If you turn to the dedication page of Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, you will see that we dedicated the book to Diana King and to Roger Saunders (my counselor).Because they did not lower the bar for me, I learned how to read, write and do arithmetic.Shifting again Children with more severe disabilities like autism have deficits in communication. The childs brain was not used - abilities were untapped. Shifting I represented a child who had cerebral palsy and was also diagnosed as retarded.If the child cannot communicate, the child appears to be retarded. The childs mother wanted him out of the self-contained program for "severe and profound children." But he always tested below 70 on IQ tests so the school refused to change his placement.
From Hans Christian Andersen to Anderson Cooper, the list is endless.If the child appears to be retarded, the childs teachers will lower their expectations. As people lower their expectations, they don't learn. We got new evaluations by an experienced psychologist who was aware of his communication problems.This child ended up scoring around 110 on an IQ test.You will not find a clear answer to your question in the statute, regulations, or caselaw (all three are in our book, Wrightslaw: Special Education Law).
IDEA 2004 does include new language about accommodations guidelines and accommodations on state and district tests. The school will measure the childs knowledge of history on an essay test.
The purpose of testing is to find out what the child has learned.