Skip to main content

Expert Q&A

Must accommodations that are written in the IEP apply to tests that place students in ability groups?

Our school conducts pre-testing each year to determine ability groupings of students. The school will not give accommodations to students taking these tests. They say that applying accommodations to testing for IEP/504 skews the results of where students should be placed. Their IEP’s state that accommodations will be applied to ALL pre/post district tests. The IEP’s have been signed by the principal, special ed director, and the parent.

Would an amendment to the IEP have to be signed in order to not apply the accommodation? Do school districts usually accommodate for internal assessments or do they leave that off the assessment page of an IEP? The school believes that our ability groupings would more adequately reflect where each student is currently performing if no accommodations were given. Some people are saying that the school would be eligible for more grant funding if there was a higher percentage of low level students.


Dear Kelly:

You raise a very interesting question, to wit, whether accommodations specified in the IEP apply to internal placement testing used by the school district. I would argue that they do and that any decision to do otherwise must be made based on a formal change in the IEP.

If the child is able to function well in other settings with accommodation, it would make little sense to deny them accommodations on the internal placement tests. The result would be that the child who is cognitively capable of handling higher level work, with accommodation, would be placed in a lower track program, not because of the inability to handle the material, but because of the absence of accommodation on the placement test. Qualification for state or federal funding should not be the basis for deciding whether a child receives accommodation.

Back to Top