Off the Clock: Giving Students More Time to Demonstrate Learning
Recently, a distressed mom asked me for advice about how to help her smart, hard-working daughter who is struggling in school. Her daughter has always been a poor reader and the mother suspects that she is dyslexic. Better than average grades, however, have prevented the daughter from qualifying for school testing to see if she has a disability. As a high school sophomore, some of her struggles are related to staying on top of the volume of work she is assigned, but many of the snags that she is hitting are related to not having enough time to express what she knows during assessments. Without a diagnosis, she doesn’t qualify for extra time on tests, and pursuing an independent evaluation is not possible because of the expensive price tag.
This student is caught in an academic limbo that traps many. As educators, we are deluding ourselves if we think that everyone who is deserving of a diagnosis is able to obtain one.
There are a variety of reasons students don’t get tested, including well-meaning parents’ resistance to labels and misunderstandings about how and why testing is needed. Many such obstacles point to limited resources—a school’s or a family’s. In private schools, internal testing is rarely offered. Families must bear the burden of the financial costs of independent testing. Meanwhile, in public schools, internal testing is offered, but students have to be failing in order to qualify. Simply put, the roadblocks to testing and diagnosis are everywhere, and struggling students are paying a...
This article is available to registered guests only.
Register free, or login below, to continue reading.
To Access Teacher and Education Week Articles, FREE E-Newsletters, and More!
|FREE! (limited access)|
Access selected articles, e-newsletters and more!
- Chief Schools Officer - International Baccalaureate (IB)
- International Baccalaureate, Bethesda, MD
- Grand Center Arts Academy, St. Louis, MO
- K-12 Teacher
- TIE, Hyannis, MA
- The International Educator, Japan
- Middle School English Language Arts Teacher
- The International Educator, India