fuel Laptop Debate -
Eighth-graders' scores on Maine's most recent annual achievement test are
refueling the debate over that state's groundbreaking effort to give laptop
computers to students. Middle-school students who used laptops for two years
performed about the same on a standardized test as students in the past who
did not have access to computers, the results indicate--though
laptop-equipped students did show gains in writing.
Testing Companies Mine for Gold -
There has been little public outcry over the fact that private,
multinational companies operating beyond public oversight are
determining which students, schools, and districts in the United
States are deemed "failures" and which are deemed "successes." Given
the secrecy that shrouds testing company operations, information is
negligible. What the public doesn't know, the public doesn't complain
Read the article "Schools:
Many who failed MCAS quit" - Boston
school officials announced findings yesterday that a significant
number of the students in the Class of 2003 who failed the high-stakes
MCAS exam in the spring of 2001 and who did not take the retest in
December of 2001 have dropped out of high school.
Testing For Aptitude, Not For Speed
"Understanding Tests and
Measurements for the
Parent and Advocate" by Peter W. D. Wright, Esq. and Pamela
Darr Wright, M.A., M.S.W. - you can view this informative document
TestPrepReview - TestPrepReview.com is a free service "created
to provide free practice test questions for students in a variety of
career situations." Includes online review for ACT, SAT, GED, LSAT,
GMAT, MCAT, ParaPro, Nursing, and many more.
The 500-Pound Gorilla
- Privatizing education is predicated on an almost childlike
faith in competition: let self-interested
people struggle against one another, and somehow all of them -- even
their children, presumably -- will benefit. It is closely related to a
second ideological underpinning: a pronounced individualism in which
there is no us, just you and her and him and me. Perhaps it was the
implications of this threat to the value of community that led the
political philosopher Benjamin Barber to observe, "Privatization is
not about limiting government; it is about terminating democracy."
Low Income & Low Test Scores Linked in Colorado -
Students from Colorado's poorest families scored significantly lower on
this year's state proficiency exams than their better-off peers, a review
of state Department of Education data show. In
most cases, the gaps between high-performing
low-income students and all other students on the
Colorado Student Assessment Program exams were more than 30
SAT Camp Offers Pay to Study for Exam - Some high
school students will be paid $5.25 an hour to attend an SAT
prep course at Coppin State University this summer, the latest
step in the school's attempt to reach out to the neighborhoods
around the West Baltimore campus. Fifty students will get
breakfast, lunch, bus passes and three hours a day of SAT
coaching for two weeks this month. The students, most from
nearby high schools, will be paid at the end of the course.
With SAT Changing, Questions Multiply -
The new SAT college entrance exam will be
administered for the first time in March 2005. But with less
than a year until launch, many questions about how colleges
will handle the conversion remain unanswered. The uncertainty
is raising stress levels for some parents and college-bound
students, but it also could provide unique opportunities for
students to maximize test scores.
Website Helps Students Brush Up For TAKS Test
- A new Web site offers help to high school juniors
preparing to take the state's new exit-level exam this spring.
features diagnostic tests and interactive learning materials.
Students in Alaska Sue Over Exam - Disabled children and their parents
filed a federal class-action lawsuit yesterday against the Alaska Board of
Education, the latest in a string of challenges to laws of various states
requiring students to pass an exit exam to earn a high school diploma.
Exit Tests Hurt At-Risk
Students - Report: Dropout Rates
Could Increase for Poor, Minorities.
Read the article "A
Hurdle Too High" -
I am not your average kid with a learning
disability. I am a unique kid with a different style of learning. I
did not choose to have this learning disability. It chose me. Because
I am stuck with this, I am not going to let this problem get in the
way of my success.
Ends Flagging Tests of Disabled -
of the ACT college entrance test followed the lead of its rival
Friday, and announced that the scores of disabled students who need
extra time to take the ACT exam will no longer be specially marked.
Standards, Not Just the Tests
Good scores don't always cost;
Schools with goals, expectations do best
Fail the Test,
Forget the Diploma: No Exceptions for Special Education Students
Students Ousted for
Thousands of struggling students were discharged by high
school administrators more concerned about their own job evaluations
than the students' futures, say some public officials and children's
Education's Rotten Apples
- From math instruction to state assessments, bad
practices can undermine the good.
Tests & Measurements for the Parent, Teacher, Advocate and
Attorney by Pete & Pam Wright -
Your child has received special education for three years. Has
your child caught up with the peer group? Has your child
fallen further behind? How can you tell?
High-Stakes Lawsuit in Massachusetts: How High Are the Stakes?
- Learn about the new high-stakes lawsuit in Massachusetts - and how
high the stakes are.
