“Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it”

Why does the Massachussetts Department of Education tell untruths about the MCAS-Alt exam?

I want to assure you that participation in the alternate testing will not require your daughter to do anything she does not do every day at school.
Mass DOE

HOWEVER, given the information you have given me, I do not see why your daughter should ever need to be involved in “testing,” in the traditional sense. In other words, she does not have to answer special questions in a testing situation. She has no need to know the NCLB exists.
Federation for Children with Special Needs

And even saying this to the ABC news anchor here.

Let us once again visit the facts as to what the MCAS-Alt is. Even better, let’s use THEIR facts. Their requirements.

Note that my reference for this is the Mass DOE’s 2008 Educator’s Manual for MCAS-ALT

” … the purpose of the MCAS Alternate Assessment (MCAS-Alt) is to assess the achievement of students in relation to knowledge and skills specified in the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks.” (Commissioner’s Foreword)

That Framework is the same one that ALL students are tested against, disabled and typical. ALL THE SAME.

First, the disabled student is REQUIRED to “produce” as independently as possible, “using his or her primary mode of communication” an introduction to the portfolio. This is not optional. (page 33) Obviously, having no communication shows this exam is wrong for her, yet she must be asked to do something specifically for the test. She must be told she is being tested.

Second, and much more to the point, the teacher MUST produce for the student at least 45 “data points” on nine “data charts.” These must cover three subjects (and at the level specified in the Massachusetts Curriculum Framework for her grade), Math, English and Science. Within each subject, there must be three data charts for different sub topics. The data points MUST be repeated at least 5 times over a period of 5 to 45 days. Be aware that data points “measure the student’s accuracy and independence in performing tasks related to a skill or outcome in the strand being assessed.” (page 34). Furthermore, and even more disturbingly, “Note: Data charts must show that the student has attempted to learn a new skill …” (emphasis THEIRS, page 34). A data chart will not be vaild if it does not “show evidence that the student has learned a new skill … a data chart will not be considered scorable primary evidence if it indicates that a student performed at a level of 80-100% accuracy and 80-100% independence throughout the data collection period.” (page 38, emphasis theirs) This is not simply placing the student’s work in a folder. She MUST be tested and MUST show attempts at Math, English and Science and assessed against the Framework. Forty-five times, minimum. Something she NEVER does outside of the MCAS.

Additionally, self evaluation is important throughout and mandated at times. How do you show self evaluation by my daughter of the test she is given and yet not tell her she is being tested?

So, at least 45 times the teacher must test my daughter in Math, English or Science, something never taught, never tested otherwise. This is separate from work samples, anything she may produce during routine instruction that may be included in the portfolio.

Why do they “mislead” about this?

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