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House approves more flexible assessments for students with cognitive disabilities

 

March 8, 2011



Legislation co-sponsored by Reps. Mike Hope and Hans Dunshee to make assessments for students with cognitive disabilities less time consuming passed the House of Representatives, 97-0.

House Bill 1519 would ask the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to help with the transition from the current portfolio assessment to a common-task assessment for students with severe cognitive disabilities.

The 44th District seatmates expressed pleasure and gratitude for Snohomish County teachers who made them aware of the issue and traveled to Olympia to testify on the legislation.

“This is the right thing to do for these students,” said Dunshee, R-Snohomish. “It’s also the right thing to do for our teachers, parents and taxpayers.”

The common-task assessment provides a specified test map, along with items or tasks that provide the same basis for scoring and interpreting results. The current portfolio assessments are individualized by teachers for each individual student and forms the basis of instruction for that student.

“I’m glad this issue was brought to our attention. We must provide more flexibility for our schools, our local government and our employers during these tight economic times,” said Hope, R-Lake Stevens. “Everyone is learning to do more with less, and schools are no different. Adjusting these assessments will allow teachers to spend more time teaching and less time doing paperwork.”

The legislation now goes to the Senate for further consideration.

 

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