With the STAAR test just around the corner, it is important to understand what accommodations (if any) your child should have access.  But, more importantly, let’s first understand what the state defines as an accommodations.

Accommodations:

  • are changes to instructional material, procedures, or techniques that allow a student with a disability to participate meaningfully in grade level or course instruction
  • should be effective in allowing a student access to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS)
  • must be individualized for each student
  • are intended to reduce the effect of a student’s disability
  • can change over the course of a school year or from year to year based on a student’s needs
  • might be appropriate for classroom use but might not be appropriate or allowed for use on a state assessment
  • should be documented in the appropriate student paperwork
  • should be evaluated regularly to determine effectiveness and to help plan for accommodations the student will need each year.

Accommodations are NOT:

  • necessary for every student
  • changes to the performance criteria of an assignment or assessment
  • changes to the content being assessed and should not replace the teaching of subject specific knowledge and skills as outlined in the TEKS
  • provided to an entire group of students, such as those in the same classroom or disability category, as a “one size fits all” accommodation
  • intended to provide an advantage to a student with a disability be provided to a student without evidence of effectiveness from year to year

In short, accommodations are provided to “level the playing field” for students with disabilities. They are not put in place so that a student can make an “A” instead of a “C”, but to make sure that the disability does not interfere with a student’s ability to access the curriculum or to demonstrate their knowledge of the curriculum.