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Assessing Achievement, Adapting Tests to Accommodate Students with Disabilities, and Assessment of C


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Title: Assessing Achievement, Adapting Tests to Accommodate Students with Disabilities, and Assessment of C

Assessing Achievement, Adapting Tests to
Accommodate Students with Disabilities, and
Assessment of Culturally/Linguistically Diverse
  • Week 8

Assessing Achievement
  • Screening
  • Evaluation/Eligibility
  • Usually group tests are not used, UNLESS groups
    tests contains a more complete behavior sample
  • Progress Evaluation
  • Provide communities, parents, schools with
    quality of school
  • Relative Effectiveness of Alternative Curricula
  • Compare different programs (e.g., Mathland vs.
    Mathland plus Mountain Math

Multiple Skill Achievement Measures
  • Most frequently used tests in education
  • Not great for not for monitoring individual
    student progress or planning interventions
  • Either group or individually administered
  • GROUP screening decisions
  • INDIVIDUAL eligibility/entitlement decisions
  • Usually Measure Basic Skill Areas
  • - Math, Reading, Writing

Multiple Skill Achievement Measures
  • Classified by several dimensions
  • Density (more items)
  • Specificity (finer analysis)
  • Group/ Individual
  • You can use group assessment for individual, NOT
    vice versa
  • Individual administration allows for observation
    of problem solving skills

  • Achievement tests should correspond to what has
    been taught.
  • Content validity is a primary concern for all
  • Norms reliability are important for making
    decisions about students.

  • Historically, there has been widespread
    exclusion of students with disabilities from
    state and national testing and this continues
    today (McGrew, Thurlow, Shriner, Speigal,

Why have students been excluded?
  • Some believe that
  • Including students with disabilities will lower
    the scores
  • We already know how they would perform
  • The student should not be subjected to the pain
    of participation
  • They could not possibly respond correctly to the
    test items

Why have students been excluded?
  • Why is this a problem?
  • DATA on which policy decision are made
  • does not represent all students
  • Therefore, decisions about instruction are not
    made for all students
  • Inflation of scores
  • Inappropriate norms

Laws and Reform on Including Students with
  • Goals 2000 The Education American Act
  • Focused on including students with disabilities
    in testing used for accountability
  • Improving Americas Schools Act (1995) and IDEA
  • Focused on school districts reporting on the
    progress of ALL students

Laws and Reform on Including Students with
  • NCLB
  • All students must participate in state-wide
  • 95 participation for all subcategories
  • 1 of students can participate in alternative
    assessment (most severe students

Accommodations vs. Modifications
  • Accommodations
  • Adapting the structure of the test/curriculum to
    enable students with disabilities to have access
    to the material
  • Presentation
  • Response
  • Setting
  • Timing or schedule

Accommodations vs. Modifications
  • Modifications
  • Changing the content of the test/curriculum to
    allow students with disabilities to participate

Accommodation or Modification?
  • Large print
  • Calculator for math problems
  • Reading math problems
  • Extended time or reading fluency test
  • Small group setting for test administration
  • Pointing to answer (alternate response method)
  • Reader for written passages
  • Eliminating word problems on math test
  • Paraphrase directions
  • Off-level testing
  • Repeating items on a listening or memory test

5 Factors Affecting Accurate Assessment
  • 1) Student understanding of assessment
  • 2) Students ability to respond to the task
  • 3) Norm group
  • 4) Appropriateness and level of items
  • 5) Students exposure to the curriculum

Student understanding of assessment
  • Assessments are unfair if the test questions are
    in a format that the student does not understand
  • Example Printed tests for students who are
    blind. Oral tests for students who are deaf.
  • Note Students must be assessed in their primary

Students ability to respond to the task
  • Assessments are unfair if the student cannot
    produce the required response
  • For example, written responses for students with
    some physical disabilities. Verbal responses for
    someone with a severe speech disability

Norm group
  • Assessments are unfair if they are administered
    to the student differently than it was for the
    norm group.
  • Cannot compare scores
  • Qualitative comparison can be made
  • Remember accommodations do not change the content
    and modifications do change the content.

Appropriateness and level of items
  • Assessments are unfair if the material does not
    have enough easy or hard items.
  • Basal (easier items)
  • Ceiling (harder items)
  • For example, the items may not be appropriate for
    that student because they are either too easy or
    too difficult. A third grader who cannot yet read
    would not be expected to take a third grade
    reading test.

