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Fill In The Oval
Volume 96, Program 19
4/8/2010
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If you already know your child struggles with school, will standardized testing tell you anything new? Today on Home School Heartbeat, host Mike Farris and his special guest examine the issue of standardized testing for struggling learners.

Mike Farris:
HSLDA Special Needs Coordinator Faith Berens is with me all week. Faith, I want to tackle what may be an intimidating topic for parents of struggling learners: that is the formal standardized test. Are these helpful for students who struggle with learning?

Faith Berens:
Well, I think they can be helpful for parents to administer, even for struggling learners. If you give those same tests from year to year, it can help you document progress. It can also help you in determining more of your child’s needs.

Mike:
There would be some cases I would assume where the child’s disability would not allow that kind of testing to be pertinent at all. Is that right, or am I thinking wrong about that?

Faith:
That’s correct, and in cases like that, we encourage parents to use alternative forms of assessment and documenting progress, particularly using a portfolio.

Mike:
So the goal is to see if the instrument, if the test itself, is appropriate for assessing how your child is doing? And if it doesn’t measure the kinds of things your child knows how to do, it’s probably not the right thing for you to be pursuing?

Faith:
Exactly.

Mike:
Faith, thanks so much for what you are doing with special needs kids. I’m Mike Farris.


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