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States’ Accommodations Policies for Alternate Assessments Based on Modified Academic Achievement Standards (AA-MAS) in 2008–2009

Synthesis Report 74

Sheryl S. Lazarus • Damien C. Cormier • Melissa Crone • Martha L. Thurlow

March 2010

All rights reserved. Any or all portions of this document may be reproduced and distributed without prior permission, provided the source is cited as:

Lazarus, S. S., Cormier, D. C., Crone, M., & Thurlow, M. L. (2009). States’ accommodations policies for alternate assessments based on modified academic achievement standards (AA-MAS) in 2008–2009 (Synthesis Report 74). Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota, National Center on Educational Outcomes.


Table of Contents


Executive Summary

The National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO) has tracked and analyzed states’ accommodations policies for 17 years. This report presents the results of an analysis of states’ accommodations policies for the alternate assessment based on modified achievement standards (AA-MAS), and compares these policies with the states’ regular assessment accommodations policies. This is the first time that NCEO has published a report that is specifically focused on AA-MAS accommodations policies.

For the 2008–09 school year, nine states had accommodations policies for both their regular test and an AA-MAS: California, Connecticut, Kansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas. There was wide variability across states in which accommodations were allowed on the AA-MAS. Although only three of the nine states explicitly stated that the accommodation policy was the same for the regular assessment and the AA-MAS, there were very few within-state differences across the policies. An average of 95% of all accommodations were included in both policies the same way. The following accommodations were included differently in the AA-MAS policy by at least one state: Calculator, Manipulatives, Spell Checker/Assistance, Read Aloud Questions, Sign Interpret Questions, Assistive Technology, Speech/Text Device, Scribe/Proctor, Dictionary/Glossary, Graphic Organizers, Computer or Machine, and Tape Recorder.

We anticipate states’ AA-MAS accommodations policies will continue to evolve over the next few years as more is learned about this assessment option. Some of the states probably will revise their accommodations policies in response to peer review, and additional states are currently in the process of developing an AA-MAS.


Overview

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 2004 and Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 2001 require that students with disabilities participate in state assessments used for accountability purposes. Therefore, it is important to study how they will participate, and what, if any, accommodations will be used to ensure that this participation is meaningful. The purpose of this report is to analyze states’ accommodations policies for alternate assessments based on modified academic achievement standards (AA-MAS), and to compare these policies with the states’ policies for their regular assessments.

In 2007, federal regulations (U.S. Department of Education, 2007a) provided states with the flexibility to offer an AA-MAS. This assessment option is for a small group of students with disabilities who can make significant progress, but may not reach grade-level achievement within the time period covered by their Individualized Education Program (IEP). Students who participate in an AA-MAS must have access to grade-level content. States are not required to offer this option. According to Albus, Lazarus, Thurlow, and Cormier (2009) in Fall 2008 only nine states had an assessment they considered to be an AA-MAS; as of November 2009, only one state (Texas) had successfully completed the federal peer review process used by the U.S. Department of Education to determine whether the assessment satisfies federal requirements. This analysis did not attempt to determine the degree to which state policies complied with federal requirements under IDEA or ESEA. Those determinations will be made through the official federal peer review process that requires states to demonstrate that their assessment systems used for accountability purposes meet certain criteria.

The National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO) has tracked and analyzed state policies that address participation and accommodations for students with disabilities since 1992 and continues to do so with the most recent analysis examining 2007 policies (Christensen, Lazarus, Crone, & Thurlow, 2008). All of the state policies on accommodations can be accessed online with the NCEO Data Viewer (http://data.nceo.info) that allows users to create customizable reports including charts and maps that show state policies. This report extends that work and is the first time that NCEO has focused specifically on AA-MAS accommodations policies. This report sought to answer the following questions:

  • What accommodations are available to students who participate in state assessment by taking an AA-MAS?
  • Do the AA-MAS policies differ substantially from the policies on the regular assessment? If so, how do the policies differ?

Process

Procedures used for this analysis were similar to the procedures used in Christensen et al. (2008). Accommodations policies were obtained for all states that had an assessment they considered to be an AA-MAS in place during the 2008–2009 school year. For each state with an AA-MAS, accommodation policies for both the AA-MAS and the regular assessment were gathered from the state’s Web site. Albus et al. (2009) was used to identify which states had an AA-MAS. In addition, a Web search of all states was conducted to ensure that we did not miss any states and any additional states that were identified were included in this study. According to Albus et al., California, Connecticut, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Texas had information about an AA-MAS on their state Web site. However, Maryland was not included in this analysis because the state’s AA-MAS was still in development and the state did not have an accommodations policy on its Web site. Tennessee was added to this analysis because the Web search found information about an AA-MAS that included a field test manual for the test. Accommodation policies for the 2008–09 school year were obtained from states’ Web sites between April and July, 2009.

After each state’s accommodations policies for the AA-MAS were obtained, they were analyzed and compared to the state’s regular assessment accommodations policies. In some cases, a state only had one accommodations policy that specifically indicated that the same policy was for both the regular test and the AA-MAS; in other cases there were two distinct documents. A complete list of state documents used to compile information for this report is in Appendix A.

The state policies were examined to determine the accommodations that states most often allow, allow with restrictions, and prohibit. The accommodations were organized into five categories: Presentation Accommodations, Equipment and Materials Accommodations, Response Accommodations, Scheduling/Timing Accommodations, and Setting Accommodations, as seen in previous reports on accommodations policies (e.g., Christensen et al. 2008; Clapper, Morse, Lazarus, Thompson, & Thurlow, 2005; Lazarus, Thurlow, Lail, Eisenbraun, & Kato, 2006; Thurlow, House, Boys, Scott, & Ysseldyke, 2000; Thurlow, Lazarus, Thompson, & Robey, 2002; Thurlow, Seyfarth, Scott, & Ysseldyke, 1997).

The states’ policies for both the regular assessment and the AA-MAS were analyzed and their accommodations were coded using the following abbreviations:

1. Allowed (A)—if the accommodation is used, the student must be given the score she or he earned, the student’s score must be aggregated, and the score must be used for accountability purposes.

2. Allowed in Certain Circumstances (AC)—the accommodation is allowed on some assessments and not others, or is available to some students and not others (e.g. grades, disability status), or is available in some content areas but not others.

3. Allowed with Implications for Scoring and/or Aggregation (AI)—if the accommodation is used, the student automatically receives a certain score (e.g., zero or below basic) or the score is not aggregated.

4. Prohibited (P)—the use of this accommodation is not permitted.

The states that had any difference between their regular assessment and AA-MAS accommodations policies were systematically compared.

Tables that summarize accommodations information for each state are presented in the results section of this report. Shaded cells in the tables indicate a difference between a state’s AA-MAS accommodations policy and the state’s policy for the regular assessment. Detailed specifications and descriptions are presented in Appendix B.

