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Fraction of Special Ed. Students Proficient on National Writing Test

The overwhelming majority of students with disabilities who took the national writing assessment known as the "nation's report card" did not perform at the proficient level on the test.

Just 5 percent of 8th graders and 5 percent of 12th graders who took the new National Assessment of Educational Progress in writing earned a score at or above the "proficient" level. A score at or above this level represents a "solid academic performance," according to NAEP.

The test proved challenging for all students, although the performance of students with disabilities was especially low. Overall, only about a quarter of 8th and 12th graders taking the test showed proficiency. Here you can read about how students did nationwide. Students learning English also had a difficult time with the exam, which for the first time asked students compose essays on laptop computers and evaluated how frequently they used word-processing review tools, such as spell check.

There have been questions about how many students with disabilities are actually included in NAEP testing. The chart provided here shows that of all students tested, 10 percent of 8th graders had disabilities as did 8 percent of high school seniors.

As for many state tests, students were allowed a number of different accommodations while taking the NAEP.

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