Before becoming Your Friendly Assessment Nerd, I taught special education for 8 years in South Carolina. So, in addition to an interest in assessment and technology, kids with disabilities are near and dear to my heart. Today, Education Week shared this article about the results of a new study. The study showed that test scores on state assessments for students with disabilities have increased in recent years. Part of this improvement may be because states may be offering alternate assessments based on modified achievement standards (AA-MAS) intended for students with milder disabilities and are definitely implementing alternate assessments based on alternate achievement standards (AA-AAS) for students with the most significant disabilities. Though these accountability tests may not be perfect, they are an appropriate option for many students with disabilities for whom standardized tests taken with or without accommodations may not yield valid scores. (If you’re interested in information about Alternate Assessments, check out NCEO’s website.)
So, let’s celebrate for a moment that progress is being made to improve the large-scale assessment options for students with disabilities. Hopefully as the field learns more about Universal Design and accessibility, there will be greater improvements!
Until next time!
Your Friendly Assessment Nerd, Porter