A place for teachers and other providers of special education services to support each other, share information, and discuss topics, including assessment.

Welcome to your Special Education group

Deven Black Middle school teacher-librarian in the Bronx, NY

Hi, and welcome to your group. I say your groups because, while I'm the moderator, you get to determine what we talk about.

This is a place to get to know each other, share ideas, resources, problems, joys and frustrations. If you're classroom is anything like mine there will be a lot of all of those.

I hope you will enjoy the time you spend here and benefit from joining this learning and sharing community.

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Thanks for the invite.

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Thanks for the invite.

Middle school teacher-librarian in the Bronx, NY

Hi Carol, As you can see,

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Hi Carol,

As you can see, this group and all the other groups at Edutopia are in the very early start-up phase. I hope you'll become an active participant here.

Deven

High School SpEd Continuation school & Social Studies teacher

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I am looking forward to seeing how this develops. I've taught SpEd @ the high school level for 16 years but this is my first year teaching SpEd at a continuation high school. It is almost like starting all over again.

Special Education Music Teacher

Hello All, I am a music

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Hello All,

I am a music teacher with a degree in Special Education. I am very interested in the way that states are implementing the NCLB demands and still honoring student's IEPs.

In Florida the music curriculum doesn't have Access Points yet. I have tried to advocate for my students and hope that pre symbolic students are not expected to accomplish high level thinking skill and physical skill goals in music. It irks me that my school doesn't make AYP when the assessment is actually failing the students not the other way around.

Middle school teacher-librarian in the Bronx, NY

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[quote]It irks me that my school doesn't make AYP when the assessment is actually failing the students not the other way around.[/quote]

That's telling it like it is! Welcome to the group and please continue to discuss important issues like assessments and how music plays an important part in the special education classroom and curriculum.

Speech-Language Pathologist from Loveland, Colorado

What's a continuation school?

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What's a continuation school? I, too, am a Special Educator at the high school level.

Middle school, special education teacher from Pasadena, CA

Hello! I'm delighted to be a

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Hello!
I'm delighted to be a member of this group! I must admit it's not always easy to be a special ed teacher in a predominantly general education school--especially one in which academics are strongly stressed. Ever since NCLB has been implemented, data has driven everything that we have done, whether that makes sense or not. Correctly bubbling in answers does not work well for many of "my" students. They work well in a group, interactively, but, when given a paper and pencil, it's as if the material was written in an ancient language and they simply cannot perform successfully. When they receive their results in the mail, both they and their parents often cry. It is so hard to watch. And much of the community understands so little about what they are going through and actually resents the fact that the school's overall scores are lowered by the special students' marks. What a tragedy! And now, we're being told that our evaluation as educators should be at least partly dependent upon our students' scores! I don't mind being held accountable for my work; I welcome "transparency." But I think we've gone a bit too far!
Forgive my ranting, but this whole testing debacle is a very raw point for many of us here in CA...

Special education teacher from Smyrna, Georgia.

Hello! I'm glad to find this

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Hello!

I'm glad to find this community. I'm a special education teacher at the high school level and still looking for answers to a lot of questions.

Middle school teacher-librarian in the Bronx, NY

Quote:Hello! I'm glad to find

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Quote:

Hello!
I'm glad to find this community. I'm a special education teacher at the high school level and still looking for answers to a lot of questions.

This is a good place to ask your questions, Maria. It looks like we have a lot of experienced people here and my guess is we're willing to help each other out. I know I am.

Special Education: K-6 Inclusion Resource Teacher from Phoenix, Arizona

State Assessments

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AIMS is the name of our state test and stands for Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards.

In February 2010 the AZ Dept. of Ed. will be field-testing the first administration of the AIMS EA. This test will be for reading and math and has been designed for special education students.

It will make the state test more accessible to students with learning disabilities, and will have enhancements that will allow greater access to the performance objective that is being assessed. (Yea Arizona!!!) Specific criteria will be necessary for test eligibility and the team will make that decision.

Testing a student at grade level when we already know that we have a federal law saying that we have to teach and test at their level of performance is an act of stupidity that sets these children up for failure. (My 2 cents worth). There is no validity in that.

The AIMS EA is actually an accommodated test and will help a student demonstrate better what they actually know.

Some of the enhancements are:
- Simplified questions and directions
- Greater white space
- Boxed items and answer choices
- Mathematics formulas within the items
- Reading questions embedded within passages
- Additional graphics where appropriate
- Elimination of a separate answer document

Spring 2011 is the target date for the first 7th, 8th and high school AIMS EA assessments. Spring 2012 is the date for elementary school students.

Hopefully this is a step in the right direction for assessing students with learning disabilities.It's been a long time coming.

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