Deaf Students and Standardized Testing

Standardized testing… the source of stress, ulcers, baldness, debates… I don’t know what they prove because the SATs proved nothing for me. SATs are supposedly the indicator of how well a student will do in college. Well, my scores were embarrassing (took it twice) and I did fine and dandy in college, thankyouverymuch.
Anyway, Jamie Berke points to an article where a deaf school did very poorly on New York’s standardized test.
I don’t believe deaf people should be exempt from testing. Start that and it leads to other testing exemptions. Besides, don’t we have working brains like anyone else? Some people are smart and some aren’t. Exempting deaf people from test sends a message that we’re all not bright enough.
Sometimes I wish I could take the SAT to see if I can do better (since I was happy with my GMAT score), but I’m not about to show up in a school with a bunch of 16-, 17- and 18-year-olds.


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  1. The issue is language proficiency. If a person is fluent in English, those tests help to measure how much he knows but even that’s debatable. However when you have ELL such as deaf students who are still learning English, all those tests does is to measure how well you can read English, that’s it. Standardized tests are inappropriate for the deaf, period.

    • JT on November 30, 2007 at 1:59 pm
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    But not all deaf people struggle to learn English. Some learn it from the get go and don’t even learn ASL.

    • Rox on November 30, 2007 at 5:03 pm
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    Do you know that they use the scores from the standardized tests to determine which schools get more money? If a school has good scores, they’ll get more money. Does this mean that deaf students should not have access to the money they need just because they don’t read English as well as their peers? That isn’t fair to give less money to the programs who need it the most. They need a different way to determine which schools get more money.

    • Meryl on January 10, 2008 at 11:09 am
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    Wichita Falls Times Record reports on the TAKS, Texas’ assessment test for students in grades 3 through 12, stating no one is exempt include those with disabilities and learning differences.
    However, they might take some other form of TAKS. The test is available in Braille and with larger print. It can also can be given orally.
    I had no trouble taking the assessment tests, SAT, ACT, GMAT, etc. except I didn’t like my scores.

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