The percentage of accommodations that were the same in the regular assessment policy and AA-MAS policy for each state was also calculated by category of accommodation. The denominator for each percentage was the number of accommodations in a category included in a state’s accommodations policies. The numerator was the number of accommodations that were the same across regular assessment and AA-MAS policies.


Results

During the 2008–09 school year nine states had a publicly available AA-MAS accommodations policy. As indicated in Table 1, the states were California, Connecticut, Kansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas. Three of these states (Kansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma) had the same policy for the regular test and the AA-MAS.

Table 1. Summary of States with 2008–2009 AA-MAS Accommodation Policies and Comparison to the Regular Assessment Policy

State

Has an AA-MAS Policy

Same Policy as Regular Assessment

Description

California
(CA)

X

 

The policy included a matrix of test variations, accommodations, and modifications. It had a column for the California Modified Assessment (CMA). There was information on the use of each accommodation on the CMA. California did not allow the use of modifications on the CMA. According to the policy, if the IEP team determined that the student needed a modification, the team should consider that the student participate in the California Standards Test (CST)—i.e., regular assessment—with modifications or the California Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA).

Connecticut
(CT)

X

 

A separate form was included with a list of accommodations allowed on the CMT/CAPT-MAS (modified assessment system). There were differences in the accommodations allowed on some of the subtests for regular assessments—the Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT) and the Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT) and their modified versions. There were also differences between the accommodations that were allowed on their subtests.

Kansas
(KS)

X

X

The Kansas accommodations policy indicated that since the KAMM is a modified version of the regular assessment, the allowable accommodations were the same.

Louisiana
(LA)

X

 

The policy indicated that eligible LAA 2 (LEAP Alternate Assessment Level 2) students may receive both special education and LEP accommodations.

North Carolina
(NC)

X

X

All accommodations allowed on the general end-of-grade tests were allowed during the administration of the NCEXTEND2.

North Dakota
(ND)

X

The North Dakota accommodations policy addressed both the North Dakota State Assessment (NDSA) and the North Dakota Alternate Assessment-2 (NDAA-2). The NDAA-2 included performance tasks and was done on a computer with the student and teacher together.

Oklahoma
(OK)

X

X

All accommodations allowed on the Oklahoma School Testing Program (OSTP) were allowed on the Oklahoma Modified Alternate Assessment Program (OMAAP).

Tennessee
(TN)

X

 

A modified version of the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) for grades 3–8 was field tested in the spring of 2009. The TCAP-M had its own accommodations policy.

Texas
(TX)

X

 

The Texas accommodations policy included a chart with a column for Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills—Modified (TAKS-M). It indicated whether or not each accommodation was allowed on the modified assessment.

Total

9

3

 

 

Presentation Accommodations

Presentation accommodations change the way in which a test is presented to a student. Table 2 gives a summary of the presentation accommodations in state policies for AA-MAS. Detailed information and specifications on these accommodations are presented in Table B1 in Appendix B.

The three most frequently documented presentation accommodations in AA-MAS policies were Large Print, Braille, and Sign Interpret Directions. For each of these three accommodations the policies of eight states allowed use without restrictions and an additional state allowed use in certain circumstances.

This analysis tracked two Read Aloud accommodations. As discussed above, the Read Aloud Directions accommodation was permitted on the AA-MAS in most states with no restrictions. The AA-MAS policies of three states allowed the Read Aloud Questions accommodation with no restrictions, four states allowed its use in certain circumstances, and two states allowed its use in certain circumstances and with implications for scoring. States were more likely to allow the math test to be read aloud than the reading test.

We also tracked two Sign Interpret accommodations. As previously indicated most states permitted Sign Interpret Directions with no restrictions, whereas four states permitted Sign Interpret Questions with no restrictions (and an additional four states allow its use in certain circumstances).

Although there are a large number of available accommodations in the Presentation category the only difference between states’ policies for the regular test and the AA-MAS, as indicated by the shaded cells in Table 2, was found for the Read Aloud Questions and Sign Interpret Questions in California. The specific difference between the two accommodations policies (e.g., regular test and AA-MAS) was that Read Aloud Questions and Sign Interpret Questions were considered modifications for the English Language Arts (ELA) component of California’s regular assessment, whereas they were allowed across content areas on the AA-MAS.

In addition to the accommodations included in Table 2, several states had "Other" accommodations that are described in Table B1 in Appendix B.

Table 2. States’ 2008 AA-MAS Accommodations Policy for Presentation Accommodations

Accommodation

State

CA

CT

KS

LA

NC

ND

OK

TN

TX

Totals

Large Print

A

A

A

A

A

A

A

A*

AC*

A:8, AC:1

Braille

A*

A

A

A

A

A

A

A

AC*

A:8, AC:1

Read Aloud Directions

A

A

A

A

A

A*

A

A:7

Read Aloud Questions

A

AC*

AC/AI*

AC*

AC*

AC/AI*

AC*

A*

A

A:3, AC:4, AC/AI:2

Sign Interpret Directions

A

A

A

A*

A

A

A

AC*

A

A:8, AC: 1

Sign Interpret Questions

A

A

A

AC*

AC*

A

AC*

AC*

A:4, AC:4

Repeat/Reread/Clarify Directions

A

A

A

A*

A

AC*

A:5, AC:1

Visual Cues

A

A

A

A:3

Administration by Others

A

A:1

Familiar Examiner

A*

A:1

Additional Examples

Teacher Highlighting

A

A

A:2

Student Highlighting

A

AC*

A:1, AC:1

Student Reads Test Aloud

A

A

A*

A

A:4

Native Language Translation of Directions and/or Items

A*

A*

A:2

Increased Space Between Items

A*

A:1

Simplify/Paraphrase Directions

A

A

A

A:3

Tactile Graphics

A

A

A:2

Prompt/Encourage Student

A

A*

A

A:3

Page Turner

A

A:1

Other

AC/AI*

A*

A*

A:2, AC/AI:1

Notes: A=Allowed; AC=Allowed in Certain Circumstances; AI=Allowed with Implications for Scoring;
AC/AI=Allowed in Certain Circumstances and there are implications for scoring; P= Prohibited.
* See Table B1 in Appendix B for specifications of Presentation accommodations.

Shaded cells indicate a difference between a state’s AA-MAS accommodations policy and the state’s policy for the regular assessment.

