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Autistic Student In Georgia Denied Graduation From HS

Posted by on May. 12, 2012 at 8:53 PM
  • 92 Replies

Can you believe this??!!These "tests" are so ridiculous anyhow, all teachers do nowadays is teach kids the test instead of what they actually need to learn.

Video: http://news.yahoo.com/video/us-15749625/autistic-student-denied-graduation-29278489.html#crsl=%252Fvideo%252Fus-15749625%252Fautistic-student-denied-graduation-29278489.html

A Georgia state law is blocking an autistic student from getting his diploma, and his family blames a lack of communication and compassion, MyFoxAtlanta reports.

"I won't be able to graduate. I can walk, but I can't graduate," Sinclaire Coffers, a senior from Fulton County, Ga., told MyFoxAtlanta.

Coffer has good grades, but the problem is that he has not been able to pass the math exam required for every Georgia student to graduate high school.

"Once he starts it, and he learns it, he can do it. But when you walk away, he forgets the steps," said his mother, Linda Coffer.

Coffer is autistic. The state allows for students with disabilities to apply for a waiver that allows the state board of education to vote on whether or not to throw out the exams, and allow a student to graduate. In Coffer's case, the board denied a waiver for reasons his family has not yet been told.

The state department of education seems to agree to some extent. They've changed the law that says all seniors must pass these tests in order to graduate. But those changes don't take effect until next school year after it's too late for Coffer.

"It hurts my heart because he is such a good person. And for him, not to graduate and not to be able to pursue his dreams, it's really just an injustice," Capri Coffer said.

Coffers dreams of one day directing for the big screen.

"I want to go to a film school and learn how to make movies," Coffer said.

The end of high school is the exciting first step in reaching that dream. Except, just a week before the North Springs Charter graduation, Coffer received the devastating news in the mail.

Coffer is hardly alone. The state says last year, 16 percent of students failed the math exam.

by on May. 12, 2012 at 8:53 PM
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Replies (1-10):
hollinicole
by Member on May. 12, 2012 at 8:57 PM
Nothing new. I had to pass it when I was in high school and I had my own set of learning problems. I know a lot of people what are being help from the finle papers cause of one part or another. He can keep taking it till he pass there is no set limit. He should be happy they did not trry to push him into a Sp Ed. Seal.
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momtimesx4
by Gold Member on May. 12, 2012 at 8:59 PM
1 mom liked this

Better retake the exam and pass it.

Wonder what the reasons for denial were.

Aspirel
by on May. 12, 2012 at 9:02 PM
1 mom liked this

My autistic son will be attending highschool until he is 22 with the hopes of actually graduating and not just getting a certificate of completion. Which requires he takes and passes the mcas here in Mass. We both decided we wanted him to have the actual diploma,so he is working his 16 year old butt off and will probably be enrolled till he comes of age.Funny,he wants to be a film maker too.:)

bellawomen
by Bronze Member on May. 12, 2012 at 9:05 PM
My sister didn't graduate either. She got a "certificate of attendance". She couldn't even pass 1st grade level testing.

I think standarized testing is an inaccurate measurement of intelligence and understanding.
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wickedfiress
by Kellie on May. 12, 2012 at 9:07 PM

They are making this a big deal when they don't even know the reasons yet?  

yourspecialkid
by Platinum Member on May. 12, 2012 at 9:15 PM
1 mom liked this

 The state should be giving the test in more than 1 form to accommodate those that have difficulty with traditional test methods.

If this were my child I would hire a SPED attorney.  BTW, I have a child dx'd with PDD-NOS.  He is in the 5th grade and has the highest gpa in the school.  He is in a reg classroom.  He has difficulty taking tests though, especially when it is on a computer.  He is allowed to either sub a paper test or to take the test with he speech therapist in the speech classroom.

I think a lot of the testing they do is crap.  Way too much time is spent learning how to take the stupid test....not enough time is spent learning the actual content of the test.

UpSheRises
by Platinum Member on May. 12, 2012 at 9:47 PM
1 mom liked this


Quoting yourspecialkid:

 The state should be giving the test in more than 1 form to accommodate those that have difficulty with traditional test methods.

If this were my child I would hire a SPED attorney.  BTW, I have a child dx'd with PDD-NOS.  He is in the 5th grade and has the highest gpa in the school.  He is in a reg classroom.  He has difficulty taking tests though, especially when it is on a computer.  He is allowed to either sub a paper test or to take the test with he speech therapist in the speech classroom.

I think a lot of the testing they do is crap.  Way too much time is spent learning how to take the stupid test....not enough time is spent learning the actual content of the test.

I think a lot of people don't realize how difficult it can be to get adequate special ed. accommodations from a school. I think they assume that because the services are supposed to be available they school just gives them to you...they don't realize the work it takes to get what your child legally entitled to.

yourspecialkid
by Platinum Member on May. 13, 2012 at 4:45 PM
2 moms liked this

 

Quoting UpSheRises:

 

Quoting yourspecialkid:

 The state should be giving the test in more than 1 form to accommodate those that have difficulty with traditional test methods.

If this were my child I would hire a SPED attorney.  BTW, I have a child dx'd with PDD-NOS.  He is in the 5th grade and has the highest gpa in the school.  He is in a reg classroom.  He has difficulty taking tests though, especially when it is on a computer.  He is allowed to either sub a paper test or to take the test with he speech therapist in the speech classroom.

I think a lot of the testing they do is crap.  Way too much time is spent learning how to take the stupid test....not enough time is spent learning the actual content of the test.

I think a lot of people don't realize how difficult it can be to get adequate special ed. accommodations from a school. I think they assume that because the services are supposed to be available they school just gives them to you...they don't realize the work it takes to get what your child legally entitled to.

 I think you are right.  Parents have a powerful tool in their shed though....federal funding.  We have been in 3 different school districts.  It never ceases to amazes me how quickly things can come together after just a short visit with the superintendent.  Knowing a few key things from IDEA and NCLB can get you a long way...if you really want to cut to the chase though you can ask what they would rather discuss.."my child's needs or how much federal funding this will cost you once my SPED attorney sues you."  It is magic..much better than "hocus pocus" or wishing on a star.

It is very important for parents to do their homework.  Their kids have lots of rights...they just sometimes need someone to fight for them.

pvtjokerus
by Platinum Member on May. 13, 2012 at 5:02 PM

I agree.

Quoting bellawomen:

My sister didn't graduate either. She got a "certificate of attendance". She couldn't even pass 1st grade level testing.

I think standarized testing is an inaccurate measurement of intelligence and understanding.


FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on May. 13, 2012 at 5:19 PM
2 moms liked this

I absolutely hate any and all 'state tests'.  Already, in the 6th grade, my youngest is being taught specifically for those tests.  It is such a grave disservice to our children.

What caught my eye right off was the aspect that the family had not been told the reasons why their son was denied a waiver.

Even those who are not autistic have issues with these tests, tests in general for many.  My 17 year old aces every aspect of a certain class but the tests, she doesn't do as well on.  There are those who may not do crap in class yet can ace a test.

I feel for this family, for that young man.

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