No Child Left Behind Act And Disabled Children
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What Is the No Child Left Behind Act?
The No Child Left Behind Act is an act that puts emphasis on ensuring that "all children have a fair, equal and significant opportunity to obtain a high-quality education". The Act requires greater accountability on the part of teachers and schools to ensure that students are performing at the appropriate grade level. To determine this, states conduct yearly assessment tests.
How Does it Affect Children with Disabilities?
The No Child Left Behind Act, as well as the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), requires that all students participate in the state accountability and assessment tests. States are required to include the scores of children with disabilities when determining whether schools have met their Adequate Yearly Progress goals.
Can the Standardized Tests Be Modified for Students with Disabilities?
Many, if not most, of children with disabilities are able to function at grade level, but there are situations in which the No Child Left Behind Act allows for certain modifications. For example, some students may be able to take the test:
- With extra time
- With larger print
- In Braille
- With extra breaks
- With a teacher or aide reading the instructions aloud periodically and helping keep the student on task
What if Modifications Aren't Enough to Make the Tests Accurate for My Child?
If a disabled student is not capable of taking the standardized tests, even with modifications, he may be able to take an alternate assessment test if it meets with grade level standards.
Are Students with Disabilities Always Held to the Same Standards as Other Students?
The U.S. Department of Education passed a regulation that allows states to design alternative assessments for alternative standards for 1 percent of all students. This means that certain students may be held to specialized standards and be tested accordingly. A state may even be able to offer alternative testing and alternative standards for greater than 1 percent of students as long as they can show that children with disabilities are not being denied educational opportunities.
Should I Consult a Lawyer?
If you are concerned about the quality of your child's education, or if you believe that the school is abusing the No Child Left Behind Act to deny your child educational opportunities, you may want to contact a lawyer. A lawyer experienced in education and schools will be able to inform you of your and your child's rights under the No Child Left Behind Act, and ensure that your child's educational needs are met.
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Last Modified: 02-09-2011 03:44 PM PST
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