« Outcomes for Students With Severe Disabilities Can, Must Improve | Main | Seclusion in N.C. District Legal, Feds Say »

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.

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Follow This Blog


Most Viewed on Education Week



Recent Comments

  • sdc teach: I agree with the previous post regarding the high cost read more
  • Jason: That alert is from 2001. Is there anything more recent read more
  • Vikki Mahaffy: I worked as a special education teacher for 18 years read more
  • paulina rickards: As it relates to this research I am in total read more
  • Anonymous: Fully fund the RTI process. We are providing special education read more