I had my 5th grade son tested by the school & privately this past fall. Writing has always been a struggle (he received OT in 2nd and 3rd grade for handwriting) and any time he has to produce even the smallest amount of writing on his homework is a huge ordeal. He scored "needs improvement" in the 4th grade state testing which requires a long composition (5 paragraphs). I hoped the low score would get the school to provide help, but I was wrong.
The private testing had a diagnosis of ADD and recommended SpEd for written expression.
The school testing put him in the "average" range for written expression and denied SpEd. He has a 504 for ADD and does have an accommodation that he can use the computer for writing.
The school used the Woodcock-Johnson III Writing Fluency and Writing Samples tests as the only writing assessments. Searching online, I learned those tests only require writing sentences. I asked the school why they didn't use a test requiring a larger writing sample and was told they didn't need to because he scored average in the other tests.
I can't believe they would say that just because he can write a sentence based on a picture or when given three words, that means he can write a paragraph or a series of paragraphs. He's in 5th grade, not 1st grade!
Is just testing sentence writing an adequate reflection of a 5th grader's written expression abilities? What tests should the school have done? Of course at this stage, if I get the school to do more testing, the best we could hope is an IEP for 6th grade.
Another year wasted! I've been asking for help since 4th grade. The teachers have told me my child knows what to do and is just not trying.
Written expression is the ability to plan what we are going to write, and organize our sentences.
So that simply testing the ability to write a sentence, is no way tests this.
But it rather raises the question of whether the school would know how to help to develop his written expression?
Though their is a software program called Kidspiration that you might find very helpful?
Here's a link where you can download and try it our for free for a month: http://www.inspiration.com/Kidspiration