Why doesn't Illinois allow off level testing for special needs students who no longer qualify for the IAA but only read at the first grade level?
I am a teacher of deaf and hard of hearing students who have severe to profound language and vocabulary issues. They are in a community based classroom. Due to the changes in requirements for being able to take the IAA many of my students who read and barely comprehend at the pre-primer to primer level are being asked to take the sixth, seventh or eigth grade ISAT. We know they will not be able to access this level test or begin to understand the subject questions yet we are being told by our adminstrator that these students with 65 to 80 IQ's must take the regular ISAT. I got online and saw that there are suppose to be 4 types of tests- the usual, one with adaptations, off level testing and IAA testing. I spoke with the Illinois State School Board and spoke directly to the IAA special education person and she said that since the federal government did not mandate off level testing that it was not available to these students. How can that be? I do not understand how the people in charge cannot understand how giving an onlevel test to these students is useless and frustrating even upsetting for these students.
I agree with you completely and it seems as though you are doing everything in your power to make a difference in these children's life. Unfortunately, I've researched this and have found no information on the subject. You are probably in the best position to help these children, get the parent's involved, make a loud voice, maybe even start a petition and contact the Board again. Best wishes and many blessings to you and these wonderful children.