Saturday, February 28, 2015

Do your best

Anonymous Middle School California Teacher




"Last year I gave the SBAC practice test to all of my students. I asked repeatedly if there would be any accommodations for my Special Education students and I was told that whatever they needed would be taken care of on the computerized test. There were no accommodations. I had been working with one particular Autistic child the entire year. We had discovered that he was, in fact, quite good at math. His confidence level had been boosted and his problems solving and basic skills had improved greatly throughout the school year. He was having a magical transformation in math and I was enjoying seeing all of the changes in him.
Then he took the SBAC practice test. He immediately became agitated upon beginning the test. He told me that he didn’t understand the words. I couldn’t do anything except say to him “do your best.” He began crying and I could feel all of the confidence we had built together beginning to crumble. He began hitting himself in the head repeatedly. Then he crawled under the desk, sat on the floor and refused to continue.
He was required to finish the test and the only way I could get him to do this was to convince him that the results didn’t mean anything (which was not a lie). Once he calmed down and returned to his seat, he began clicking through the test, marking anything his fingers happen to land on and finished in a couple of minutes. I told him to forget that he had to take that dumb test and remember all of the successes he has had this year. Unfortunately, this year he will have to take this test again, no accommodations, no help. He has made years worth of progress and yet he will never be able to demonstrate his progress on a test like this. " Thanks "

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