A Champion in
the Fight Against Testing Standards
Scholarship Limits Eased -
Michigan among places where bar is lower for National Merit
New List of Over 700 Colleges
that Deemphasize the SAT and ACT in Admissions: A list of more than
700 accredited, bachelor degree-granting institutions which do not use
the SAT I or ACT to make admissions decisions about substantial
numbers of freshman applicants is posted on the web at
http://www.fairtest.org/optinit.htm in both state-by-state and
alphabetical order. Printed copies may be obtained by sending a
stamped, self-addressed, business-size envelope to FairTest, 342
Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02139. For further information contact Bob
Schaeffer (239) 395-6773 or
Click here for information on how to prepare
students for the reading portion of the Florida Comprehensive
Assessment Test (FCAT).
The Special Ed
Dilemma - Advocates say holding
special ed kids to the same standards as everybody else is a step
forward, but critics say it makes no sense. It produces dumbfounded
stares and sighs of frustration. Yes, special education students now
have to take regular tests. And the kicker? They are expected to do
just as well as students without the same problems.
Schools" on the Rise - For children of Asian descent growing up
in and around New York City, cram schools are a part of life. Starting
in the third grade and continuing through high school, hundreds of
students drag themselves to these private tutoring classes, long a
tradition in the Far East, day after day, after school, on weekends
and over the summer. Now, growing numbers of non-Asian parents are
enrolling their children in the schools. [Source: PEN]
Some Parents of Special-ed Students Oppose Plan for Testing
- If Maryland's special-education teens were required to pass last
year's High School Assessment exams to graduate - which the state is considering
requiring all students to do - 90 percent of them would not earn their diplomas.
Putting Students to a Big Test - New Prince George's County
schools chief André J. Hornsby will require students in the eighth and
ninth grades to take the PSAT, a national test designed for
eleventh-graders preparing for the SAT college-entrance exam. [Source]
- Shae Kunz cringes with guilt and frustration every time she
thinks about her 11-year-old son's struggles with literacy and the
misdiagnoses that left him drugged and reading below grade level while
his peers passed him by.
into FCAT complaints - An arm of the U.S. Department of
Education is investigating multiple complaints that the state's
testing system discriminates against Florida's disabled students.
Accountability for All Students (SAAS) Offers Preliminary Findings on
State Policy and Student State Test Results - SAAS is a three
year national research project designed to explore the connections
between state policy/practice and the participation and performance of
students with disabilities in the regular statewide assessment
programs. SAAS is also examining the unintended consequences of
including students with disabilities in high-stakes testing programs.
Ed Yes! Report
Cards Still Planned for September -
Problems with a contractor developing a new database for Michigan
Educational Assessment Program test scores has delayed release of
those scores, but the Department of Education is still aiming at
having report cards under the new Education YES! accreditation system
to schools by mid-September, officials said Tuesday.
Fear of failure leads to FCAT rebellion -
Test's critics blame the system;
Parents are picketing, students are walking out of class
and civic leaders are conjuring a wide-ranging boycott -- all
decrying a statewide test in a protest that some of its own
leaders fear is grossly misunderstood.
Real MCAS rates cause for worry, not celebration
As graduation time approaches, news about MCAS testing seems
reassuring. After four rounds of re-tests, the Department of
Education says 91% of all seniors will receive a diploma. If
only reality were so rosy. The problem is this: MCAS pass rates
fail to include students from the Class of 2003 who haven't
survived to the twelfth grade.
Reaching a "100% pass rate" is possible if we lose more students
Big market for tutoring -
Popularity of learning centers climbs with test scores.
stance on FCAT
CA LAUSD may
put moratorium on exit exam
Family Institute assists families of children and adults with
PDD/Autism, as well as, significant and multiple disabilities by
offering comprehensive assessments that assists them in advocating for
services and equipment to better meet individual needs. Additionally,
the team of professionals will develop a family training plan in the
areas of motor skills and mobility, communication, oral motor,
assistive technologies for personal and environmental access, medical
and wellness, and daily living skills development. Customized goals
and family/individuals training plans are developed based on the
specific needs of the entire family.
For special education
students, the MCAS can be a nightmare - Every night, Jonathan
Galina lies awake in bed with the same thought: "I'm not going
to school tomorrow. I quit."
Disabled students call test unfair: State high school exit exam forcing them
out of classroom, some say. After Justin Pierce, an 11th-grader with
dyslexia, failed the math portion of California's new graduation exam for the
second time, he left his family in Napa.
More Money Isn't Equaling
Better MEAP Scores - If a
connection exists between Michigan Education Assessment Program (MEAP)
scores and state increases in K-12 education, it cannot be made, yet.
