Clue, clue, who has a clue?

Thank you for your e-mail. I did receive your message. After reviewing your e-mail below, I do not have a great deal to add. I believe most of your concerns have already been addressed in my e-mail dated May 22, 2008. However, I am concerned you state your daughter had not received any program of instruction in the general curriculum and that she currently does not have a communication system in place. The presumption in state and federal law is that all students with disabilities will be instructed in the state’s academic learning standards. I encourage you to discuss these matters with the principal of your daughter’s school and her IEP Team.

In case you have not already seen his statement, I am attaching the statement issued by the Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education on June 4, 2008. I wish you and [your daughter] all the best.

The woman does not have a clue. My response:

I am baffled as to why you do not answer my question.

Why does your office, and you, insist that my daughter will not need to do anything different than her normal school day when in fact you insist on 45 data points testing Math, English and Science over a period of up to two months and then asking her to self evaluate?

Now you state that you are concerned that she does not have a communication system in place. Despite intervention from the medical, educational, and social communities, no one has found a method of communication that she is capable of. She has been seen by the best medical teams Boston has to offer. SHE HAS NO FORM OF COMMUNICATION AT ALL.

You may be concerned that she does not have a communication system, how do you think she feels not having one yet being tested 45 times?

I had not seen the attached statement, It only serves to show that the Commissioner is not aware of my daughter’s situation.

Please answer my question as to how you feel she will not need to do anything she does not normally do. How should your requirements of 45 data points be collected during her normal school day?

Simply clueless on the population SHE is responsible for testing.

Oh, and the Commissioner’s response to the television news:

Statement from Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester Regarding
Brookline Parent’s Request to Exempt His Daughter from the
Massachusetts Assessment Requirement

“We recognize that not every student is capable of taking a pencil and paper test, particularly one as demanding as the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System. It is precisely for that reason that Massachusetts developed the MCAS-Alt, an alternative form of assessment for the state’s most severely disabled students. It is important to understand that the MCAS-Alt is not a traditional test. It is a way of assessing a student’s mastery of the state curriculum standards by reviewing a portfolio of the student’s classroom work.

Every student in our schools, including a student with disabilities, is entitled to have access to the full curriculum. Every student is assessed to ensure that no one slips through the cracks and that parents and teachers are able to get a clear picture of what each student has learned and has yet to learn. As an educator, I firmly agree with this requirement.”

I am hoping that was just a quick response to the news program. He is out of town and has a registered letter from me waiting for him. I won’t post it here until after he receives it.

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