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Assessment of Students in Special Education

Assessment of Students in Special Education

Assessment is a process by which special education teachers collect information that enable them make decisions about the students with special needs. Currently, the main focus of assessment is on the progress of the students towards the instructional goals and on the extent to which the involved students require special education and other related services (Ysseldyke, E. J, Algozzine, B & Algozzine, R., 2006).

In special education, a valid assessment measures the aspects that it is supposed to measure and always seeks to cover much of the assessable material without relying on the inference from a very small sample. As an aspect of validity, fairness is important to be noted in its own right. It ensures that every person is entitled to receiving equal and good assessment (Assessment). Due to the fact that assessment can be relatively time and resource intensive process, the determination of validity of the assessment outcomes should be one of critical test tasks of the users and developers. Therefore, the fundamental aim of assessment validation is to determine whether the intended specific benefits are realized (Roach, T. A.).

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In special education, the specialists' assessment is used in the identification of disability, eligibility determination and classification of students into the appropriate federal disability categories. After the identification, the progress of the students is often monitored by using various tools of questionable reliability and validity. The special education facilitators need to have access to many social, emotional and academic strategies that are important in the demonstration of validity. The assessments should contain the qualities that support the evaluation of the students' outcomes and development of education plans (Roach, T. A.).

In assessment, fairness can be viewed as lack of bias, equitable treatment of the testing outcomes, fairness as an opportunity to learn and fairness in equality of testing (Reynolds, W. R & Kamphaus, W. R., 2003). Lack of fairness invalidates the inferences about the target constructs of ethnicity, gender, race, social economic status and linguistic background. Therefore, fair assessments leads to the reduction of limitations of the educational opportunities for the students with special needs (Tony, C. M & Lam).

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