Update on Use of MEAP for
Current and Future High School Testing -
With the publicity surrounding the adoption of the Michigan Merit
Examination (MME) several weeks ago, questions have arisen as to the status
of the current Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) High School
Test (HST). There is some confusion about when the MME begins and what
happens to the MEAP HST in the interim.
Cognitive Impairment Score Well on Alternate Assessments - A
majority of Michigan students with cognitive impairment "Surpassed" or
"Attained" set performance standards on the state's alternate
assessment, known as MI-Access.
State to Pad MEAP Scores - Marks will be
revised after 4th- and 7th-grade students did poorly on the tougher writing
Resource Sharing: We've spotted a
webpage (by Rich Gibson) with more MEAP information
than we've ever found
in one place! Looks like it has just about every article ever written about
MEAP testing. Find it at:
MEAP Testing Accommodations (PDF):
The Office of
Educational Assessment and Accountability provides a list of standard and
nonstandard MEAP testing accommodations for students with a disability or
for students with limited English proficiency. In general, the support for a
standard or nonstandard testing accommodation must be documented in the
student's school records. For students with a disability, documentation
usually consists of a Section 504 Plan or an Individualized Education Plan.
This documentation must be specific for each test subject administered.
MEAP Resources from the Detroit
Background on NCLB/MEAP and Michigan High School Report Cards - On
Thursday, November 4, 2004, the Michigan Department of Education posted Education YES! High School Report Cards on
www.michigan.gov/mde. This is the second time high schools have received the annual report cards. The Education YES! accreditation
system is how the State of Michigan is meeting the federal requirements of No Child Left Behind (NCLB).
Michigan Launches New Grade Level Content Expectations (GLCE)
- Michigan’s new nationally recognized GLCE provide schools, teachers, and parents with the detailed information they need to understand what students are expected to know and be able to do at the end of each grade. The new annual
MEAP (Michigan Education Assessment Program) will be aligned to the GLCE. Download a copy of the new grade level content expectations and Michigan
curriculum framework for English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics, as well as teacher professional development materials, a parent guide, a list of frequently
asked questions, and other resources.
Spring High School
MEAP Test Dates Set for Academic Year 2004-2005 -
MEAP has identified the testing dates for this year that are
consistent with the new state law and NCLB. Spring high school testing dates
for the current academic year are broken into three cycles in order to give
schools more flexibility for test administration.
High School MEAP
Test Scored Improve Across-The-Board -
State assessment scores for the Michigan high school Class of 2004 improved
across-the-board. The numbers of 2004 graduates who met or exceeded state
standards for the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) high school
test increased in all five testing areas: Reading, Mathematics, Science,
Writing, and Social Studies.
MEAP Results Are Promising - Most high
school students in Michigan know their reading, but they're shaky when it
comes to writing and math. That's what scores from the Michigan Educational
Assessment Program released Thursday indicate. Students were tested in
reading, writing, math, science and social studies.
MEAP Scores Moving Up? -
Recently released results show focus on reading is paying off.
The recent release of MEAP scores should leave minority
students, their parents and teachers, smiling. The gap between
achievement levels of white and non-white children is
shrinking statewide -- in some cases, dramatically.
Roeber Eyes Faster MEAP
Scores - Ed Roeber is now through the first full testing cycle in his
second stint as director of the Michigan Educational Assessment program, and his
work so far has drawn commendation from some of the most strident opponents of
the state's testing program. But if the stock market had not performed so poorly
the last several years, he might have remained in his private sector post.
MEAP Scores Show
Proficiency Gains - Elementary and middle school
students improved proficiency in nearly all subjects tested by
the Michigan Educational Assessment Program, according to
reports from the Department of Education. The results Tuesday
were hailed not only for the improvements in scores, but also
for improvements in timing after lengthy delays in last year's
MEAP vs. ACT:
Myth vs. Fact - State testing
should focus on what's best for students, teachers, and
High Schoolers' Apathy Could Help Kill MEAP -
When some students at Lake Shore High School in St. Clair Shores intentionally
blew the MEAP test last week, they unwittingly helped fuel a debate about
dumping the high school exam. Now, about seven seniors - who had already taken
the test in 2003 - face a 3-hour detention and must write a statement on why the
MEAP is important. Some still aren't convinced it is.
Subcommittee To Recommend Replacing High School MEAP with ACT
- The Michigan Educational Assessment Program test for high
school pupils should be replaced with the ACT, the test taken
by most college-bound students, a House subcommittee will
Michigan State Board
of Education Pushes MEAP Participation - The Department of
Education has taken steps to ensure the delays and lost answer sheets
of last year's Michigan Educational Assessment Program tests do no
recur, but the State Board of Education said Tuesday that schools now
need to work on getting students to take the test.
