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1 Comment Already

sonomanona Said,
February 10th, 2011 @3:14 pm  

I teach K – 2 special ed in California, and for the past several years, we have done the CAPA test for our students in grade 2 and up. I don’t have a problem with testing per se, because a relevant and well-designed test can be a good diagnostic tool, showing what the student has mastered and in what areas additional instruction is needed.
Unfortunately, the CAPA is neither relevant nor well-designed. It tests, or purports to test, skills that we are not teaching because they have no practical value to our “severely handicapped” students. We are not supposed to reveal the test items (don’t want those kids cheating, do we?) but I have not yet met a teacher who has found value to the CAPA.
Alternative assessment is the No Child Left Behind version of standardized testing for kids who are not being taught a standardized curriculum. There is no diagnostic value whatsoever, and obviously when a child has an IEP, his or her progress on those objectives is what is relevant, not some test items that have nothing to do with that particular child’s needs.
I will say, though, that we have gotten many funny stories out of our alternative assessment experiences. The students often interpret the badly-drawn test stimulus cards in their own unique ways, and a good dose of humor is always welcome.
Other than the funny stories, though, I have found CAPA testing to be a complete waste of time.

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