Georgia Alternate Assessment

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NCLB (No Child Left Behind) is a standards-based education reform; this means that every child must meet a set of standards and goals set high to increase the performance among our nation’s students. So the powers that be have decided that an annual cross-curriculum assessment will determine if a child is “ready” to graduate to the next grade. So now I am going to emphasize a point, one test is created and given once a year and this is the determining factor of each student’s ( special education situations aside) educational continuation. What about the children you are cheated just because they cant take a test well? What happened to the teachers being able to determine a child’s success? The success they see in their class everyday! Obviously you can interpret my thoughts on our country’s educational blackmail.
So every child is to take this assessment. This has no bearing on whether your WISC says you are a genius, or if you are sitting in a SID classroom with minimal to no response ability. So of course with respect to the disabled population an alternate assessment has been created. Fair right?
So this is what the Georgia Alternate Assessment requires of my students and of me, the teacher. Take into account I am a middle school teacher, so I have 8 kids and 6th, 7th and 8th all have to partake. High School- only 11th grade and Elementary (4th and 5th aside) only assess Math and Language Arts. I have do document (photographs with detailed captions, observations, work samples…) 24 lessons per student, each one individually created for that specific student. 8 kids=192 lessons I believe. ok, ok, I am a special education teacher, creating individualized lessons is easy for me. The hard part is what I have to base my lessons on. Of course, they are based on those same standards that the general population is accessing. For example lets take a social studies standard for example: Locate and identify on a world, regional and physical map, six countries in Africa : Sudan, South Africa, Egypt, Congo, Nigeria and Kenya. First thought that pops in my head is “Now how am I going to teach my student who is blind how to accomplish this?”. Well, I did figure it out and the idea was pretty cool if I do say so myself, haha! But really!? Are you kidding me? Why is this functional for my students in the moderate to severe range? Why can’t he be assessed on something that will be functional to his life, such as learning how to use a stamp to sign his name? Or increasing his Braille identification skills? This is the stuff we right our IEP goals and objectives about!
So anyway, I have finished my 192 documented lessons and it feels real freeing. The stress and long hours are over! I Hope I, I mean my students do well in the peer review tomorrow! Cross your fingers! 🙂

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