tlpeters asks:

How can I tell if my child is at Grade Level?

I have a 4th grade student who has already been retained.  He has failed 2 of the state benchmarks this year, yet his grades on his report card are passing.  On classroom tests, he has received failing grades on about 7 tests, yet when retested, he is able to pass.  Thus, his grades reflect a passing grade.  The school promises he is on grade level, yet I am concerned with two of three indicators mentioned, he is not passing.  How can I determine if, in fact, my child is on grade level?  I don't want him pushed to the next grade without knowing the information he needs, yet I know he does have struggles (and is currently under an IEP).
In Topics: School and Academics, Motivation and achievement at school, Special education
> 60 days ago



Oct 10, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Hello and thank you for writing to JustAsk,

I can sense your frustration and perhaps you may wish to have the school personnel sit down with you and explain how they  determined that your son is "passing".  What exactly is their plan for him to pass ALL of his state benchmarks?  Who will implement the plan?  What is the timeline  What could you be doing to help?  Also, to see if revising goals and steps to the goals should be conducted officially on his IEP.

Good luck!

Louise Sattler, NCSP
Nationally Certified School Psychologist

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Additional Answers (2)

hlevitan , Teacher writes:
Hi TLPeters:

It is good to hear that your son’s grades reflect a passing grade, and the school asserts that he is at grade level.  It is important for your son to be ready before he goes to the next grade.  Further investigating your apprehensions and advocating on behalf of your son is a mark of a caring guardian.  

To make sure that your son is at grade level, you can have his IEP revaluated by requesting an IEP meeting with all members of the IEP Team, (ie. you, the general classroom teacher, the special educator, etc.).  Has he met his goals outlined in the IEP?  Has he been receiving all of the supports and special services he needs?  Has he been responding to the services he has already been given?

An assessment given by the school psychologist may offer quantitative results that can help you indicate whether or not he is at grade level.

IDEA, a federal law, provides safeguards designed to protect the rights of special education students and their parents, including the right to participate in all meetings, to examine all educational records, and to obtain an independent educational evaluation of the child. (Section 1415(b)(1)).

You may find this article helpful: “Commonly Used Testing Instruments”

Best wishes to you and your fourth grader!


> 60 days ago

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Jeanne2 writes:

I agree with the Expert and hlevitan,
Get as much help as you possible can (and if possible, check into 'organizations' which can help out as well, in order to alleviate your fears) , because this sounds like the exact same thing that happened to my God-son, but in his case I get the feeling he 'aged out' because he turned 12  and they felt that he was too 'old' to still be in 'elementary' school.
> 60 days ago

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