There are 2 different alternative TAKS tests (plus the regular TAKS test with Accommodations). TAKS-M is for students who receive extensive modifications. Beyond that, there is the TAKS-Alt for students with significant disabilities (typically students in life-skill classes). All students must now be tested. This is to address accountability, and there are no longer any exemptions. That is because once the Feds changed to mandatory state testing they specified a percentage of sped students who were allowed to be exempt from testing. But the percentages weren't based on reality and very few schools were able to keep exemptions under 2%. Another example of: be careful what you ask for, you just might get it.
For students taking TAKS-M or TAKS-Alt it is not necessary for them to "pass" the test in order to graduate. Graduation is then an ARD committee decision: Completion of IEP as determined by the ARD committee which may include credit and curriculum requirements, demonstration of employability skills, and/or reaching the age of 22
TAKS-M Participation Requirements
Students receiving special education services who have a disability that significantly affects academic progress in the grade-level curriculum and precludes the achievement of grade-level proficiency within a school year will be assessed with TAKS-M.
Admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committees may decide that a student's knowledge and skills in one or more subject areas can best be assessed with TAKS-M if the student meets all of the following participation criteria.
-- needs extensive modifications and/or accommodations to classroom instruction, assignments, and assessments to access and demonstrate progress in the grade-level Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS),
-- demonstrates academic progress in such a way that even if significant growth occurs during the school year, the ARD committee is reasonably certain that the student will not achieve grade-level proficiency as demonstrated by multiple valid measures of evidence,
-- meets some but not all of the participation criteria of TAKS-Alternate (TAKS-Alt), and
-- requires an alternate form of TAKS which is more closely aligned with instructional modifications in order to demonstrate knowledge of the grade-level TEKS.
TAKS-Alt Participation Requirements
Students receiving special education services who have the most significant cognitive disabilities and are unable to participate in the other statewide assessments even with substantial accommodations and/or modifications will be assessed with TAKS-Alt.
Admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committees may decide that a student's knowledge and skills can best be assessed with TAKS-Alt if the student meets all of the following participation criteria.
-- requires supports to access the general curriculum that may include assistance involving communication, response style, physical access, or daily living skills,
-- requires direct, intensive, individualized instruction in a variety of settings to accomplish the acquisition, maintenance and generalization of skills, accesses and participates in the grade-level Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) through activities that focus on prerequisite skills,
-- demonstrates knowledge and skills routinely in class by methods other than paper-and-pencil tasks, and
-- demonstrates performance objectives that may include real life applications of the grade-level TEKS as appropriate to the student's abilities and needs.
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