Special Education And High-Stakes Tests

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What Are High-Stakes Tests?

High-stakes tests are tests whose outcomes have enormous bearing on the academic future of a student. One of the most common forms of high-stakes tests is the high-school exit exam.

Are Students with Disabilities Required to Take High Stakes Tests?

Whether or not a student with a disability is required to take a high stakes test varies according to state. However, in general, all students must take state mandated tests regardless of any disability. The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) does require that some concessions be made to students with disabilities:

Are there Modifications or Alternatives to High Stakes Tests for Students with Disabilities?

Most of the states that use high stakes tests do make some accommodations for students with disabilities. Some of the common ways schools accommodate students with disabilities are:

If My Child Is Not Able to Get a Diploma without Passing the Exit Exam, What Other Options are Available to Him?

Every school allows a student to graduate if they meet the state mandated requirements for graduation. However, if a student is unable to meet those requirements, the alternatives to standard graduation vary from state to state. Some of the common alternative options include:

Should I Contact a Lawyer?

If you have questions or concerns about high stakes tests and how they will affect your child, you may want to contact a lawyer. The laws governing high stakes tests are complex and vary according to state. A lawyer experienced in education and schools will be able to inform you more about your states laws and regulations and can help you understand and protect you and your child's rights.

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Last Modified: 11-15-2011 04:22 PM PST

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