From Monty Neill at FairTEst:
Craig Haller has been battling the state over requirements that his daughter Hannah take the MCAS. Hannah is unable to communicate and thus cannot respond either to the test or the alternative assessment. She should be exempted, but the state is stonewalling. Craig has been working with policymakers, advocacy groups and the media. And the following is from Craig Haller's website, Leave My Child Behind:
My daughter is severely disabled. She is non-verbal, non-mobile and has an incredible personality. She cannot communicate a simple yes or no. She cannot signal where she hurts when in pain. She cannot inform you if she is hungry or tired. She is 15 years old. The state we live in demands that she be tested for her abilities in Math, English and more. Her math skills would be put to shame by Clever Hans the horse. Her English skills are greatly surpassed by Alex the parrot. And she does not come close to the communication of Washoe the signing chimp. This is not a reflection on her intelligence, knowledge or awareness, it is the statement that we do not know nor can we test what she does possess. Note that without the fantastic technologies he uses to communicate, Stephen Hawking would not be able to pass the exams either.
My daughter greatly surpasses Hans, Alex and Washoe in a myriad of wonderful and amazing ways, but alas, our state has no interest, and the No Child Left Behind legal quagmire could not care less.
The Boston ABC affiliate station, Channel 5, ran our story this evening. Note that the Commonwealth completely misled the reporter on the testing requirements. No guts to face what they do, I guess. I do want to thank Bianca de la Garza, the anchorwoman who did the story, and the camerman. Both were great with Hannah and did a wonderful job getting our story out.