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Ask an Expert: What to do when students miss state testing

Q. My 10th grade daughter had spinal fusion surgery (with rods and screws) eight weeks ago, and is not yet back to school. She missed the TCAP testing, so I’m wondering how important this is, as she is keeping up with her class work at home. Thanks.

A. Obviously, the most important thing your daughter can be doing at this time is healing from her surgery. Based on the information you provided, it appears she is also able to keep up with her class work, which is impressive.

Related to state testing, some students who are receiving homebound services actually do take the TCAP with some nonstandard accommodations. Perhaps like your daughter, others who are recovering from surgery and may be on medication that impact their performance do not participate in testing as their results would not be considered to be an accurate representation of their achievement.

As you evaluate how your daughter did in school this year, you won’t have TCAP scores; however, you will still have her performance on assignments and tests, as well as her grades, to review. If those do not provide you with enough information, I encourage you to talk with her teachers.

In the meantime, have your daughter continue to complete her class work as she is able.

Joyce K. Zurkowski is director of student assessment for the Colorado Department of Education.

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