Delaware cuts 'read alouds' on reading test

In response to a decline in reading scores, Delaware officials say they’ve cut down on  “read alouds” for special education students taking reading tests, reports The News Journal.

In 2009, 6,321 students had portions of the reading test read aloud to them. In 2010, 1,435 got that assistance during the test.

Accommodations on tests are supposed to measure disabled students’ abilities fairly, not inflate their scores, points out Christina Samuels of On Special Education.  A report by the National Center on Educational Outcomes report finds conflicting research on whether “read-aloud” accommodations raise scores for disabled students. “It also seems particularly challenging to assess students’ reading skills without actually asking them to read,” Samuels writes.


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  1. “Accommodations on tests are supposed to measure disabled students’ abilities fairly….”

    First, there has to be an accurate diagnosis. Most students who receive accommodations are classified as LD or ADHD. The evidence shows that a large percentage of students classified as LD meet no diagnostic criteria for LD. ADHD diagnoses are likely to be even worse because of the fuzzy diagnostic criteria.

  2. It has always seemed ludicrous to me that the Reading test in Ohio can be accomodated with reading the QUESTIONS on the reading to the students, but not to read the actual READING SELECTION to them. If it is a reading test, then they should do the reading, even the questions.
    And why, oh, why, are students who have definite cognitive disabilities, and who will never be able to read very well made to take the tests over and over? Once in tenth grade and then stop testing them to see if they can perhaps get a few points higher to help a school’s AYP or report card statistics.
    In small rural high schools in our county, with 300-350 students in a high school, a very few low scores can have a huge-disproportionately so-effect on the report card, even though many students may have made substantial progress and done well.
    Last year on the OGTs, our sophomores did very well. This year, our scores were awful. When teacher evaluations are based on student scores on these tests, was I a good teacher one year and completely useless the next year? Am I responsible for students who enter 9th grade with horrible study skills, low reading ability, and an ingrained “I don’t care and I won’t work” attitude coupled with a higher than average record of drug use? And on the other hand, can I take credit for high scores from a class that came into high school with a “can do” attitude and who grabbed on and learned how to read and write better in my class and scored advanced and accelerated scores? Until we can get some parent and student consequences built into these tests and outcomes, I will continue to protest that these state tests are inadequate to judge teachers and students.


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