"High Achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation." - Charles Kettering

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

More on the WKCE, NCLB and TRIS: Can we have a few more acronyms here, please?

I learned that there is some scuttlebutt that the TRIS failure to meet AYP last year was not due to the disabled student grouping. TRIS failure to meet AYP was in the disabled student population data, not the overall school. Please see the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction website under data>WINSS. You can look at the entire TRIS school by student group and it's right there in living color (nice bar graphs).

One of the people who challenged this was a teacher who said "disabled students don't even take the WKCE, they take an alternative test." Now, I am going to give this person the benefit of the doubt, because I also labored under the same misconception as this teacher until last fall. This is when I learned that under the NCLB laws, a maximum of 2% of the student population may be administered alternative testing designed for cognitively disabled students during the AYP evaluations. Figuring the population of TRIS as about 500, my calculations indicate that TRIS may administer this alternate test to only 10 students. 62 students are categorized in the disabled population at TRIS last year and this year. This leaves the teachers 52 students to whom they must administer grade level WKCE testing. Some may perform at grade level. But my sources indicate that of those 62 disabled students, 57 of them are in Special Education. Screening for Special Education programming is extensive now, so there is often serious cognitive and emotional disabilities present. Some of these kids are overwhelmed and act out. Others simply check out of the process. For many special education students, it is just another experience that they must endure that confirms in their mind that they have a "problem." It is very sad indeed that these students have to experience this at the hands of our educational system. Administrators and student services leaders don't like to do this to our children, but their hands are tied in the ever more elusive quest for state and federal funding.

I hope that helps explain the process.

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