KASAStandardizedTestingWhitePaper.doc - Standardized Testing What Youth with Disabilities Have to Say White Paper Produced by Kids As Self Advocates

KASAStandardizedTestingWhitePaper.doc - Standardized...

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Standardized Testing: What Youth with Disabilities Have to Say White Paper Produced by: Kids As Self Advocates Youth Information, Training and Resource Center “It [standardized tests] can have serious effects on the lives of people with disabilities despite the fact that they are not necessarily designed with us in mind.” – High school student from Florida Visit Kids As Self Advocates on the web at: KASA is a project of 2340 Alamo SE, Suite 102 Albuquerque, NM 87106 Ph: 1-888-835-5669 Fax: 505-872-4780 Email: [email protected]
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Executive Summary This report was written by youth with disabilities to share first- hand experiences, real-life impact, feelings and improvement ideas concerning the high school exit exam (a standardized test a student must pass to get a high school diploma), as well as standardized testing practices. This is a tool for states to use in improving their practices, for the Federal government to use in providing oversight and to evaluate testing impact and for advocates to ensure that individual rights are observed. Youth with Disabilities chose to speak out in this report to influence those in power to listen and act as allies in creating change. Standardized testing began with the intention to support learning. However, this intention resulted in the creation of public and governmental policies which have led to massive human and civil rights violations for those with disabilities. [ pg. 8 of full report] The right for students with disabilities to go to school was gained in 1975 under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Now, thirty-two [32] years later, youth with disabilities face a new level of segregation. Disabled students' hard work to pass every high school class may not matter if they do not pass the exit exam needed to receive a diploma. By the year 2012, students enrolled in high schools Key suggestions for change are: Create a central place for young people to learn their legal rights , what accommodations they are allowed to use on high school exit exams, how to file complaints and the appeal process. Increase funding for Special Education and support staff. Design tests to show the student’s knowledge, not how the student’s disability affects how they can take a test. Include preparation time, written into the student’s Individual Education Plan [IEP], for students with disabilities to prepare for the test [4-6 years]. Convene Congressional panels and hearings on this new class of high school graduates with Certificates of Achievement or other alternative diplomas to asses if they are moving forward into job markets or college programs requiring high school diplomas. Invite young people to speak as expert witnesses. Ensure that political or administrative reasons must not override the rights of students with disabilities in taking exit exams and having their scores included in the school’s performance.
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  • Summer '12
  • Staff
  • Standardized test, high school student, General Educational Development, Resource Center, The Mismeasure of Man

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