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Orientation to Alaska’s Alternate Assessment for Special Education Directors Aran Felix, Alaska Department of Education Special Education Director Conference, Anchorage, Alaska ~ September 26, 2008 Topics What are alternate assessments? Who takes alternate assessments?

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orientation to alaska s alternate assessment for special education directors

Orientation to Alaska’s Alternate Assessment for Special Education Directors

Aran Felix, Alaska Department of Education

Special Education Director Conference, Anchorage, Alaska ~ September 26, 2008

Special Education Directors Conference

topics
Topics

What are alternate assessments?

Who takes alternate assessments?

Importance of having a Qualified Mentor Trainer in your district

Why is training important?

Test Security

Role of District Test Coordinators with Alternate Assessment

Highlights of Teacher Survey

Resources

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what is an alternate assessment

What is an Alternate Assessment?

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what are alternate assessments
What are alternate assessments?

Designed for certain small group of students with disabilities

Students must meet eligibility criteria

Requirement that alternate assessments be academic in nature like general education tests

Test items linked to grade level content standards

Test items reduced in complexity

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alaska s alternate assessment
Alaska’s Alternate Assessment

Part of the Comprehensive System of Student Assessments (CSSA)

Designed for a special population of students with disabilities (SWD)

The students with significant cognitive disabilities

1 to 2% of the student population (approximately 550 students)

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alaska s alternate assessment6
Alaska’s Alternate Assessment

Items and website developed in Oregon 8 years ago

Items & website used in Alaska 3 years and test items “Alaskanized”

Performance Tasks: Reading, Writing, Math & Science

Online System Includes:

System Requirements, FAQ’s, Help Desk Contact

Teacher Training & Proficiency Modules

Online Training Manuals

Secure Test Materials & Practice Test

Scoring & Reporting

Unofficial student report generated immediately

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what does alaskanized mean
What does “Alaskanized” mean?
  • Extended Grade Level Expectations (ExGLEs) developed by Alaska teachers (content experts and special educators)
  • Linked to Grade Level Expectations (GLEs)
  • ExGLEs used to guide curriculum and test item development
  • Proficiency Level Descriptors
  • Standard Setting

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alternate assessments for students with significant cognitive disabilities
Alternate Assessments for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities

Curriculum Based Measures:

Reading

Mathematics

Writing

Science

Administered by the teacher on a one-to-one basis with a student

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one on one academic performance task assessments
One-on-one AcademicPerformance Task Assessments

Standard tasks and scoring procedures

Ratings that evaluate independent performance while focusing on knowing and doing

Aligned to standards and instruction

Scores can be aggregated and reported as group summaries

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reading
Reading

Naming Letters, Pictures

Blending Sounds

Reading Words, Names, Sentences

Reading Text Orally

Reading and Listening Comprehension

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writing
Writing

Copying Letters

Copying Words

Dictated Words

Dictated Sentences

Writing Sentences

Story Writing

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slide12
Math

Naming/copying numbers

Counting & writing numerals

Shapes/telling time

Naming, counting money

Manipulatives & computation

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science
Science

Concepts of Physical Science

Concepts of Life Science

Concepts of Earth Science

History and Nature of Science, Science and Technology

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who takes the new alternate assessments
Who takes the new Alternate Assessments?

Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities

Students with IEPs that indicate the alternate assessment

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slide15
Approximately 1% of the Student Population Takes Alternate AssessmentsSlide courtesy of National Alternate Assessment Center

The number of students participating in alternate assessments on alternate achievement standards as compared to the total population of student learners and students with disabilities…

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making decisions about students with significant cognitive disabilities
Making Decisions about Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities

Students with significant cognitive disabilities (SSCD) will have access to, participate in, and make progress in the general education curriculum.

SSCD must participate in statewide assessments in all grades 3 – 10

No testing in grades 11, 12 for SSCD

AA is for students on a non-diploma track

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specifics of eligibility criteria in alaska
Specifics of Eligibility Criteria in Alaska

Eligibility Criteria is located in the Participation Guidelines for Alaska Students in State Assessments, September 2007 edition, Pages 7-9

Parental notification of Alternate required

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slide18
Where to find the Participation Criteria for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities: Participation Guidelines

You can find this as a booklet, on the EED website

http://www.eed.state.ak.us/tls/assessment/accommodations.html

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parent notification on the iep page 8 of 12
Parent Notification on the IEP, Page 8 of 12

Non-Diploma Track

Parent Signature

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what about the students with the most profound disabilities

What about the students with the most profound disabilities?

How does this assessment work for them?

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because we know these students are more different than alike
Because we know these students are more different than alike…

The total student population receiving special education services broken down by disability category…

SOURCE: Education Week analysis of data from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, Data Analysis System, 2002-03.

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expanded levels of support elos items
Expanded Levels of Support (ELOS) Items

Follow administration rules explained in Alternate Assessment Manual

Administration Rules govern standard test administration and ELOS items

All students take standard test items every year

Some students move to the ELOS items

ELOS items improve student access to the test

New ELOS items being written that are better aligned to Extended Grade Level Expectations

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only qualified assessors may administer the alternate assessment

Only Qualified Assessors may administer the Alternate Assessment

Why training is important

why training is important score reliability would results be the same
Why training is important:Score ReliabilityWould results be the same . .

if the assessment were administered by someone else?

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why training is important validity and fairness
Why training is important:VALIDITY and Fairness

Would assessment results accurately show what a student knows and can do?

