ERIC Number: EJ1072467
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
The 2% Transition: Supporting Access to State Assessments for Students with Disabilities
Jamgochian, Elisa M.; Ketterlin-Geller, Leanne R.
TEACHING Exceptional Children, v48 n1 p28-35 Sep-Oct 2015
Most students with disabilities participate in state assessments with or without accommodations [based on each student's Individualized Education Program (IEP)]. A small number of students with the most severe or profound intellectual disabilities participate in an alternate assessment based on alternate achievement standards (AA-AAS). Until recently, some students with persistent academic difficulties, participated in a third option--alternate assessment based on modified achievement standards (AA-MAS). Recently, concerns were raised about the appropriateness of this assessment system, so beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, the AA-MAS was no longer allowed. Because students who previously participated in the AA-MAS are now required to take non-modified state assessments aligned with college- and career-readiness standards (USDE, 2013), other means of improving the accessibility of state tests are needed. The purpose of this article is to support IEP teams' assignment of accommodations by providing a structured process of: (1) identifying students' personal characteristics; (2) noting the access barriers in the tests and testing situations in which the student will participate; (3) selecting accommodations that will mediate these access barriers; and (4) evaluating the effectiveness of these accommodations for supporting the student's access. By following these steps, these students with disabilities should be able to demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and abilities on the state assessments, and district and classroom tests with appropriate supports.
Descriptors: Disabilities, State Programs, State Standards, Testing Programs, Accessibility (for Disabled), Student Characteristics, Testing Accommodations, Testing Problems, Change Strategies, Program Improvement, Student Participation, Decision Making, Individualized Education Programs, Needs Assessment
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