When Janet Stravitz had a chance to talk about the good marks so many of Rockland’s special needs students got on their alternate assessments, she said she really needed to credit the school board, administration — and especially the teachers who work with the kids.
Tom Gill, director of special education for Putnam-Northern Westchester BOCES, made a similar comment, saying that the work put into the alternative assessment folios by the teachers were nearly the single most important part of the process.
Assessing the learning rate of children with severe special needs is never easy. Which is why, when the scores came back from the state showed, at least in Rockland, so many children at or above state standards, that Stravitz wanted staff and the students to get the kudos they deserve.
“That means we do a really good job,” she said. “The local special education teachers who administer it are very consistent, very thorough. It shows we have an academic curriculum that’s being taught … and they are very much in tune with the whole process and their students. There’s no way you can administer this assessment without really knowing your students.”