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a standard approach to administration and scoring leads to
A standard approach to administration and scoring leads to:

Fair assessments

Comparable scores between assessors and settings

An accurate picture of what the student knows and can do

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how is training provided
How is training provided?

Orientation by a qualified trainer or EED

Self-paced online training & Proficiency achieved

Qualifying practice test with a student

Certificate of qualification

Coaching and peer support

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importance of alternate assessment qualified mentor trainers for districts

Importance of Alternate Assessment Qualified Mentor Trainers for districts

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how many aa mentors per district
How many AA Mentors per district?

EED recommends one mentor per district and more for large districts

State pays for one mentor to attend training—some exceptions

At the minimum, a district needs to have a Qualified Assessor

No students eligible for Alternate Assessment? What happens if a student transfers in?

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step 1 become a qualified assessor
Step 1: Become a Qualified Assessor

Must be school personnel (teacher or paraprofessional)

Meet qualifications:

Complete online training

Pass online proficiencies

Administer a practice test

Submit scoring protocols for evaluation

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step 2 is not for everyone become a qualified mentor trainer
Step 2 is not for everyone: Become a Qualified Mentor Trainer

Hold a Qualified Assessor Certificate

Attend annual mentor training

Train a protégé to the Qualified Assessor level

Submit the protégé’s scoring protocols to vendor for evaluation

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district requirements
District Requirements
  • Providing assessments to ALL students is a state and federal requirement
  • Providing district personnel time to learn how to properly administer assessments is a district requirement
  • Provide mentors time to train district personnel
  • Provide time for district personnel to become proficient online
  • Provide time for district personnel to give a practice assessments
  • Provide time for qualified assessors to prepare and adapt assessment materials

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annual requirements once a qa qt always a qa qt
Annual RequirementsOnce a QA(QT), always a QA(QT)

Must refresh skills annually as designated in the AA Manual

Sign Test Security Agreement

QAs-If not assessing a student that year, must still refresh skills

QTs-If not training a protégé that year, must still refresh skills

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why is there so much training to administer the alternate assessment
Why is there so much training to administer the Alternate Assessment?

Proctors administer Standards Based Assessments (SBAs) but do not score the assessments

Qualified Assessors

administer and score

adapt materials if necessary

decide on appropriate assistive technology

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test security
Test Security
  • Role of District Test Coordinator
  • Test Security Agreement
  • General Test Security guidelines
  • Online Test Security

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role of district test coordinator
Role of District Test Coordinator
  • DTCs are responsible for ensuring that all eligible students are provided the proper assessment
  • DTCs and special education need to work together to make sure this information is correct
  • DTCs are in charge of test security
  • DTCs maintain copies of Test Security Agreements

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test security agreement
Test Security Agreement

2007-2008

Alaska Comprehensive System of Student Assessment

Alternate Assessment Test Security Agreement

For Testing Personnel, Qualified Assessors, Qualified Mentor Trainers

  • According to regulation 4 AAC 06.765 (f) “school and district personnel responsible for test administration shall annual execute an agreement, on a form provided by the department, affirming that they will follow the test procedures required under this section.”

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test security38
Test Security
  • Review Handouts
    • General Guidelines
    • Online Test Security

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demo site http ak k12test com
Demo site: http://ak.k12test.com/
  • Visitors may view a demo by entering the word demo into both the email and password boxes to the right (demo must be all lower case in the password box). Teachers who want to become Qualified Assessors must register as a new user.

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home page http ak k12test com
Home Page:http://ak.k12test.com/

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teacher survey
Teacher Survey
  • Purpose: The goal of this survey is to better understand the impact that Alaska’s alternate assessment is having on the educational programs of students with significant cognitive disabilities, and to discover if the assessment system works efficiently for educators. We would like to hear from Qualified Assessors and Qualified Mentor-Trainers on a number of issues that relate to the administration of the assessment and use of the results.

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highlights six areas addressed
Highlights - six areas addressed

A. Training and Qualification

B. Test Administration and Decision Making

C. Accessibility and Results

D. Instructional Relevance

E. Professional Development Needs

F. Teacher Demographics and Experiences

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highlights from survey
Highlights from Survey
  • Positive comments about training
  • Training required 4-8 hours, sometimes more
  • Most districts provided time to become proficient
  • Majority felt that decisions about when to administer ELOS items were clear

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highlights from survey44
Highlights from Survey
  • 30% felt the materials need to be organized differently
  • Most had sufficient time to prepare materials and administer the test
  • 25% felt that scoring criteria not always clear
  • Majority felt that test administration was easy

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highlights from survey45
Highlights from Survey
  • Majority agreed that test items are accessible and relevant
  • Over 40% felt that the results do not accurately represent student’s progress on Extended GLEs
  • Student reports easy to interpret

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highlights from survey46
Highlights from Survey
  • 60% agreed that AA content is related to classroom instruction
  • 60% said they do not spend more time teaching academics after giving AA, nor raise expectations for academic achievement
  • Many expressed a need for professional development in balancing instruction in functional skills & academics

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resources
Resources
  • Aran Felix,Alternate Assessment Program Manager, #907-465-8437, Email: aran.felix@alaska.gov
  • DRA Help Desk: Sevrina Tindal, Phone: 1-800-838-3163, Fax: 815-717-9683

sevrina@dillardresearchassociates.com

  • Other Mentors, list updated annually and located at:

http://www.eed.state.ak.us/tls/assessment/alternate_optional.html

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discussion questions
Discussion & Questions

Thank you!

Please fill out your evaluation

and turn in as you leave.

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