Changes Proposed to How Kentucky Special Needs Students are Tested

Sep 11, 2012

Some state lawmakers are blasting a proposed change to how Kentucky students with disabilities are tested under the statewide assessment and accountability system. The Kentucky Board of Education has proposed limiting the assistance given to disabled students when they take the new exams later this academic year.

The board initially recommended putting an end to a provision that allowed special needs students to have portions of the reading comprehension test read aloud to them. The board says it’s now considering a waiver process that would allow such help for certain students, but not others.

State Representative Tom Riner says that’s not good enough.

“It moves in exactly the wrong direction. I’ve been involved in working with kids with disabilities for over 30 years, and this is a major retreat from everything that’s been done through legislation and regulation,” said the Jefferson County Democrat. “It’s a real slap in the face.”

Riner says he’s worried some of the changes under consideration would drastically lower the statewide test scores of students with disabilities, effectively making it impossible for them to get into college.