Definitions:

Large Print = all parts of the assessment are in print larger than that typically used.
Braille = all parts of the assessment are presented in Braille.
Read Aloud Directions = the directions portion of the assessment is read to the student.
Read Aloud Questions = the assessment items are read to the student.
Sign Interpret Directions = the directions portion of the assessment is presented to the student via sign language.
Sign Interpret Questions = assessment items are presented to the student via sign language.
Read/Re-read/Clarify Directions = directions may be clarified through restatement for the student.
Visual Cues = additional visual cues are provided for students, such as arrows or stickers.
Administration by Others = someone other than regular test administrator gives test to student (e.g., special education or general education teacher).
Familiar Examiner  = someone other than regular test examiner who the student knows and has worked with in the past gives the test to the student (e.g., special education teacher).
Additional Examples = in response to student request for more information or clarification, test administrator can supply additional examples to assist the student.
Teacher Highlighting = teacher uses a highlighter to highlight on test booklet (e.g., highlighting key words in directions).
Student Highlighting = student uses a highlighter to mark on test booklet.
Student Reads Test Aloud = student reads directions and/or items aloud to self.
Native Language Translation of Directions and/or Items = directions and/or test items are translated into the student’s native language.
Increased Space Between Items = more blank space is given in the test booklet between items.
Simplify/Paraphrase Directions = in response to student request for more information or clarification, test administrator can simplify or paraphrase test directions.
Tactile Graphics = graphic items in the test are given through tactile representation.
Prompt/Encourage Student = test administrator may encourage or prompt the student to continue.
Page Turner = the student receives assistance turning the pages of the test booklet.

 

Equipment and Materials Accommodations

Equipment and Materials accommodations improve a student’s ability to access a test by providing certain types of tools and assistive devices that change the conditions of the assessment. Many of these accommodations help improve the presentation of the test relative to a student’s needs, while others are related to response, such as using a calculator or abacus. Detailed information and specifications on these accommodations are presented in Table B2 in Appendix B.

As shown in Table 3, the equipment and materials accommodations most frequently mentioned in states’ policies were Magnification Equipment and Amplification Equipment. Eight of the nine states included in this analysis allowed the Magnification Equipment accommodation while seven states allowed Amplification Equipment.

The Calculator accommodation is one of the more controversial equipment and materials accommodations. Its use was allowed with no restrictions in one state; five states allowed it in certain circumstances, and one state allowed its use in certain circumstances and with implications for scoring. Assistive Technology is another somewhat controversial accommodation. Five states allowed the use of Assistive Technology with no restrictions, while two states allowed its use in certain circumstances.

As indicated by the shaded cells in Table 3, there were several differences between states’ regular and AA-MAS policies for Equipment and Materials accommodations. Three states (California, North Dakota, Texas) had differences for the Calculator and Manipulatives accommodations. Additionally, California had differences across policies for the Assistive Technology and Dictionary/Glossary accommodations; and Texas had differences for Graphic Organizer accommodation and for an "Other" accommodation (i.e., Supplemental Aids). For detailed information and specifications for "Other" accommodations see Table B2 in Appendix B.

Table 3. State 2008 AA-MAS Accommodations Policy for Equipment/Materials Accommodations

Accommodation

State

CA

CT

KS

LA

NC

ND

OK

TN

TX

Total

Magnification Equipment

A

 

A

A

A

A

A

A

A

A:8

Amplification Equipment

A

A

A

 

 

A

A

A

A

A:7

Light/Acoustics

A

A

A

 

A

A

 

 

A: 5

Calculator

AC*

AC*

AC/AI*

 

 

A*

AC*

AC*

AC*

A:1, AC:5, AC/AI:1

Templates

 

 

A

 

 

A

A

A

A

A:5

Audio/Video Equipment

A*

A*

 

A

 

 

 

AC*

 

A:3, AC:1

Noise Buffer

A

 

 

 

 

A

A

A

A

A:5

Adaptive/Special Furniture

A

A

A

 

 

A

A

 

 

A:5

Abacus

 

AC*

 

A

A

 

AC*

A

A

A:4, AC:2

Manipulatives

AC*

 

A

 

 

A*

 

A* 

A

A:4, AC:1

Adapted Writing Tools

 

 

A

A

 

 

A

 

 

A:3

Slant Board/Wedge

 

 

A

 

 

 

A

 

 

A:2

Secure Paper to Work Area

 

 

A

 

 

 

A

 

 

A:2

Visual Organizers

 

 

 

 

 

A

 

 

 

A:1

Color Overlay

A

 

 

 

 

 

A

 

A

A:3

Assistive Technology

AC*

 

A

A

A

A

A

AC*

 

A:5, AC:2

Special Paper

 

 

A

 

 

 

 

 

A

A:2

Math Tables/ Numberline

P*

 

AC/AI*

 

 

A

 

A* 

A

A:3, AC/AI:1, P:1

Dictionary/Glossary

P*

 

 

AC*

 

 

AC*

 

AC*

AC:3, P:1

Thesaurus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AC*

AC:1

Keyboard

 

 

A

 

A

 

 

 

 

A:2

Graphic Organizers

 

 

A

 

 

A

 

 

A

A:3

Other

A*

AC*

A*

A:2, AC: 1

Notes: A=Allowed; AC=Allowed in Certain Circumstances; AI=Allowed with Implications for Scoring;
AC/AI=Allowed in Certain Circumstances and there are implications for scoring; P= Prohibited.
* See Table B2 in Appendix B for specifications of Equipment/Materials accommodations.

Shaded cells indicate a difference between a state’s AA-MAS accommodations policy and the state’s policy for the regular assessment.

Definitions:

Magnification Equipment = equipment that enlarges the print size of the test.
Amplification Equipment = equipment that increases the level of sound during the test (e.g. hearing aids).
Light/Acoustics = changes to the amount or placement of lighting or special attention to the acoustics of the test setting.
Calculator = standard calculator and special function calculator.
Templates = templates used to mark location of focus on the test.
Audio/Video Equipment = audio or video equipment.
Noise Buffer = ear mufflers, white noise, and other equipment used to block external sounds.
Adaptive or Special Furniture = any furniture the student requires (e.g., for sitting upright).
Abacus = abacus or similar counting tools.
Manipulatives = learning materials that are operated with the hands (e.g., math cubes, counters).
Adapted Writing Tools = larger diameter pencil, pencil grip, or other writing tool that has been adapted for the student.
Slant Board/Wedge = slant board or wedge.
Secure Paper to Work Area =  tape, magnets, or other device to secure paper to work area.
Visual Organizers = markers, masks, and other devices to mark location of focus on test.
Color Overlay = color overlay or shield.
Assistive Technology = assistive technology (e.g., head wand, Kurzweil software).
Special Paper = any special paper, such as graph paper, scratch paper, wide-ruled paper, etc.
Math Tables/Number Line = math tables or number line, provided for, or created by, the student.
Dictionary/Glossary = dictionary or glossary in English, English/other language, or other language only.
Thesaurus = thesaurus.
Keyboard = keyboard or adaptive keyboard.
Graphic Organizers = graphic organizers created before or during the testing situation.

 

Response Accommodations

Response accommodations improve a student’s ability to access a test by providing the student with different ways to record answers during the assessment. As shown in Table 4, the response accommodations most frequently addressed in states’ AA-MAS policies were Proctor/Scribe, Computer/Machine, and Write-in Test Booklet. The Proctor/Scribe accommodation was allowed with no restrictions in seven states, and an additional two states allowed its use in certain circumstances. The policies of seven states included Computer/Machine (five allowed with no restrictions and two additional states allowed it in certain circumstances) and Write-in Test Booklet (six allowed with no restrictions and one allowed in certain circumstances). Detailed information and specifications on these accommodations are presented in Table B3 in Appendix B.

