A Look At Testing Students with Disabilities
The National Center on Educational Outcomes, a federally funded center that provides "national leadership in the participation of students with disabilities in national and state assessments, standards-setting efforts, and graduation requirements," is promoting a number of new reports available on its Web site.
I'll be examining these reports more closely for potential story ideas, but here are a few that jumped out:
States’ Alternate Assessments Based on Modified Achievement Standards (AA-MAS) in 2007: NCEO doesn't try to assess the quality of these tests, which can be given to 2 percent of students who are capable of learning grade-level content, but not as fast as their peers. But it does offer a snapshot of which states had created them (as of July 2007) and what the tests look like.
Revisiting Graduation Requirements and Diploma Options for Youth with Disabilities: A National Study: One conclusion in the report is that states do not fully know what the impact of changing graduation requirements will be on students with disabilities, particularly any requirements that students pass a series of tests in order to earn a regular diploma.
English Language Learners with Disabilities in State English Language Proficiency Assessments: A Review of State Accommodation Policies: How do states handle testing students who are learning English and who also have disabilities? This paper brings up some promising practices and issues.