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ERIC Number: EJ880059
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar-17
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0277-4232
NAEP Board Curbs Exclusion of Test-Takers
Sawchuk, Stephen
Education Week, v29 n25 p1, 13 Mar 2010
Over the objection of officials at the statistical wing of the U.S. Department of Education, the independent body that sets policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has approved a policy that significantly narrows the grounds for excluding students with disabilities and English-language learners (ELLs) from the exams. Beginning as early as next year, the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB) will also highlight states and districts that do not meet testing-participation targets for those populations. Adopted March 6, the new policy caps a decade-long effort to increase participation of students with disabilities and ELLs in the federally sponsored assessment and to bring uniformity to exclusion and accommodations decisions on NAEP for those students. The policy narrows the grounds for school officials to disallow student participation on NAEP, sometimes called "the nation's report card." The exam uses a methodology involving representative samples of students to arrive at its scores. Under the new policy, states and districts would aim to test at least 95 percent of all students in the sample, and to test 85 percent of the students with disabilities and ELLs. States that didn't reach the overall participation goal would be "prominently designated" in NAEP reports, the policy states, while those not meeting the participation rates for special education students or ELLs would be "identified" in the reports. For students with disabilities, the guidelines state that only those students who have been identified as having the most significant cognitive disabilities should be considered for exclusion. All other students would participate, using accommodations specified on their Individualized Education Plan or Section 504 plan. If a specified accommodation is not permitted on NAEP for reasons of test validity--such as read-aloud assistance on the reading exam, or the use of a calculator on math--then the student would be encouraged to take the exam without that accommodation. Students could still refuse to participate. For ELLs, the guidelines state that students who have been in the United States for a year or more should be included. A student in the country for less than that could take an exam if it is available in his or her native language. School staff members would select among ELL accommodations using "objective indicators" of English proficiency, the guidelines state. The board also directed the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) to create assessments in Spanish for all subjects other than reading and writing.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Assessment of Educational Progress