According to Table 4, there were instances of differences between a state’s regular accommodation policy and the AA-MAS policy for several Response accommodations. Connecticut had differences for the Computer/Machine accommodation and Texas had a policy difference for the Spell Checker/Assistance accommodation. The Connecticut policy did not permit the use of Computer/Machine on one subtest, however; there was no similar restriction on the regular test. The Texas AA-MAS policy indicated that Spell Checkers may be allowed at grade 4 with submission and approval of an accommodation request form (ARF); the Spell Checker accommodation was allowed at grades 7, 10 ELA, and 11 ELA. However, on the regular test the Spell Checker was not allowed at grade 4, but, it may be allowed at grades 7, 9, 10, and 11 with submission and approval of an ARF.

Four of the differences between the regular policy and the AA-MAS were found in the California policies. In California Proctor/Scribe, Tape Recorder, Spell Checker/Assistance, and Speech/Text devices were all considered modifications (nonstandard accommodations) with implications for scoring in certain circumstances on the regular test. However, California does not allow the use of modifications on its AA-MAS so these accommodations were not allowed in situations on the AA-MAS where there would be implications for scoring, but they were allowed in certain other circumstances. For example, as shown in Table B3 in Appendix B for the AA-MAS for Proctor/Scribe in California, essay responses may not be dictated orally to a scribe (scribe provides spelling, grammar, and language conventions); however, Proctor/Scribe was allowed in other circumstances.

In addition to the accommodations included in Table 4, several states had "Other" accommodations which are described in Table B1 in Appendix B.

Table 4. State 2008 AA-MAS Accommodations Policy for Response Accommodations

Accommodation

State

CA

CT

KS

LA

NC

ND

OK

TN

TX

Total

Proctor/Scribe

AC*

AC*

A

A*

A

A

A

A

A

A:7, AC:2

Computer or Machine

A

AC*

A

A

A

AC*

A*

A:5, AC:2

Write in Test Booklets

A

AC*

A

A

A

A

A

A:6, AC:1

Tape Recorder

AC*

A

AC*

A:1, AC:2

Communication Device

A

A

A

A:3

Spell Checker/ Assistance

AC*

A

AC*

A

P

AC*

A:2, AC:3, P:1

Brailler

A

A

A

A

A

A:5

Sign Responses to Sign Language Interpreter

AC*

AC*

A

A

A

A

A:4, AC:2

Pointing

A

A

A

A:3

Speech/Text Device

AC*

AC*

A

AC*

A

A:2, AC:3

Monitor Placement of Student Responses

A

A:1

Other

A*

A*

A:2

Notes: A=Allowed; AC=Allowed in Certain Circumstances; AI=Allowed with Implications for Scoring;
AC/AI=Allowed in Certain Circumstances and there are implications for scoring; P= Prohibited.
* See Table B3 in Appendix B for specifications of Response accommodations.

Shaded cells indicate a difference between a state’s AA-MAS accommodations policy and the state’s policy for the regular assessment.

Definitions:

Proctor/Scribe = student responds verbally and a proctor or scribe then translates this to an answer sheet; for writing extended responses, specific instructions about how spelling and punctuation may be included.
Computer or Machine = computer or other machine (e.g., typewriter).
Write in Test Booklet = responses may be written in the test booklet rather than on answer sheets.
Tape Recorder = student’s verbal responses are tape recorded, generally for later description.
Communication Device = various devices for the student to use in giving responses (e.g., symbol boards).
Spell Checker/Assistance = spell checker as a separate device or within a word-processing program.
Brailler = device or computer that generates responses in Braille.
Sign Responses to Sign Language Interpreter = responses may be given by sign language to a sign language interpreter.
Pointing = student points to response and staff member translates this onto an answer sheet.
Speech/Text Device = student’s verbal responses are transferred to text via speech/text device.
Monitor Placement of Student Responses = the test administrator or other assistant monitor’s the placement of the student’s responses on the answer sheet.

 

Scheduling/Timing Accommodations

Scheduling/Timing accommodations are changes in the timing or scheduling of an assessment. As shown in Table 5, Extended Time, With Breaks, Multiple Sessions, and Time Beneficial to the Student were the most frequently mentioned timing/scheduling accommodation in states’ AA-MAS accommodations policies. Seven of the nine states with AA-MAS accommodations policies allowed Extended Time and With Breaks with no restriction. Multiple Sessions and Time Beneficial to the Student were allowed by six states. For Scheduling/Timing accommodations no differences were identified between states policies for the AA-MAS and the regular assessment.

Detailed information and specifications on these accommodations are presented in Table B4 in Appendix B.

Table 5. State 2008 AA-MAS Accommodations Policy for Scheduling/Timing Accommodations

Accommodation

State

CA

CT

KS

LA

NC

ND

OK

TN

TX

Total

Extended Time

A

A

A

A

A

 

A*

A

A:7

With Breaks

A

 

A

A

 

A*

A

A

A:7

Multiple Sessions

 

 

A

A

A

 A*

A

A*

 

A:6

Time Beneficial to Student

A

 

A

A

A

 

A

 A

 

A:6

Over Multiple Days

A

 

 

A

 

 

 

 AC*

A

A:3, AC:1

Flexible Scheduling

 

 

A

 

 

 

A

A*

 

A:3

Notes: A=Allowed; AC=Allowed in Certain Circumstances; AI=Allowed with Implications for Scoring; AC/AI=Allowed in Certain Circumstances and there are implications for scoring; P= Prohibited.
* See Table B4 in Appendix B for specifications of Timing/Scheduling accommodations.

Definitions:

Extended Time = student may take longer than the time typically allowed.
With Breaks = time away from test allowed during tests typically administered without breaks, sometimes with conditions about when this can occur (e.g,, not within subtests) and how long they can be.
Multiple Sessions = assessments generally given in a single session can be broken into multiple sessions.
Time Beneficial to Student = administered at a time that is most advantageous to the student.
Over Multiple Days = administered over several days when the assessment is normally administered in one day.
Flexible Scheduling = the order of subtests may vary from the typical order of subtests.

 

Setting Accommodations

Setting accommodations improve a student’s ability to access a test by providing the student with an appropriate test location or environment based on his or her needs. According to Table 6, the AA-MAS policies of seven states allowed Individual or Small Group administration accommodation. And, six states allowed the administration in a Carrel. Five states allowed administration in a Student’s Home, and an additional state allowed this accommodation with implications for scoring. There were no differences between AA-MAS and regular assessment policies for accommodations in the Settings category. Detailed information and specifications on these accommodations are presented in Table B5 in Appendix B.

In addition to the accommodations included in Table 6, three states had "Other" setting accommodations which are described in Table B5 in Appendix B.

