Friday, June 1, 2012

Do you need another reason to resist the testing madness?

Here's a good one. It comes from veteran high school English teacher, Larry Strauss, posting at Huffington:
A colleague of mine who works as a home and hospital school teacher for those sick and disabled children who cannot make it to school, told me he is required to test all of his students, regardless of the severity of their illness or injury. In most cases, disabled students are given testing accommodations according to their individualized educational plans (IEPs) but he teaches one boy who was, just weeks ago, paralyzed in a car accident. With no IEP to indicate any accommodations, the teacher is required, by law, to place the CST answer sheet and testing booklets and a No. 2 pencil in front of the poor child and wait there. Since these tests have no time limits the teacher is supposed to carry on this cruel farce until the boy has a miraculous recovery and is able to hold and guide a pencil or until his IEP is written or until the boy's parents toss the teacher and the tests into the street or until the absurdity of these billion dollar testing requirements are mercifully rescinded.


  1. Ah, the reality of testing craziness. Every year we spend time testing students with severe/ profound cognitive disabilities. Place the two choices in front of a student who has the cognitive skills of a six month old and ask " which one is a statement, which one is a question?"
    And if they happen to come from a bilingual background, we spend how many thousands of dollars printing up ACCESS tests to assess these same sever/profoundly delayed students in listening, speaking, reading and writing. Because the state says we can't exempt them from the tests. And when they can't reach the required score to exit them from the bilingual program , ever, schools are chastised because their students aren't making enough progress.

  2. ReTiredbutMisstheKidsJune 6, 2012 at 2:39 AM

    I have been collecting high-stakes testing horror stories involving administration to special ed. kids from teachers all over the country (to gather 1,000s to present to OSEP, in hopes of STOPPING this madness). I received 2 stories similar to Larry's(but one w/a good outcome): 1. Homebound Teacher was sent to hospital children's psych ward to administer state test to one of her SpEd. students who had JUST BEEN hospitalized for attempting suicide. Principal told Teacher she HAD to give the test, as his school just "could not receive a 0 for one student not taking the test,as it would ruin the %age data."
    2. Same teacher seeing terminally ill child in hospital, coming from a different school. THIS principal, however,
    told Teacher,"I am NOT giving you the tests--she doesn't have to take them. I don't care if we don't get 100% for administration." FINALLY, someone who cares more about a child than an inane, standardized test!


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