Friday, April 26, 2013

Special education students will automatically fail the STARR test - another face of rigor

This is what rigor looks like in Texas. 

What absolute absurdity will be next? This is a disgrace.
From Dallas Morning News 
New STAAR test standards guarantee some Texas special education students will fail

Staff Writer
Published: 22 April 2013 11:18 PM 

"Spring is the stressful STAAR testing season across Texas, but special education teachers and students carry extra challenges and responsibilities. Not only are those teachers responsible for designing the exams, but a new state scoring system means that some students will fail no matter what they answer.

This year, for the first time, students who are able to complete only the simplest tasks on the test will no longer pass. State officials say the standard is a way to challenge a population that was too often warehoused. Many teachers say the rule unfairly stigmatizes some students while penalizing schools, school districts and individual teachers.

There is no validity in this test that is going to help that child or is really assessing things that will help that child,” said Sara Baker, director of the Fannin County special education office that serves 10 school districts.

"Some of our students cannot perform at a performance Level 2,” said Vicky Templeton, program specialist for developmental programs for the Richardson school district. “I think it is very unfair to say that a student who can only perform at a performance level of 1 is an automatic failure.”

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