With the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) proposing changes to the way parents can file complaints when they believe their children are not receiving appropriate special education services and accommodations, it was time to take a look at the 2013-2014 ACT Aspire results for those students.
And what are those results? Terribly low by any measure.
The ACT Aspire results cannot be compared to the previous test’s results, so there is only one year’s worth of results to review.
When considering test results for students in special education, it is important to note that there is a wide range of student ability among those children whose test results appear in the special education subgroup reported for federal accountability purposes.
Students could be only mildly affected by their disability, but because they have an Individualized Education Program (IEP), their results are counted in the special education subgroup.
Students who are severely cognitively impacted by their disability typically take an alternate assessment, the results of which are not reported in statewide ACT Aspire results.
Here are the statewide results for students in special education compared with those in general education. General education is the group with which special education is compared for federal accountability purposes.
Special education students in 97 of Alabama’s 135 school districts had one or more grades and/or subjects where none of the children in special education were proficient.
And in ten additional districts, no results were reported at all for students in special education because there were fewer than ten special education students in the entire district in each grade tested.
As the chart above shows, barely 2% of Alabama’s 8th graders in special education measured proficient in math, as compared with 31% of students in general education.
District results are displayed in the visualizations below.
Results for the 2014-2015 ACT Aspire administration have not yet been made available on the ALSDE’s accountability page, though districts have had the results since July.
ALSDE spokesperson Malissa Valdes-Hubert said to expect those results to be made available in November. ACT did not provide the ALSDE with district results as they had in the past, requiring detailed data checking to ensure district results are tallied correctly.