Table 6. State 2008 AA-MAS Accommodations Policy for Setting Accommodations

Accommodation

State

CA

CT

KS

LA

NC

ND

OK

TN

TX

Total

Individual

A

A

 

A*

 

A

A

A

A

A:7

Small Group

A

A

 

A*

 

A

A*

A

A

A:7

Carrel

A

A

 

 

 

A

A

A

A

A:6

Separate Room

 

A

A

 

A

 

A

A

 

A:5

Seat Location/ Proximity

 

 

A

 A*

 

A

 

A

 

A:4

Minimize Distractions

 

 

A

 

 

A

 

A

A:4

Student’s Home

A

A

 

 

A

A

 

A

 AI*

A:5, AI:1

Special Ed. Class-room

 

A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A:1

Increase/ Decrease Opportunity for Movement

 

 

A

 

 

A

 

 

 

A:2

Hospital

A

 

 

 

A

A

 

 

 

A:3

Non-School Setting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A

 

A:1

Other*

A*

A*

A*

A:3

Notes: A=Allowed; AC=Allowed in Certain Circumstances; AI=Allowed with Implications for Scoring;
AC/AI=Allowed in Certain Circumstances and there are implications for scoring; P= Prohibited.
* See Table B5 in Appendix B for specifications of Setting accommodations.

Definitions:

Individual = individual assessed separately from other students.
Small Group = student assessed in small group separate from other students.
Carrel = student assessed while seated in a study carrel.
Separate Room = student assessed in a separate room.
Seat Location/Proximity = student is assessed in a specifically designated seat location, usually in close proximity to the test administrator.
Minimize Distractions = student is assessed in a quiet environment.
Student’s Home = student assessed at home, usually when out of school for illness or other reasons.
Special Education Classroom = student is assessed in the special education classroom.
Increase/Decrease Opportunity for Movement = student is assessed in an environment that allows for increased or decreased opportunity for movement (e.g., the student may be allowed to walk around).
Hospital = student is assessed in a hospital.
Non-school Setting = student is assessed in a non-school setting.

 

Summary of Differences between Regular Assessment and AA-MAS Policies

As shown in Figure 1, there were only a small number of differences between states’ regular assessment and AA-MAS accommodations policies. Three states had differences across assessments for the Calculator and Manipulatives accommodations, and two states had differences for the Spell Checker/Assistance accommodation. Also, Read Aloud Questions, Sign Interpret Questions, Assistive Technology, Dictionary/Glossary, Graphic Organizers, Proctor/Scribe, Computer or Machine, Tape Recorder, and Speech/Text Device accommodations were each included differently across the AA-MAS and regular assessment accommodations policies by a single state.

Figure 1. Number of States with Differences Across Regular and AA-MAS Policies: Selected Accommodations.

Figure 1 Bar Chart

The percentages of accommodations that differed by category between states’ regular and AA-MAS policies for individual states are presented in Table 7. The Scheduling/Timing and Setting categories had 100% agreement across regular and AA-MAS accommodations policies for all states. California had the most differences across policies. For California, 75% of the Presentation accommodations, 67% of the Equipment/Material accommodations, and 43% of the Response accommodations were the same. On average across all states 95% of all accommodations were the same for the regular assessment and the AA-MAS.

In addition to differences in policies for individual accommodations, there was a difference between Texas’s regular assessment policy and its AA-MAS policy for a group of accommodations called the Dyslexia Bundle. The Dyslexia Bundle is a group of three accommodations that must be provided together for students who receive this accommodation: (1) Orally read all proper nouns associated with each passage before students begin individual reading; (2) Orally read all test questions and answer choices to the student; and (3) Extend the testing time over a two-day period. In Texas, the Dyslexia Bundle was an allowed accommodation on the regular test, but it was not permitted on the AA-MAS.

Table 7. Percentage of Accommodations That Are the Same Across Regular Assessment and AA-MAS by Category and State, 200809

State

CA

CT

KS

LA

NC

ND

OK

TN

TX

Avg.

Presentation

Total1

8

6

14

10

7

11

9

10

10

Number the Same (%)

6 (75%)

6 (100%)

14 (100%)

10 (100%)

7 (100%)

11 (100%)

9 (100%)

10 (100%)

10 (100%)

97%

Equipment/Material

Total1

12

6

16

6

4

12

14

11

14

Number the Same (%)

8 (67%)

6 (100%)

16 (100%)

6 (100%)

4 (100%)

10 (83%)

14 (100%)

11 (100%)

10 (100%)

91%

Response

Total1

7

5

11

6

3

9

5

3

8

Number the Same (%)

3 (43%)

4 (80%)

11 (100%)

6 (100%)

3 (100%)

9 (100%)

5 (100%)

3 (100%)

7

(88%)

91%

Scheduling/Timing

Total1

4

1

5

5

3

0

4

6

3

Number the Same (%)

4 (100%)

1 (100%)

5 (100%)

5 (100%)

3 (100%)

0

--

4 (100%)

6 (100%)

3 (100%)

100%

Setting

Total1

5

6

5

4

4

8

5

7

5

Number the Same (%)

5 (100%)

6 (100%)

5 (100%)

4 (100%)

4 (100%)

8 (100%)

5 (100%)

7 (100%)

5 (100%)

100%

Total

Total1

36

24

51

31

21

40

37

37

40

Number the Same (%)

26 (72%)

23 (96%)

51 (100%)

31 (100%)

21 (100%)

38 (95%)

37 (100%)

37 (100%)

36 (90%)

95%

1 Number of Accommodations Included in Policy


Discussion

For the 2008–09 school year, nine states had an accommodations policy for an assessment that they considered to be an AA-MAS. This study compiled and summarized information about the characteristics of these policies. The study also analyzed differences between the accommodations policies for the regular test and the AA-MAS. Key findings included:

  • There was wide variability across states in which accommodations were allowed on the AA-MAS.
  • Three of the nine states that had an AA-MAS during 2008–09 explicitly stated that the same accommodation policy was used for both the regular assessment and the AA-MAS.
  • States’ AA-MAS and regular accommodations policies were most likely to differ for several controversial accommodations: Three states had different policies for the Calculator and Manipulatives accommodations. Also, Spell Checker, Read Aloud Questions, Sign Interpret Questions, Assistive Technology, Dictionary/Glossary, Graphic Organizers, Proctor/Scribe, Computer or Machine, Tape Recorder, and Speech/Text Device accommodations each were included differently across policies by at least one state.
  • Differences between the regular assessment and AA-MAS policies appear to be exceptions rather than a widespread occurrence. On average across states, 95% of all accommodations were the same for the regular assessment and the AA-MAS.

For the foreseeable future, accommodations policies for both the AA-MAS and the regular test will probably continue to change rapidly. Some of the states probably will revise their accommodations policies in response to peer review. Also, additional states are currently either in the process of—or exploring the possibility of—developing an AA-MAS. It is important to continue to track the changes and decisions made by states as they develop and refine their AA-MAS.


References

Albus, D., Lazarus, S. S., Thurlow, M. L., & Cormier, D. (2009). Characteristics of states’ alternate assessments based on modified academic achievement standards in 2008 (Synthesis Report 72). Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota, National Center on Educational Outcomes.

