We operate in an era of Standards and high-stakes testing for all students. Some states allow modifications of testing for students with disabilities. The SAT has recently begun offering adjustments in time limits for learning disabled students. Is it equitable and fair to test all students with the same tests, even though all do not have the same abilities? How should included students be assessed? What modifications are warranted for them? How should students be screened to qualify for special education services? How should they be periodically re-evaluated? What is the IEP process? How might assessment be used to improve leaning?

These are questions to guide you through the following links. They are questions many teachers continue to ask themselves today.

  1. Assessment: A Key Component of Special Education and Education Reform -- Gives an excellent overview of current testing issues in Special Ed., and makes the case that testing special education students is necessary for their needs to be given proper due.
  2. Testing Students with Disabilities [ERIC Digest] -- summarizes concerns in light of federal law and regulations.
  3. Screening for Special Diagnoses [ERIC Digest] -- Discusses the uses and limitations of preliminary screening for special education diagnosis
  4. Accommodation Strategies -- Chapter 6 of an online book, gives a basis for determining accommodations that should be made for testing special education students. The same accommodations used in the classroom should be the ones used in testing.
  5. What Do Tests Test? -- By Howard Gardner. States the high stakes testing controversy in light of multiple intelligences and inherent limits of testing.
  6. How Important Should One Test Be? -- Discusses proper uses of tests and controversial aspects of their current use
  7. Special Education and the Real Meaning of LD -- Uses the analogy of the half full glass (learning differently) to contrast with the half empty view (learning disability)
  8. Teachers Learn from Looking Together at Student Work -- This proposes a focus for assessment that improves teaching and learning
  9. Is the Testing Legal? 5 Key Factors to Look for When High Stakes Graduation Tests are Imposed on LD Students -- Good exploration of equity issues in testing
  10. Learned Helplessness and Attribution for Success and Failure in LD Students -- Gives advice for a problem commonly occurring in inclusion classrooms
  11. Special Education: Reevaluation -- Gives guidelines to parents and teachers for reconsidering students’ need for special services—an underutilized procedure
  12. Understanding the Special Education Process: A Guide for Parents -- Shows what happens from the time a child is referred for evaluation and is identified as having a disability, through the development of an Individualized Education Program (IEP).
  13. Learning Disabilities, Special Education Assessment Professionals -- Shows areas covered by assessment professionals in this field, a useful guide to considering tests and modifications
  14. ASSESSMENT MATTERS! Toward Authentic Assessment -- Has over 60 sites to virtually every aspect of assessment, including Portfolios, rubrics, specific content area suggestions, and test construction


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