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Selecting Accommodations Wisely: Facilitating Test Access & Enhancing Implementation Integrity Stephen N. Elliott, PhD Dunn Family Professor of Assessment Department of Special Education Peabody College Vanderbilt University Introduction & Background Information
Stephen N. Elliott, PhD
Dunn Family Professor of Assessment
Department of Special Education
Michele is an 8th grader who
has had some difficulty learning
and frequently exhibits poor
work habits. She is functioning
below grade level expectations
in almost all subjects, but does
not qualify for special services.
Tia is a 4th grader who is classified as learning disabled. Her instructional reading level is 2nd grade, but she receive all her instruction in regular classes with some support from a consulting special education teacher. She has good listening and memory skills, and is a highly motivated student.
Ben is chronologically a 10th
grader who was diagnosed as
autistic at age 3. Due to his
difficulties, he receives much
of his education in a highly
structured special education
classroom with 6 other students
with developmental disorders.
IEP Team Members Must Understand an Individual Student’s Instructional Support Needs before Making a Decision about Needed Testing Accommodations!
Definition - changes to the way a test is administered or responded to by a student. Such changes are often categorized as changes to the setting, timing, scheduling, presentation, and method of responding.
Accommodation +------------------+ Modification
Four attributes that differentiate an accommodation from a
Modification. As one moves closer to a modification, the validity of
the inferences from a test score becomes more suspect.
Testing accommodations facilitate access to a test and should reduce the error in test scores due to relatively poor access skills.
Appropriate testing accommodations should not change or replace the skills that the test targets or is designed to measure.
2 metaphors: Eye glasses & Access Ramp
Test items are designed to measure specific skills or abilities. For
example, many mathematics items are intended to measure a
student’s ability to reason, compute, and communication a solution or
result. The skills or abilities that test developers intend the items to
measure can be called target skills or abilities. The same
mathematics items require a student to attend, read, remember some
information, and ultimately respond by bubbling in an answer choice
or writing an extended response.These latter skills are generally Not
what the test developers designed the mathematics items to measure,
but without these skills or abilities students can not access or interact
with the test items to demonstrate whether or not they posses the
target skills measured by the items.
IEP Teams members must know what the test Measures!!!
10. Locating test items
11. Locating answer spaces
12. Erasing completely
14. Processing information in a timely manner
15. Working for a sustained period of time
16. Spelling*Key Access Skills*some access skills can also be target skills
IEP Team Members Must Know Their State’s Testing Accommodation Guidelines!
Reliability: A reliable test provides you consistent results.
That is, it is accurate over repeated uses.
Validity: A valid test* measures what it says it measures.
That is, it allows you to make an inference about a person’s
knowledge or skill from his or her score on a given test.
Reliability is a necessary, but not sufficient condition
A CRT approach to test interpretation “tolerates” diversity in testing
conditions as long as the construct being measured is unchanged!
The Assessment Accommodations Checklist provides a framework for IEP team’s accommodation selection, implementation planning, and documentation.
(Elliott, Kratochwill, & Schulte, 1999)
Source: Thurlow, J. Elliott, and Ysseldyke (1998, pp. 61-62)