Testing of Students: The Relevance of MAPS Tested Special Education Students for Teachers, Parents and School Districts
Kasprowicz, Scott A.
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In the state of Wisconsin school districts have increasingly began to use MAPS assessment scores to measure student growth. At the same time, school districts have been introducing new teacher assessments for judging teacher performance. Some schools districts have used these common assessments for evaluating all teachers’ performance. This practice can be troublesome for special education teachers who may be assessed based on special education student test scores. This study examined MAPS reading and mathematics scores for 246 general education students and 38 special education students in grades 6th through 8th grade in a Wisconsin district. This study did discover significant differences in general education and special education students MAPS testing results for both mathematics and reading. Additionally, the study did uncover significant difference in reading MAPS testing scores and mathematic MAPS score growth between special education students taught in an inclusive setting versus those taught in a pull out setting. The finding of this study, were that special education teachers should not be assessed on student performance on MAPS testing alone. Additionally, the study found that school districts and educators attitudes towards special education student’s educational settings should be more closely examined to weigh the importance of student academic achievement over ‘a feel good’ environment where all students are taught together.
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