Christensen, L. L., Lazarus, S. S., Crone, M., & Thurlow, M. L. (2008). 2007 state policies on assessment participation and accommodations for students with disabilities (Synthesis Report 69). Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota, National Center on Educational Outcomes.

Clapper, A. T., Morse, A. B., Lazarus, S. S., Thompson, S. J., & Thurlow, M. L. (2005). 2003 state policies on assessment participation and accommodations for students with disabilities (Synthesis Report 56). Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota, National Center on Educational Outcomes.

Elementary and Secondary Education Act. (2001). Public Law 107-110. Washington, DC: U. S. Government Printing Office.

Individuals with Disabilities Act. (2004). Public Law 108-446. Washington, DC: U. S. Government Printing Office.

Lazarus, S. S., Thurlow, M. L., Christensen, L. L., & Cormier, D. (2007). States’ alternate assessments based on modified achievement standards (AA-MAS) in 2007 (Synthesis Report 67). Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota, National Center on Educational Outcomes.

Lazarus, S. S., Thurlow, M. L., Lail, K. E., Eisenbraun, K. D., & Kato, K. (2006). 2005 state policies on assessment participation and accommodations for students with disabilities (Synthesis Report 64). Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota, National Center on Educational Outcomes.

Thurlow, M., House, A., Boys, C., Scott, D., & Ysseldyke, J. (2000). State participation and accommodation policies for students with disabilities: 1999 update (Synthesis Report 33). Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota, National Center on Educational Outcomes.

Thurlow, M., Lazarus, S., Thompson, S., & Robey, J. (2002). 2001 state policies on assessment participation and accommodations (Synthesis Report 46.) Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota, National Center on Educational Outcomes.

Thurlow, M., Seyfarth, A., Scott, D., & Ysseldyke, J. (1997). State assessment policies on participation and accommodations for students with disabilities: 1997 update (Synthesis Report 29). Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota, National Center on Educational Outcomes.

U. S. Department of Education (2007a, April 9). Final Rule 34 CFR Parts 200 and 300: Title I—Improving the academic achievement of the disadvantaged; Individuals with disabilities education act (IDEA). Federal Register. 72(67), Washington DC: Author. Retrieved from http://cehd.umn.edu/NCEO/2percentReg/Federal-
RegApril9TwoPercent.pdf

U. S. Department of Education (2007b, December 21). Standards and assessments peer review guidance: information and examples for meeting requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Washington DC: Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE). Retrieved from http://www.ed.gov/policy/elsec/guid/saaprguidance.pdf


Appendix A

State Documents Used in Analysis of Accommodations Policies

Table A1: State Documents Used in Analysis of Participation and Accommodation Policies

State

Document Description

California

California Department of Education – Testing Variations, Accommodations, and Modifications
http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/sr/documents/staraccommtrx08.doc
http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/sa/documents/varmodac2010fnl.doc
California Department of Education – Testing
http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/

Connecticut

Connecticut State Department of Education – Assessment Guidelines
http://www.csde.state.ct.us/public/cedar/assessment/agl/resources/agl_12th_editionfinal_11-19-07.pdf
Connecticut State Department of Education – Connecticut’s Supplementary Guide: Use of Accommodations for Instruction and Assessment
http://www.csde.state.ct.us/public/cedar/assessment/agl/resources/Guide%20for%20t
he%20Proper%20Use%20of%20Accommodations%20for%20Instruction%20and%20Assessment%2012-07.pdf.
Connecticut State Department of Education – IEP Manuals and Forms
www.sde.ct.gov/sde/lib/sde/word_docs/DEPS/Special/IEPmanual.doc

Kansas

Kansas State Department of Education – How to Select, Administer, and Evaluate Accommodations for Instruction and Assessment
http:// www.ksde.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=nYNm46DwhSI%3d&tabid=2365&mid=5434
Kansas State Department of Education – Accommodations Manual: How to Select, Administer, and Evaluate Accommodations for Instruction and Assessment (2008)
http://www.ksde.org/Portals/0/Assessments/2008Accomm_Man.pdf

Louisiana

Louisiana Department of Education – Test Administration Manual: English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Grades 4–11 (Spring 2009)
http://www.doe.state.la.us/lde/uploads/13183.pdf

North Carolina

North Carolina Public Schools – Testing Student with Disabilities: North Carolina Testing Program(2008)
http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/accountability/testing/alternate/disabilities/testingstudents.pdf
North Carolina Public Schools – Testing Student with Disabilities: North Carolina Testing Program(2008)
http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/accountability/policyoperations/0708tswdsupplement.pdf

North Dakota

North Dakota Department of Public Instruction – Assessment Accommodations
http://www.dpi.state.nd.us/testing/assess/appendix_e.pdf
North Dakota Department of Public Instruction – North Dakota State Assessment: Test Coordinator’s Manual Fall 2009
http://www.dpi.state.nd.us/testing/assess/manual09.pdf

Oklahoma

Oklahoma State Department of Education – Test Preparation Manual
http://www.sde.state.ok.us/AcctAssess/pdf/OMAAP/TestPrepManual.pdf

Tennessee

Tennessee Department of Education 2008–2009 Instructions: TCAP Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
http:// tennessee.gov/education/speced/doc/93008accominstruct.pdf
Tennessee Department of Education Spring 2009 MAAS Test Administration Manual
http://tennessee.gov/education/assessment/doc/MAASTAM_09.pdf

Texas

Texas Education Agency – Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills–Modified
(TAKS–M): Participation Requirements for TAKS–M
http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/student.assessment/resources/taksm/participationreq.pdf
Texas Education Agency – Texas Student Assessment Program, 2008–2009 Accommodations Manual: Guidelines for Selecting, Administering, and Evaluating the Use of Accommodations for All Students
http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/student.assessment/admin/AccommManual_2008_09.pdf


Appendix B

Specifications Tables

Table B1: Specifications and Descriptions of "Certain Circumstances," "Implications for Scoring," and "Other" AA-MAS Presentation Accommodations

California

Braille: Math: Available for grades 3, 4, 5; ELA: Available for grades 3–7 on CMA. (Regular test: Available at all grades.)

Connecticut

Read Aloud Questions – Allowed in math only.

Kansas

Read Aloud Questions – Allowed on math, science, and social studies tests. Allowed only for reading questions and answers. Reading the reading passages is considered a modification resulting in the score being counted as not tested.
Other – Repeat Questions and Responses from Classmates; Allow student Multiple Reads; Nemeth Code.

