Special Ed Testing Accommodations Backfire
[Source: Disability Scoop]
Last spring, Julia Kim’s students with disabilities at Fairmount Elementary in San Francisco were ready to take a new standardized test. They were excited that it had been built especially for them.
In past years, students with visual perception disorders had test questions read out loud. This time, the students sat in front of their computers awaiting the new technology designed to help them complete the test on their own for the first time.
But as soon as the first question appeared, students complained that the print was too small.
The color contrast tool, which used a background to minimize visual distortions, had been developed for the Common Core test to make it easier for special education students to see. But in practice, the tool prevented the one student in Kim’s class who used it from reading questions and marking answers. “I can’t see it,” he told Kim. It was too dark to read.
The Common Core tests, which are based on learning goals adopted in 43 states and the District of Columbia, offer many state-of-the-art technological tools to level the playing field for special education students. But Kim’s students were not alone. School employees across California have reported glitches in the tests’ enhancements for students with disabilities.
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