I find irony ironic. Here’s your irony for the day. Schools are punished if their special education students fail to be on grade level for state testing. Here’s the thing, if they were ON grade level, they wouldn’t be in special education. They would have been exited out. We’d be thrilled. Parties would be thrown.
So… rework that section. I think it should be something like the student continues to excel in his/her non-learning disabled sections, except for those areas which directly intersect with the disability (as in the child is dyslexic and can’t read math story problems). However, in his/her disability, he/she will show adequate yearly progress as outlined in his/her IEP goals. Goals must be appropriate and meet state and federal guidelines and fall outside statistical error (as in you can’t make the goal “Student will score 4% more than last year on his English Language Arts Test.” That’s just INSANE! Make the goal a stretch but not a marathon.).
I could totally get behind that. However, asking that all my SpEd kids make it to proficient or advanced when they can’t read on grade level and probably won’t anytime soon (and I modify instruction, shorten it, allow team work, give extensions, etc.) doesn’t guarantee a “passing” grade on the state test. Nor should it. That’s just insane. Did you not just read what I do to help them access the grade level materials?
Stop being weird, start getting real, and change this policy to reflect the realities of teaching.
NOTE: I did not say the students COULDN’T make it. I merely pointed out that punishing schools for this isn’t reasonable.