Let the real experts determine how to assess students with disabilities

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by Lily Eskelsen Garcia, elementary educator and NEA President, this article originally appeared on LilysBlackboard.org

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Last year, I had the privilege of meeting Andrea Rediske. Andrea’s late son, Ethan, was born with brain damage. He had cerebral palsy and was blind. Not only was he forced to take Florida’s standardized test (which, by the way, required him to visually identify objects—impossible for a blind boy) but the district was pressuring the family to make Ethan take that exam on his death bed so they could make their 95% No Child Left Untested mandated quota of kids taking the test.

Last winter, I posted a video of Andrea telling her son’s story. If you haven’t seen it, it will break your heart.

Ethan’s story is maddening and heartbreaking and absurd. But here’s the really absurd part: it is the law. It’s the freaking law. Your child was born without a complete brain—too bad. Who decides who takes the test? People who have never met your child, but who nonetheless have the power to enforce the one-size-fits-all testing mandate.

Read the full story at LilysBlackboard.org!

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