Testing Exemption For Disabled Students Moving In The Legislature

Mar 4, 2014

Florida lawmakers will address the issue of testing disabled students this session. The first such effort made its way onto a major committee bill Tuesday.

An amendment from Lakeland Republican Senator Kelly Stargel creates a permanent exemption from state standardized testing for students with the most severe disabilities, as long as a doctor and a superintendent agree. 

 “This is for children with not just disabilities, but very complex cognitive disabilities that sitting before a test, they have no cognitive ability to do a standardized test that may not be appropriate for them," Stargel said.

The plight of the less than one-percent of disabled students who take the state’s alternative assessment captured lawmakers’ attention after an Orlando mother had to lobby the state to exempt her dying son from taking tests. Maitland Democratic Representative Karen Castor Dentel and Venice Republican Senator Nancy Detert have filed bills making it easier for students to be exempted from the state’s alternative test.

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