No Child Left Behind says that every child counts by ensuring that all students, including those with disabilities, are included in states accountability systems. As a result, parents and teachers have valuable information about students progress and level of learning. The following are excerpts from a recent article by The Associated Press highlighting how Michigan is assessing students with disabilities and getting positive results:
"Most elementary and high school students with cognitive disabilities who took an alternate assessment test this year met or passed performance standards, the state education department said Friday. The MI-Access test for developmentally disabled students is similar to the Michigan Educational Assessment Program test."
"Between 76 percent and 86 percent of fourth, seventh, and 11th graders with mild cognitive disabilities met or exceeded the standard for the English section of the MI-Access test, the state Department of Education said. On the math assessment, between 54 percent and 68 percent of those students in fourth, eighth and 11th grades met or exceeded the performance standard. Those percentages reflect the results of the paper-and-pencil assessments taken by students with mild cognitive impairment. The tests have multiple choice and open-ended questions that can be read by the students or by a test administrator."
"Students with either moderate or severe cognitive impairment are observed by teachers and scored on a set of activities they carry out during a normal school day. They don't receive an overall score. Instead, their assessment reflects what students with disabilities in a certain grade should know and be able to do."
"Previously, we have had large gaps in assessment information about students with disabilities because tests like the MEAP test are unsuitable for them, said Jeremy Hughes, the state's chief academic officer and deputy superintendent."
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