Some of these are known as “high stakes” tests because the score a teen earns on these tests can make the difference between graduating from high school and earning just a “certificate of completion.”
Usually all students, except those who are severely disabled, are expected to take these tests. And students with disabilities can do well. But in order to measure a teen’s ability accurately, schools sometimes need to make testing accommodations.
Blind students, for example, may need tests written in Braille or on tape. Deaf students may need the directions given through signing or cued speech.
But students with learning disabilities may also need accommodations. This can involve giving some students extra time they need. It may also involve a special setting—students with attention issues may need to be tested in an area surrounded by noise buffers.
Many of these accommodations are allowed only if they are written into the student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP). If your son or daughter has a disability, ask whether the IEP should include recommendations for testing accommodations before your teen takes any high-stakes tests.
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