The difference between Special education mathematics scores in Maryland- Maryland School Assessment (MSA) and Virginia-Standards of Learning (SOL) is attributed to the expectations of what the students should discern. In particular, for Virginia-Standards of Learning (SOL), the standardized tests are used to highlight learning weaknesses and strengths and to measure the competencies (Commonwealth of Virginia, 2012). Equally, the tests offer information to parents on child’s expected skills. The Virginia public schools institute minimum expectations for what a student know and therefore able to accomplish at the end of every grade in mathematics
In fact, the mathematics test scores form the basis of assessment of student’s performance as well as that of teachers (US Department of State, 2012). Rickets (2010) asserts that the Virginia’s mathematical SOL content is specifically substantial in signifying the relationship students’ grades and their test scores. Further, variables like gender, socio economic status, ethnicity and disability significantly influence mathematical SOL test scores. Correspondingly, the SOL is essential in describing the commonwealth's expectations to those of grade K-12 students. It thus details precisely the knowledge and skills that every student must possess in mathematics. Teachers use the scores of SOL tests to align class instructions with those of commonwealth standards (The Family Liaison Office, 2010).
On the contrary, Maryland School Assessment (MSA) is an annual initiative administered in 3 to 8 grades meant for general improvement of students ‘grades in mathematics as well as in other courses. In Maryland, disabled students are involved in ether MSA, in Mod-MSA or in alternate-MSA as guided by a student's Individualized Education Program (IEP) team.
Simply, is actualizes the federal requirements on No Child Left Behind (Maryland State Department of Education, 2003). The MSA is administered to increase the scores in mathematics and to continuously achieve the closure of achievement gaps among special services and racial subgroups. The mathematics test score is helps in measuring how better a student has performed in mathematics in curriculum formulated by the State. Further, the students with emotional disturbance lag behind other disability groups. They spend more time in general education classes. They however have higher achievement scores in mathematics. Similarly, students with emotional and behavioural disabilities (EBD) have the highest dropout rate and create behavioural challenges for schools (Elaine et. al. 2011). Students with Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) achieve lower scores on retention, graduation, grade point average as well as on Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (Bussing et. al. 2012). This is not the case with students without ADHD.
Commonwealth of Virginia. (2012). Standards of Learning (SOL) & Testing. Retrieved 10th October, 2012 from http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/
Commonwealth of Virginia. (2012). The Standards & SOL-based Instructional Resources. Retrieved 10th October, 2012 http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/sol/standards_docs/index.shtml
Crawford, J. (n. d). No Child Left Behind: Misguided Approach to School Accountability for English Language Learners. National Association for Bilingual Education.
Does my child participate in state assessments? Retrieved 10th October, 2012 from http://mdk12.org/instruction/specialed/how_does_my_child_participate.html
Duchnowski, A. J. and Kutash, K. (2011). School Reform and Mental Health Services for Students with Emotional Disturbances Educated in Urban Schools. Journal of Education and Treatment of Children, volume 34(3), p323-346. Retrieved 10th October, 2012 http://wvupressonline.com/journals/etc
Elaine, C., Frank, J., Amy, B. and Brad, K.( 2011). A Longitudinal View of the Receptive Vocabulary and Math Achievement of Young Children with Disabilities. National Center for Special Education Research. Retrieved 10th October, 2012 http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/search/recordDetails.jsp?searchtype=basic&pageSize=10&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=A%20Longitudinal%20View%20of%20the%20Receptive%20Vocabulary%20and%20Math%20Achievement%20of%20Young%20Children%20with%20Disabilities&eric_displayStartCount=1&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=kw&_pageLabel=RecordDetails&objectId=0900019b8047de69&accno=ED523202&_nfls=false
Maryland State Department of Education. (2003). Testing. Retrieved 10th October, 2012 http://www.marylandpublicschools.org/MSDE/testing/msa/
Regina, B., Porter, P., Bonnie T. Z., Dana, M., Cynthia, G. and Robert, R. (2012). Academic Outcome Trajectories of Students with ADHD: Does Exceptional Education Status Matter? Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, volume 20(3), p131-143. Retrieved 10th October, 2012 http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1063426610388180
Ricketts, C. R. (2010). End of Course Grades and Standardized Test Scores: Are Grades Predictive of Student Achievement? Retrieved 10th October, 2012 http://gateway.proquest.com/openurl?url_ver=Z39.88-2004&rft_val_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:dissertation&res_dat=xri:pqdiss&rft_dat=xri:pqdiss:3422097
Terry, L. J. (2010). Support Services to Teachers to Increase Preparedness of Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities (EBD) for Statewide Assessments: A Case Study. Retrieved 10th October, 2012 http://gateway.proquest.com/openurl?url_ver=Z39.88-2004&rft_val_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:dissertation&res_dat=xri:pqdiss&rft_dat=xri:pqdiss:3397615
The Family Liaison Office (2010).Virginia Standards of Learning and the No Child Left Behind Act. Retrieved 10th October, 2012 http://www.state.gov/m/dghr/flo/c21998.htm
The Impact of No Child Left Behind on IDEA’s Guarantee of Free, Appropriate Public Education for Students with Disabilities: A Critical Review of Recent Case Law. Retrieved 10th October, 2012 from http://www.luc.edu/law/academics/special/center/child/childed_forum/pdfs/2009_student_papers/kraus_impact_no_child.pdf