Your Special Needs Child's Legal Rights
No Child Left Behind
NCLB requires states to establish student academic standards as well as an assessment system to ensure that all students are meeting the academic standards. The assessment system must be statewide, and its purpose is to establish an accountability system. All students must participate in the assessment program, and states must demonstrate that its students are making adequate yearly progress toward achieving the state’s academic standards.
NCLB affects students with disabilities under the IDEA and/or Section 504 in several ways. First, the NCLB requires that all students be assessed. The IEP team must determine how the student will participate in the assessment, not if. Furthermore, students with disabilities constitute one of four subgroups that the states must demonstrate have made adequate yearly progress. Second, the NCLB requires the use of appropriate accommodations when assessing students with disabilities under the IDEA or Section 504. Where providing a student with accommodations does not fundamentally alter the test, and where it would provide the student with the means to demonstrate what she knows she can do, then the state must allow the accommodation. Additionally, each state must develop alternate assessments for IDEA-eligible students whose IEP teams determine they cannot be assessed through the State testing program.