Some of you who are not regular readers of this blog probably crossed your eyes over this headline.
“How can you read kids a reading test,” you probably asked yourselves.
Well, this is Kentucky, where just about every radical education fad has its day. Back in the early days of KERA, in the interests of getting all kids to take the state’s assessments, some misguided souls decided that readers could indeed be provided to learning disabled students for all our assessments, including the reading tests.
Over time, that bad policy led to a large proportion of our learning disabled students being provided readers for the reading assessments. These kids were only took a spoken word comprehension test – sometimes with lots of additional help like someone to write down their answers – but you couldn’t tell from the test scores. It wasn’t clearly mentioned in older reports from the Kentucky Department of Education, either.
Along the way, this terrible policy fostered a situation where schools didn’t have to make any attempt to teach thousands and thousands of Kentucky students to read and decode printed text. Meanwhile, the public was left in the dark about potentially large numbers of students who were simply not being given the opportunity to learn reading.
After two decades of this bad policy, the Kentucky Board of Education finally moved to call a halt; however, some misguided, or misinformed, individuals still are trying to keep the test score inflating readers on duty.
Read why Kentucky Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday says the new policy is needed here.