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VGLA is as valid as you want it to be
Old 07-07-2008, 01:24 PM
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The VGLA is a valid measure of student achievement only when it is administered responsibily and professionally. It makes me cringe to think that folks out there are literally giving kids the same worksheet over and over again until they achieve 80% accuracy! The idea is to demonstrate that our sped students are genuinely mastering the curriculum, not a particular worksheet or test.

I also cringe at the idea that some school districts are using VGLA to assess students with low IQs or low reading levels. I am grateful that in Fx County the IEP form specifically states that VGLA may NOT be utilized if the student is expected to fail due to cognitive level or low reading level. VGLA is meant to catch kids who are capable of mastering the curriculum but whose disabilities impair their ability to demonstrate that mastery via standardized testing. At the school where I teach, kids who aren't capable of mastering the curriculum take the SOL, since any responsibly-prepared VGLA binder isn't going to demonstrate mastery that they don't have, so why waste the time?

Yes, I find VGLAs to be a royal pain in the #*&! And don't get me started on whether standardized testing is a valid measure of whether our kids have learned anything genuinely useful :-). But nothing feels better than watching the joy on the face of a kid with ADHD or LD who worked hard, learned the material, and "passed" the SOLs for the first time in their lives thanks to VGLA.
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