Stanley L. Swartz, Ph.D.
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Jessica McClenny Trager
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Yes, accountability should absolutely extend to special education. Children with special needs are the most at risk for receiving an inadequate education. Teachers have to teach by the IEP, but they must also abide by the state standards for their students, unless significant modifications have had to be made. In order to make sure that all students are being granted access to their Free and Appropriate Public Education, teachers must be held to the same standards as general education teachers. However, the test must be normed differently for students with special needs in order to be considered valid. Or, an alternative test must be created for students who have disabilities. California has done this making the CAPA test for children with severe handicaps and the CMA for children with mild to moderate disabilities. It used to be that anyone could get a special education credential because it was such an unpopular field, but now we have good teachers coming in to special education, and the students deserve that. They deserve to be pushed to their fullest extent and required to learn as much as possible so that they have the chance to go to college or into the workforce. Children deserve to be challenged to the best of their ability, and the only way we can really see if that is happening is if there is teacher accountability and motivation to do their best. I don’t agree with multiple choice standardized tests, it is too easy to make things up and to hurt teachers. I believe with the common core model we will be able to more accurately determine each students individual progress and therefore the teachers progress.
by: Jessica McClenny Trager

 
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