Special Education Teaching Issues Essay (Article)

September 21, 2021 by Essay Writer

Teaching to the test

The first article is “Teaching to the test: How NCLB impact language, state policy, and curriculum in ELL’s”. The study discussed in the article is solemnly focused on ensuring that the English Language Learners (ELLs) are mostly children coming from countries where English is not a native language. It also shows how to learn and understand English in a friendly and easy way. The instructors (teachers) in this study are expected to follow the “No Child Left Behind” legislation by giving the learners tests in order to find out how such tests influence their language skills.

In the study, the research is carried out in New York only which is not enough to come up with the relevant data that satisfies the hypothesis. More so, the sampled schools are only ten schools in the whole of New York City. These schools are mainly high schools yet most of the people who struggle with the English Language are ELLs and a large percentage are concentrated on the elementary level of education.

The conducted study uses a good method that is evidence-based rather than an analytical approach that depends on values projected from statistical assumptions and calculations. Thus, the research on data analysis is on the right track. Also, people who are involved in the research are persons who understand the education sector well, in particular, teachers, students, and administrators. Although I feel that parents should also be involved since they are always connected with the students directly as their children. Hence, they understand them better and they can easily tell if their child’s level of English is improving or not.

In data analysis to prove the hypothesis of the article “Teaching to the test: How NCLB impact language, state policy, and curriculum in ELL’s”, data is collected firsthand through the use of audiotapes to capture the interview sessions as well as using different topics and themes in the English language in analyzing the student development. However, the most successful method is the use of comparison with the performance of the students after they are administered with high stakes tests in English. The results show that there is an improvement in the level of English mastery for non-native students exposed to the “Teaching to test” program compared to those who are not.

As an educator, I must confess from experience that the “teaching to test” program surely works in aiding ELLs to master English. However, I do not fully support the program as I think that somewhere along the way both students and teachers lose the necessity of learning and teaching the language respectively. It makes the education system become a rat chase where teachers struggle so hard to see their students pass the English tests while the students spend so much time cramming in order to pass.

Instead of the use of tests, I think special educators should embrace the use of curriculum-based measurement methods that enable them to evaluate the performance of the students. This will also be in line with advanced student 4 which states that evolution is critical to the advanced practice of special educators. Good special education teachers should possess the ability to come up with research methods that will be used to analyze the best instructional methods, In addition, these methods should match their roles and assess their progress in achieving the goals and objectives as stated in CEC Advanced 4.

Evidence-based practice and students with autism spectrum disorders

The second article written by Simpson is “Evidence-based practice and students with autism spectrum disorders. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities”. It focuses on the fact that students who suffer from autism are assumed to be normal students most of the time. Thus, this article’s main purpose is to come up with a means that identifies the best practices and programs to be considered good and user-friendly towards teaching these students who suffer from autism and other associated disorders. The article majorly outlines that more attention and energy should be shifted to ensure that an evidence-based approach method of teaching is implemented (Simpson, 2005).

The author uses a simple basic approach in the design of this research and analysis of the subsequent results and data. The major arguments are based on the “No Child left behind Act” that was enacted into law in the year 2001. Furthermore, the author pays special attention to the current studies that are related to the subject matter rather than past studies. In order to come up with an effective method of helping students with autism, in his analysis, he majorly dwells and concentrates on using scientifically based methods of intervention rather than the use of non-scientific methods which are controversial most of the time (Simpson, 2005).

The author does not provide the real data although he describes a research-based method on the three principles of valid knowledge, objectivity, and evidence, that support practicability of the stated methods. Hence, this research does not give the best way to solve the issues. However, only research-based methods through the three basic questions are considered relevant by the author, because with their help only one may be able to come up with a solution. These questions involve determining the anticipated outcome, recognizing the potential risks of whatever method is chosen, and finally being able to find out an effective means of evaluation.

Finally, the article only provides suggestions on what interventions are suitable and their potential risks but it does not solve the question. As a special educator, sometimes I do find it hard to deal with students who have autism and related disorders because the methods available for teaching are not well determined and thus their potential risks are spontaneous. Hence, I support the idea of a complete restructuring of the education sector so that the students with autism and other related disorders can be provided with their own sector equipped with the recommended methods of teaching.

The article is also relevant to the CEC Advanced Standard 2 and 3 since it reflects insights into the scientific or controversial methods that can be used to improve education for students with disabilities.

Using curriculum-based measurement for formative instructional decision-making in basic mathematics skills

The third article under consideration is “Using curriculum-based measurement for formative instructional decision-making in basic mathematics skills”. Its main purpose is to explore the use of curriculum-based measurement in the analysis of the progress of basic skills in mathematics among students and also to study the extent to which the performance of students in mathematics varies among different levels of survey (Fore et al., 2007).

The design of this research sets out to determine three basic hypotheses that are teachers’ self-monitoring effects on CMB, a generalization of CMB survey level in mathematics, and construction of the validity of the CMB measures. The data collected during the research is compared within different ethnicities such as African-Americans, Caucasians, Indians, and Asians. According to the author, the research uses both experimental and evidence-based methods with the dependent variable which is the effects that the education sector encompasses if the program is implemented. The independent variable reflects the results of the actual performance after the implementation.

Curriculum-based measurement is used to improve performance in mathematics. It depends on the main hypothesis question since the results that are recorded in the study are coded and later analyzed using statistical methods of data analysis (Fore et al., 2007).

The use of curriculum-based measurement is sufficient for the improvement of students’ performance as long as the method is implemented and integrated into our main curriculum. My experience in teaching mathematics has shown that it is a challenging and technical subject and, thus, many students fear mathematics or just have a negative attitude towards it. The application of curriculum-based measurement will improve their performance as well as make it easier for other special educators to teach since improved performance is a motivating factor to both students and teachers.

In relation to the CEC Advanced Standards, this article is indispensable since it gives educators a means to develop and understand other ways of teaching in order to improve performance. More so, according to CEC Advanced Standard 2, having the curriculum content knowledge to improve the services to students is essential. Thus, the use of curriculum-based measurement is highly welcome as it promises to rise the performance standards of the students. Its use can also tell the difference between the various levels of students’ development in mathematics while promoting an individualized approach under CEC Advanced Standard 3.


Fore, C., Boon, R.T., Lawson, C. R., & Martin, C. (2007). Using curriculum-based measurement for formative instructional decision-making in basic mathematics skills. Education, 128(2), 324-332.

Simpson, R.L. (2005). Evidence-based practices and students with autism spectrum disorders. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 20(3), 140-149.

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