Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wanted: a class action lawsuit on academic skills testing for special needs children

I don't have time to sue the State of Minnesota, but I'd be glad to sign on to a class action suit. I don't want any money -- in fact I'll donate towards a lawsuit.

I wouldn't mind the state's standardized testing program if my son was being tested on something he's studied. If he were being tested on third grade rather than fifth grade material I'd be pleased to participate. That's not how the unthinking robots who wrote the No Child Left Behind law chose to proceed however:
"The Minnesota Test of Academic Skills (MTAS) is Minnesota’s alternate assessment based on alternate achievement standards. The MTAS is part of the statewide assessment program and measures the extent to which students with significant cognitive disabilities are making progress in the general curriculum. The MTAS in reading and mathematics was administered for the first time in spring 2007. Beginning in 2007-2008, the MTAS is administered in reading, mathematics and science.

In order to meet federal NCLB requirements, the MTAS has been aligned with the academic content standards established for all students (i.e., Minnesota Academic Standards). Alternate assessments based on functional skills or skills that are taught at an earlier grade level may not be used for AYP calculations..
So my child loses about two weeks of education (which he greatly needs) and spends most of the day eating candy and playing word games after spending a few minutes pointlessly scribbling on material he can't possibly follow. He's stressed and depressed, and the ordeal has barely begun.

His score will then become a problem for his school, which will be motivated to get him to move on and out, thereby showing nice year-on-year improvement.

This is child abuse. Heck, I feel guilty of child abuse for not keeping him home -- no matter what the law says.

Come on you hungry lawyers! Go for it. Rip their throats out. Get rich and make us happy.


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