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Federal Policy & Statewide Assessments for Students with Disabilities. Sue Rigney U.S. Department of Education OSEP Project Directors Meeting August 2008. Federal Policy. State assessments Alternate & modified achievement standards NAEP Participation

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Federal Policy & Statewide Assessments for Students with Disabilities


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    1. Federal Policy & Statewide Assessments for Students with Disabilities Sue Rigney U.S. Department of Education OSEP Project Directors Meeting August 2008

    2. Federal Policy • State assessments • Alternate & modified achievement standards • NAEP • Participation • Requires alternate for State- and district-wide assessments • Accommodations guidelines NCLB IDEA

    3. Federal Policy Implementation • Statute, regulations & guidance drafted and disseminated • Compliance monitoring carried out by multiple offices e.g.,OSEP, OESE, SASA • Peer review of Title I State Plan required • Technical assistance • $$

    4. State Policy Implementation • Inclusion policies and procedures • Optional development & implementation of AA-AAS or AA-MAS consistent with statute • Support for test administration and use • Infrastructure for local implementation • Assessment training • Professional development to support effective instruction

    5. Intent - NCLB “To ensure that all children have a fair, equal, and significant opportunity to obtain a high quality education…” • All schools publicly accountable for performance of SWD

    6. NCLB Requires • Challenging State content standards • Academic achievement standards • Statewide accountability system that includes all schools • Annual reporting of assessment results and AYP

    7. NCLB + Regulations AA-AAS (1%) December 2003 • Permits alternate achievement standard for students with most significant cognitive disability AA-MAS (2%) April 2007 • Permits modified academic achievement standard for students whose disability prevents them from meeting grade level standard in period covered by current IEP 1%-2% caps as safeguard for students

    8. Testing Students with Disabilities State Testing Options • Grade level test • Grade level test with accommodations • Grade level test – alternate format, same academic achievement standards • Test based on modified achievement standards (2% cap) • Test based on alternate achievement standards (1% cap)

    9. Reporting State must report to the Secretary the number and percent of SWD taking • General assessments • General assessments w/ accommodations • AA-Grade Level Achievement Standards • AA-Modified Achievement Standards • AA-Alternate Achievement Standards

    10. Modified & Alternate Achievement Standards • Are permitted, not required • Use limited to eligible students based on State guidelines • State must provide evidence of technical quality Sue Rigney, USED

    11. AA-AAS Alternate achievement standards permitted only for students with most significant cognitive disability

    12. AA-AAS • Required since July 2000 • Operational in all states • Regulation requires alignment with grade-level content standards • Most states needed to revise the AA-AAS to meet requirement for academic content • A few states still working on it

    13. Impact on Assessment Practice • Virtually all State assessment participation policies changed since IASA • Participation of SWD in State assessments is substantially increased • 22/50 states have changed participation policies/guidelines for AA-AAS since the Dec 9, 2003 regulation • Peer Review has prompted linkage to academic content for all states

    14. Impact on Instruction • Anecdotal and case studies Most pre-date requirement for academic content • Inclusion in accountability makes a difference: “I think our expectations are higher.”

    15. Impact on Student Outcomes Evidence of student outcomes limited • Reports do not separate general test results and alternate results • OSEP collects detailed data in biennial report but it’s hard to find

    16. Modified Achievement Standards • Are aligned with State’s academic content standards for the grade in which student is enrolled • Challenging for eligible students but less difficult than grade-level achievement standards • Include 3 achievement levels

    17. Student Eligibility Disability precludes achievement of grade-level proficiency as demonstrated by • State’s Grade-level assessments or • Other measures such as: • Response to appropriate instruction • Multiple measurements over time

    18. AA-MAS Is Not… • A modified assessment • Accommodations that would invalidate the general test are not permitted for the AA-MAS because the construct should be the same • Modified content standards • No change to the grade-level content standards permitted • AA-MAS test blueprint should be comparable to the general test blueprint • A lower cut point on the general test

    19. State Guidelines (1) • Establish and monitor guidelines for IEP teams to determine which students eligible • Provide IEP teams a clear explanation of differences between AA-GLAS, AA-MAS, AA-AAS • Ensure that parents are informed

    20. State Guidelines (2) Establish and monitor implementation of guidelines for developing IEPs • IEP goals based on grade-level content standards • IEP designed to monitor student progress

    21. Other state responsibilities • Inform IEP teams that student may be assessed on MAS in one or more subjects • Ensure student has access to grade-level curriculum • Ensure students not precluded from attempting to complete diploma requirements • Ensure annual IEP team review of assessment decisions • Disseminate guidelines for appropriate use of accommodations

    22. State Support for IEP Teams Which office(s) will: • develop participation guidelines for AA-MAS? • develop guidelines for writing standards-based IEPs? • disseminate materials and provide professional development to IEP teams? • monitor the implementation of IEP teams’ appropriate use of participation guidelines and development of standards-based IEPs?

    23. Debunking the Myths • It’s unfair to require students with disabilities to take those tests • It’s unfair to expect children with different types of disabilities to achieve on a “one size fits all” test • It’s unfair to find districts “in need of improvement” when it’s only the scores of students with disabilities holding them back www.napas.org

    24. AYP Targets Missed by Schools ThatDid Not Make Adequate Yearly Progress, 2004-05 Source: Study of State Implementation of Accountability and Teacher Quality Under NCLB (based on data reported by 39 states for 19,471 schools that missed AYP.

    25. Lessons Learned • Collaboration needed to develop alternate assessments: assessment, special ed, content experts • Resources needed to build local support systems • Consequences must be documented

    26. More Lessons Learned • Assessment gap vs instruction gap • Simpler test items may not be the answer • A test alone does not change practice • Interpretation of outcomes difficult because student results confounded with opportunity to learn

    27. Implications for Higher Ed • All new teachers need to know the state content standards • Content • Pedogogy • Teachers & Administrators need to know how to work with special pops • Research • Resources

    28. Implications for Higher Ed • Collaboration is essential for • Curriculum alignment • Instruction • Test development • Who needs to be included? • Special education • Curriculum specialists • Assessment experts