Louisiana

Read Aloud Questions – The passages, questions, and answer options on the Reading and Responding session of the English Language Arts test cannot be read aloud. The tests must be read exactly as written. When reading, the test administrator must exercise caution to avoid providing answers.
Sign Interpret Directions – A test administrator who is fluent in the signing modality routinely used by a student should be available to repeat or clarify directions.
Sign Interpret Questions – The passages, questions, and answer options on the Reading and Responding session of the English Language Arts test cannot be signed or cued. A test administrator who is fluent in the signing modality routinely used by a student should be available to sign tests. Fingerspelling must not be used to administer items that require students to demonstrate the skill of spelling. Signs must not be used when the sign would reveal the answer to the questions—these words are to be fingerspelled. Care should also be taken in the use of nonmanual markers (facial expressions, body language, objects) that might reveal the answer to the question. Test items must be signed exactly as written.
Familiar Examiner – Test administered by ESL teacher or by individual providing language services for LEP students taking the LAA 2.
Native Language Translation of Directions and/or Items – Allowed for directions only.

North Carolina

Read Aloud Questions Not allowed during the NCEXTEND2 End of Grade tests in reading or the NCEXTEND2 OCS in Occupational English 1 tests. Allowed on math and writing tests.
Sign Interpret Questions Not allowed during the NCEXTEND2 End of Grade tests in reading or the NCEXTEND2 OCS in Occupational English 1 tests. Allowed on math and writing tests.
Increased Space Between Items One test item per page.

North Dakota

Read Aloud Questions Allowed for test items and test answer choices. Reading aloud a reading passage on the reading test is a modification that results in the student being counted as a non-participant.
Repeat/Reread/Clarify Directions Standard administration of the NDSA and NDAA 2 allows the test administrator to repeat directions if needed. Consequently, this activity is not considered an accommodation for the NDSA or NDAA2 as it applies to all students.
Other – Paraphrased, Clarified, or Simplified Test Items and/or Answer Choices are considered modifications; Reduced Number of Test Items in any content area is considered a modification; Reduced Number of Answer Choices for test items is considered a modification.

Oklahoma

Read Aloud Questions Allowed on all tests except the Reading/English II multiple-choice test.
Sign Interpret Questions Allowed on all tests except the Reading/English II multiple-choice test.
Other – Assist student in Tracking and/or Sequencing of test items.

Tennessee

 

Large Print – Any Large Print test must be requested in advance; "Readers" for illustrations and graphs are permitted with the Large Print versions of the TCAP assessments only when students have Visual Impairment verified on the IEP. Extended time for students using Large Print tests is not permitted unless documented on the IEP or 504 Service Plan.
Read Aloud Directions – Must be documented in the student’s IEP or 504 Service Plan. The student must be tested in an isolated area in which students who do not need the accommodation may not hear the test administration. This may be provided in an individual or small group setting with students needing the same accommodation. Internal Test instructions must be read exactly as they are written in the test booklet. The Test Administrator may not explain the meaning of any words read to the student.
Read Aloud Questions – Must be documented in the student’s IEP or 504 Service Plan. Reading Aloud-Internal Test Items may be used on all tests, including those measuring reading/language arts, as appropriate. Students using this accommodation are to be as independent as possible. The IEP Team or 504 Review Committee must specify the extent to which the student is to receive the accommodation during the administration of a TCAP assessment (e.g., the entire test is read aloud or certain passages are read aloud. The student must be tested in an isolated area in which students who do not need the accommodation may not hear the test administration. This may be provided in an individual or small group setting with students needing the same accommodation. The Test Administrator may not explain the meaning of any words read to the student. Internal Test Items must be read exactly as they are written in the test book.
Sign Interpret Directions – Directions normally read aloud to students may be signed verbatim for students who typically use sign language. Only spoken portions of the directions may be signed. The interpreter must not fingerspell words that have a commonly used sign.
Sign Interpret Questions – Must be documented in the student’s IEP or 504 Service Plan. This accommodation may be used only by students with a Hearing Impairment/Deafness. Sign language interpreters should attempt to sign test instructions and items exactly as written. The interpreter may use a sign that is close to a word during test administration when doing so would not reveal the answer to the question. Any time there is a standard sign for a word or concept, the sign is to be used during the test administration if at all possible. In the event that there is no standard sign and a shortcut sign is available, the shortcut sign may be used during the administration of a TCAP test if the sign will not indicate the answer. A shortcut is a sign created in the classroom setting between the interpreter and the student for a commonly used subject-specific word for which there is no sign. Shortcut signs are not to be created during the actual administration of a TCAP test. Finger spelling must not be used to administer items that require the student to demonstrate the skill of spelling. The interpreter is to sign greater/less than signs, equal signs, exponents, etc., in the same manner they are signed when used during classroom instruction and similar classroom assessments. The interpreter is not to sign information that would provide the student with the answer. The student must be tested in an isolated area in which students who do not need the accommodation may not hear the test administration.
Repeat/Reread/Clarify Directions – Directions normally read aloud or signed to students may be reread/signed verbatim as needed.
Student Highlighting: Not allowed in Grade 3.
Student Reads Test Aloud – The student may read aloud the test being administered to him/her in an individual setting.
Prompt/Encourage – Must be documented in the student’s IEP or 504 Service Plan; this accommodation is appropriate for students who may need only certain words read to them upon request. The student must be tested in an isolated area in which students who do not need the accommodation may not hear the test administration. This may be provided in an individual or small group setting with students needing the same accommodation. Internal test directions and internal test items must be read exactly as they are written in the test book. The Test Administrator may not explain the meaning of any words read to the student.

Texas

Large Print: In most cases student will have visual impairment. Must seek approval if student does not.
Braille: In most cases student will have visual impairment. Must seek approval if student does not.
Native Language Translation of Directions and/or Items – Allowed for directions only.
Other – Photocopies of Test.

 

 

Table B2: Specifications and Descriptions of "Certain Circumstances," "Implications for Scoring," and "Other" AA-MAS Equipment and Materials Accommodations

California

Audio/Video Equipment Audio CD presentation of test questions. Math: Available for grades 3, 4, 5. ELA: Available for grades 3–7.

Calculator – Allowed on the math test in grades 5–7. (A modification on regular test.)

Manipulatives – Allowed on the math and science tests. (A modification on regular test.)

Assistive Technology – Not allowed if assistive device interferes with the independent work of the student on the multiple-choice and/or essay responses. (Assistive technology that interferes with independent work is considered a modification on regular test.)

Math Tables/Numberline – Arithmetic table or formula (not provided) not allowed. (A modification on the regular test.)

Dictionary/Glossary Dictionary not allowed. (A modification on the regular test.)

Connecticut

Audio/Video Equipment Closed-circuit TV (Optalec/Visualtec).

Calculator – Talking calculators are allowed only for blind or visually impaired students.

Abacus – Allowed only for blind or visually impaired students.

Kansas

Calculator – The use of calculation devices on non-calculator portions is a modification resulting in the score being counted as not tested.

Math Tables/Numberline – Math journals are a modification that results in the score being counted as not tested. Integer numberlines are allowed as an accommodation on the math test.

Other – Adjustable Height Desk; Raised or Bold Line Rulers.

