Educational accountability tests, social and legal inclusion approaches to discrimination for students with disability: a national case study from Australia

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Cumming, Joy
Dickson, Elizabeth
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Jo-Anne Baird

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2013
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Abstract

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability promotes equal and full participation by children in education. Equity of educational access for all students, including students with disability, free from discrimination, is the first-stated national goal of Australian education. Australian federal disability discrimination law, the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, follows the Convention, with the federal Disability Standards for Education 2005 enacting specific requirements for education. This article discusses equity of processes for inclusion of students with disability in Australian educational accountability testing, including international tests in which many countries participate. The conclusion drawn is that equitable inclusion of students with disability in current Australian educational accountability testing is not occurring from a social perspective and is not in principle compliant with law. However, given the reluctance of courts to intervene in education matters and the uncertainty of an outcome in any court consideration, the discussion shows that equitable inclusion in accountability systems is available through policy change rather than expensive, and possibly unsuccessful, legal challenges.

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Assessment in Education Principles, Policy & Practice

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20

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2

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© 2012 Taylor & Francis. This is an electronic version of an article published in Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, Volume 20, Issue 2, 2013, Pages 221-239. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice is available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com with the open URL of your article.

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Education Assessment and Evaluation

Specialist Studies in Education

Psychology

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