ERIC Number: ED563478
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Nov
Science Alternate Assessments Based on Alternate Achievement Standards (AA-AAS) during School Year 2014-2015. Synthesis Report 99
Rogers, Christopher M.; Thurlow, Martha L.; Lazarus, Sheryl S.
National Center on Educational Outcomes
Federal law requires that all students, including students with disabilities, participate in state assessments used for accountability purposes. It also requires states to assess students in several content areas, including science. Most students with disabilities take the general science assessment with or without accommodations, but a few students with the most significant cognitive disabilities participate in alternate assessments based on alternate achievement standards (AA-AAS). The purpose of this analysis was to learn more about the characteristics of states' science AA-AAS in 2014-2015. Data for this report were gathered by examining information that was publicly available on state websites. Key findings include: (1) Most states' science AA-AAS covered the life science/biology, earth science/earth and space science, and physical sciences/physics content domains at all grade levels; (2) In many states some content domains assessed differed between the general assessment and the AA-AAS; (3) In some states more content domains were covered on the AA-AAS than on the general assessment and in others fewer content domains were covered; and (4) More than half of the states had item-based AA-AAS, while about a third of the states used portfolios; fewer than 10 used rating scales, either alone or in combination with another approach. Although federal regulations do allow states to define the complexity, depth, and breadth of the AAAAS, the apparent lack of consistency in the domains assessed suggests that some students with significant cognitive disabilities may not be getting access to the same rigorous grade-appropriate content. States' evolving assessment systems provide an excellent opportunity for states and consortia to consider the content assessed by the science AA-AAS. The following are appended: (1) AA-AAS Science Content Domains by State; (2) General Assessment and AA-AAS Science Comparisons; and (3) Assessment Approach Types and Response Formats.
Descriptors: Standardized Tests, State Standards, Science Tests, Disabilities, Severe Intellectual Disability, Alternative Assessment, Web Sites, Science Achievement, Test Content, Test Items, Portfolio Assessment, Rating Scales, Elementary Schools, Middle Schools, High Schools, Evaluation Methods, Student Projects, Observation
National Center on Educational Outcomes. University of Minnesota, 207 Pattee Hall, 150 Pillsburg Drive Southeast, Minneapolis, MN 55455. Tel: 612-626-1530; Fax: 612-624-0879; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.cehd.umn.edu/nceo
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Numerical/Quantitative Data
Education Level: Elementary Education; Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools; High Schools
Sponsor: Office of Special Education Programs (ED/OSERS)
Authoring Institution: National Center on Educational Outcomes; Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO); National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE)
Identifiers - Location: United States
Grant or Contract Numbers: H326G110002