Common-Core Tests Pose Challenges in Special Ed.
The path to devising assessments for students with disabilities that measure how adept they are at mastering the Common Core State Standards seems to be filled with hurdles to overcome before students face those assessments in the 2014-15 school year.
States are in the early stages of implementing the common standards, adopted by all but four states. Two consortia of states have been awarded contracts to design exams for most students—including some with disabilities—who will take the tests, which will be computer-based or computer-adaptive. Another two groups are designing exams based on the standards for the 1 percent of students with the most severe cognitive disabilities. All four groups are in various stages of test development.
One of the obstacles facing students with disabilities who will take the exams has less to do with the tests than with instruction, said Stephen N. Elliott, an education professor at Arizona State University, in Tempe. Mr. Elliot spoke May 22 at a U.S. Department of Education meeting addressing the challenges that remain in preparing new tests that all students are scheduled...
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