MEAP In High Schools - The controversial MEAP exam may be headed for the
scrap heap with the introduction of legislation next week to replace it with a
CEPI Releases New Data;
Parents Corner added
New Elementary & Middle
School MEAP Scores Out
Assessment Accommodations for Students With Disabilities
MI-Access, Michigan's Alternate Assessment Program
High School MEAP
Results Not Pretty - Maybe Michigan's public high schools would
have preferred the Michigan Education Assessment Program (MEAP) test
results for public high schools had stayed lost. The data that was
released was not flattering.
Head MEAP Effort - Edward Roeber has been named director of the
Michigan Educational Assessment Program office in the Department of
Education, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Watkins said
Focus: Meap Test Primer - It's
considered one of the single biggest barometers of how schools and
students across Michigan are performing: the MEAP test. But as parents
across Michigan and Metro Detroit await individual student MEAP scores
this month, many admit deciphering the MEAP acronym -- Michigan
Educational Assessment Program -- is tough enough without trying to
understand the scores.
MEAP Back to Education - With the delays of the last Michigan
Educational Assessment Program test scores release still fresh in the
public's mind, Governor Jennifer Granholm did Monday as she had
earlier promised and issued an executive order moving administration
of the statewide test back to the Department of Education.
House OKs MEAP
Bill Extending 2003 Deadline - A bill that would give students
qualifying for the Merit Award until November 15, 2003 to apply for
the scholarship passed the House on Wednesday. SB 701, passed
unanimously, would affect just this year, because of the delays
schools and students have endured in getting the scores on the
Michigan Educational Assessment Program tests. (10/03)
The State of Michigan's online listing of MEAP information can be found at:
Download "The Assist" (April
2003; pdf size=455kb) -
If IEP Teams
decide a student should participate in the MEAP, they must also
decide if the student needs "standard" or "nonstandard"
accommodations. When nonstandard accommodations are used, the
student's score is NOT eligible for Merit Awards, and it will
count as a "zero" or "not proficient" in Adequate Yearly Progress
calculations under No Child Left Behind. In this issue of
The Assist, see the full listing of standard and nonstandard
accommodations, see the IEP Team State Assessment Decision-Making
Flow Chart and checklist which help teams determine the type of
test a student will take, and learn how you can comment on the new
Draft Guidelines for Determining Participation in State Assessment
for Students with Disabilities.
May Hurt MEAP Scores -
Students get zero if they miss test, don't make it up.
AP Test May Change Teaching - The Advanced
Placement test, close to surpassing the SAT as the most popular examination in
the country, is undergoing an adjustment designed to change not only high school
teaching but the way introductory college courses are taught throughout the
country, College Board officials said Tuesday.
Exposing The Mystery of
Standardized Test-Question Writers - For those stressing about upcoming
MCAS tests, here's a tip from some inside sources: The first questions will be
easy, and if an answer seems right, it probably is. That's because test makers
aren't evil trolls plotting student failure, but normal people who know how
For people who are concerned about
standardized testing in general, not just as pertains to kids with
IEPs, the FairTest website might be of interest:
http://www.fairtest.org/. If you go to that site and
click on "assessment reform network" (ARN) you will link to a page
that allows you to join a listserv devoted to many of the issues
being raised in this thread. However, I do want to warn
folks that this group as a whole is not very interested in
disability/special education issues -- the focus is on other
diversity issues like race and social class, but also on the ways
tests are being used and what they are doing to classroom
practice. You may have seen an ARN t-shirt here or
there -- they're nice, if esoteric: black with a picture of a
tomato plant and the words "High stakes are for tomatoes".
Seeking Alternatives to Standardized Testing - Is there some
other way to make low-income neighborhood schools better than through
the annual standardized testing required by the new federal No Child
Left Behind law? In 1974 Deborah Meier created the Central Park East
School in the East Harlem neighborhood of New York City. That school
showed, through its students' success in college and the workplace,
that the children of day laborers, garment workers and welfare
recipients could achieve academic success by being treated in public
school as if they were graduate students. Instead of being given
regular standardized multiple-choice tests, they were evaluated
through reviews of their written work and interviews with experts in
the subject matter they had studied.
Tools Help Individualized Educational Program (IEP) Teams Decide Which
Assessments to Use for Students with Disabilities - The
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that all
students with disabilities be assessed at the state level. In
addition, the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) calls for a
single statewide accountability system that includes students with
disabilities. If the state’s general assessment is not appropriate,
even with assessment accommodations, the individualized educational
program (IEP) team must determine how the student will be assessed.
This FOCUS on Results document highlights new tools available from the
Michigan Department of Education to help IEP teams choose which state
assessment is most appropriate for a student with a disability.
in Standardized Tests: A Systemic Problem (PDF) by Kathleen
Rhoades & George Madaus, Lynch School of Education, Boston
College, May 2003