Students exposure to the curriculum
  • Assessments are unfair if the student has not had
    the opportunity to learn it.
  • For example, students who have not attended
    school regularly do to health issues would not be
    expected to know the same amount of

Including Students in Large-Scale Assessment
  • Decisions about including students should be
  • Made by people who know the student
  • Based on students current level of performance
    (NOT program setting, disability, of time in
    general ed)
  • Documented on their IEP

  • Students must participate if they receive any
    instruction on the content
  • Some students should be allowed to participate
    either in an alternate assessment or part of an
  • Only a small percentage of students should take
    alternate assessments (1/2 to 2)

  • Acculturation describes the phenomena that
    results when groups of individuals have different
    cultures come into continuous firsthand contact,
    with subsequent change in the original pattern of
    either or both groups.
  • Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students
    Students who function in two cultural contexts
    that of the dominant society and that of their
    own ethnic group.
  • English Language Learner students whose primary
    language is not English but are in the process of
    learning English
  • Limited English Proficiency Students of
    non-English background whose comprehension,
    speaking, reading, or writing in English is below
    the average English proficiency of the same

Second-Language Acquisition Process
  • Preproduction
  • Developing comprehension/receptive skills, not
  • Early Production
  • Comprehension and word usage developing
  • One and two word utterances
  • Speech Emergence
  • Using longer, complex sentences
  • Generates own sentences, retells stories

Second Language Acquisition Process cont.
  • Intermediate Fluency
  • Production of connected narratives
  • Interacts more with native speakers
  • Processes information slower in second language
  • Advanced Fluency
  • Advanced receptive and expressive skills
  • Still processes information slower in second

Two Facets of Language Proficiency
  • Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS)
  • Language used during everyday personal/social
  • 2 to 3 years to develop
  • Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP)
  • Language necessary for academic achievement in
    subject matter
  • 5 to 7 years to develop

Effective Ways to Learn About Different Cultures
  • Acquiring knowledge about another culture through
    reading and studying
  • Interacting with individuals from another culture
    who can serve as guides or mentors
  • Engaging in activities of other cultures
  • Learning the language of another culture
  • Others?

Best Practice in Working with Families from
Diverse Cultures
  • Awareness of mainstream culture/values
  • Individualism - Materialism
  • Independence - Progress
  • Autonomy - Future Orientation
  • Interpersonal competition
  • Mastery
  • Punctuality - Equality
  • Knowledge and Awareness of different cultures
  • Knowledge of second-language acquisition process

Using Interpreters
  • Interpreters
  • Trained in professional and ethical practices
  • Knows educational field and terminology
  • Must have knowledge of culture
  • Mastery of both languages
  • Understanding dialectical variations in language
  • Avoid using family members

  • Review of Records
  • School
  • Number of years attended school in U.S.
  • Attendance at previous school
  • Language of instruction
  • Frequency of school changes
  • Support services received (Title I, ESL, Migrant
  • Language spoken in the home
  • Most districts have this on file for all students
  • Previous Interventions

Review of Records cont.
  • Permanent products
  • Math sheets, spelling tests, written reports
  • Curriculum used
  • Whole language vs. Direct Instruction
  • Hearing and vision
  • Past screening on tests

  • Parents, Extended Family Student
  • Cultural and Environmental Influences
  • Attitudes toward education
  • Child rearing practices
  • Response to problem behavior
  • Attitudes toward disability
  • Teacher interview

  • Teacher expectations and strategies
  • Students language use in structured and
    unstructured settings
  • Compare performance to peers that have similar
    language and levels of acculturation

  • Language Proficiency
  • Must test language before any other formal
    testing can occur. Usually done by a language
  • Picture naming fluency
  • Word use fluency
  • Story re-telling
  • Cloze procedure
  • Dictation

Testing Cont.
  • Collect data in areas of difficulty using
    Curriculum-Based Measurement
  • Compare to typical peers
  • Compare to peers with similar language and
    acculturation (this may require some leg work)
  • Is there a discrepancy?
  • Does level of acculturation account for the

Optimal Language Learning Conditions in the
Classroom for English Language Learners (Paredes
Scribner, 2001)
  • Constant opportunity to use and practice the new
  • Oral language development as an added dimension
    of instruction
  • Planned daily instruction to develop critical
    thinking skills in English
  • Balanced program components so that curriculum is
  • Structured language learning for success in
    literacy skills

Week 9
  • Topic Assessment of Reading and Math, Outcome
    Measures vs. Specific Subskill Mastery
  • Readings S Y Chapters 21 20, also Marston,
    and, Fuchs Deno (On Reserve)
  • Learning Check 3 on Weeks 8 9
  • Assignments Graduate Paper Outline Due