Validating high stakes testing programs

Several other federal statutes and regulations, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), play a prominent role in determining how students with disabilities will participate in general education, including large-scale assessment programs.

The committee has benefited enormously from recent work in this area by another committee of the Board on Testing and Assessment.

Rather, it has centered on the individualized education program, an essentially private document that lays out the educational goals and curriculum of an individual student.

Each IEP is designed to reflect one child's capabilities and to specify the services necessary for the child to benefit from that curriculum.

A student who needs special education is also entitled to receive related services—that is, other services that enable him or her to benefit from special education.

Cognitive, physical, sensory, and behavioral disabilities are covered.

Recent federal and state laws mandate the inclusion of all students in large-scale assessments, even students with special learning and language needs.

The federal legislation includes Goals 2000 and Title I of the Improving America's Schools Act of 1994.

To be eligible for special education services under the IDEA, a student must first be found to meet the criteria for at least 1 of 13 recognized disabilities (or the counterpart categories in state law).

The second criterion is that the student must be found to require special educational services.

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