Louisiana

Dictionary/Glossary – An electronic dictionary may be used only during the Writing session of the English Language Arts test. LEP students may use either a standard or electronic English/native language word-to-word dictionary on all LAA 2 tests. On the English language Arts writing session, students may use an English/native language word-to-word dictionary with definitions.

North Dakota

Calculator – For NDAA-2 calculator embedded into assessment design. Supplies given to student for NDAA-2 include calculator. (On regular test calculator allowed in certain circumstances. Allowed on Parts, 2, 3, 4 Math. Not allowed on Grade 3 math test.)

Manipulatives – For NDAA-2 manipulatives embedded into assessment design. Supplies given to student for NDAA-2 include manipulatives.

Oklahoma

Calculator – Allowed in math only.

Abacus – Allowed when using a Braille test only.

Dictionary/Glossary – Word-to-word dictionaries (that do not give definitions).

Tennessee

Calculator Must be documented in the student’s IEP or 504 Service Plan. May only be used for Mathematics portion of the grade 3–8 version of the TCAP MAAS, as appropriate. The student must be tested in an isolated area in which students who do not need the accommodation may not have access to the calculator during the test administration. This may be provided in an individual or small group setting with students needing the same accommodation.

Audio-video Equipment – Audio versions of the test are sent along with the Braille edition of the TCAP Achievement Test.

Manipulatives – Must be documented in the student’s IEP or 504 Service Plan. May be used where manipulatives are used consistently throughout the mathematics program. Manipulatives include number lines, counters, shapes, textured material (e.g., sandpaper), representations of money, beads, or any other items that may be physically counted or manipulated by the student. Manipulatives used on TCAP assessments must be the same manipulatives used throughout classroom instruction and similar assessments. When the student typically uses manipulatives in mathematics instruction, those manipulatives should be brought to the mathematics testing session. The student must be tested in an isolated area in which students who do not need the accommodation may not have access to the manipulatives during the test administration. This may be provided in an individual or small group setting with students needing the same accommodation. The Test Administrator may not review the test to determine if additional manipulatives are needed.

Assistive Technology – Must be documented in the student’s IEP or 504 Service Plan goal where technology is used consistently throughout the general education program. Technology used as an accommodation must be necessary for everyday communication and post-school success. Assistive technology can include, but is not limited to, computers, speech synthesizers, communication devices, word processors with or without talk-text technology and electronic readers. Any device that would "Reads Aloud" the Reading/Language Arts portions of the Achievement Test requires IEP documentation of Read Aloud Internal Test Items.

Math Tables/Numberline Must be documented in the student’s IEP or 504 Service Plan. May only be used for Mathematics portion of the grade 3–8 version of the TCAP MAAS, as appropriate. The student must be tested in an isolated area in which students who do not need the accommodation may not have access to it during the test administration. This may be provided in an individual or small group setting with students needing the same accommodation.

Other – Audio Recorder/Plays Back Immediately for Comprehension: Must be documented in the student’s IEP or 504 Service Plan. This accommodation is effective for students when reading fluency is on grade level and difficulty in reading comprehension is documented. The student must be tested in an isolated area in which students who do not need the accommodation cannot hear the student’s speaking or playback of the tape. Only the student may read into the audio recorder. The student may read only internal test instructions and items into the audio recorder to be played back immediately for response. The used audiotape must be returned to the Tennessee Department of Education.

Texas

Calculator – Allowed on math and science tests. Graphing calculators must be provided on TAKS-M science tests in grades 10 and 11/exit level and math tests at grades 9–11/exit level. May be allowed at grades 3–6 with submission and approval of accommodation request form (ARF). Allowed at grades 7 and up. (On regular test [i.e., TAKS (accommodated)] not allowed at grades 3–6. May be allowed at grades 7 and 8 with submission and approval of ARF.)

Dictionary/Glossary – Allowed on the following TAKS-M tests: the written composition section of the grade 7 writing test, the entire grade 9 reading test, the written composition and reading sections of the grades 10 and 11/exit level ELA tests, and the LAT administration of the grade 10 ELA test. Standard English dictionaries are allowed on the math test but teacher or student-made dictionaries/glossaries containing definitions of vocabulary specific to reading require a submission of an Accommodation Request Form for all tests.

Thesaurus – Allowed on the following TAKS-M tests: the written composition section of the grade 7 writing test, the entire grade 9 reading test, the written composition and reading sections of the grades 10 and 11/exit level ELA tests, and the LAT administration of the grade 10 ELA test.

Other – Supplemental Aids: Must be a tool and not a source of direct answers, meaning that the students can use the aid to figure out the answer, NOT just look at the aid to find the answer. TAKS-M—allowed for any grade and any subject if in IEP. (On regular test, [i.e., TAKS (Accommodated)]—May be allowed for any grade or subject with the submission and approval of an accommodation request form [ARF]). A description of the process needed to solve a problem is allowed on the math test. Mnemonic devices are allowed on all tests. List of grammar rules is allowed on the Writing/ELA test. Strategy checklists that contain general information may be used on the Reading/ELA and Writing/ELA tests. Vocabulary list allowed on the Writing/ELA test. Blank maps and timelines that contain dates allowed on the social studies test. Skills checklists allowed on the social studies test. Non-labeled graphics of the water cycle, a life cycle, or a food chain are allowed on the science test.

 

 

Table B3: Specifications and Descriptions of "Certain Circumstances," "Implications for Scoring," and "Other" AA-MAS Response Accommodations

California

Proctor/Scribe – Essay responses may not be dictated orally to a scribe (scribe provides spelling, grammar, and language conventions). (Dictation of essay responses considered a modification on the regular test.)

Tape Recorder Essay responses may not be dictated orally to a audio recorder (scribe provides spelling, grammar, and language conventions). (Dictation of essay responses considered a modification on the regular test.)

Spell Checker/Assistance – When using a word processor, spelling and grammar functions must be turned off for essay responses in the writing portion. (Spell checker considered a modification on the regular test.)

Sign Responses to Sign Language Interpreter – Essay responses may not be dictated orally in Manually Coded English, or in American Sign Language to a scribe (scribe provides spelling, grammar, and language conventions). (Dictation of essay responses considered a modification on the regular test.)

Speech/Text Device – Essay responses may not be dictated orally to speech-to-text converter that provides spelling, grammar, and language conventions). (Dictation of essay responses to speech-to-text converter considered a modification on the regular test.)

Connecticut

Proctor/Scribe – A bubbler is allowed on the Math and Reading for Information tests only.

Computer or Machine – A word processor is allowed on all tests, except the CMT-MAS Degrees of Reading Power subtest.

Write in Test Booklet – Circle answers in test booklet (multiple choice items only).

Sign Responses to Sign Language Interpreter – Allowed for multiple-choice or griddable responses on the Math and Reading for Information tests only.

Speech/Text Device – Screen reader is allowed only in math. Voice recognition software is allowed on all tests.

Louisiana

Proctor/Scribe – On the English Language Arts Writing session, the scribe must write exactly what the student dictates, without punctuation and capitalization. The assistance in testing must not cue any answer.

Spell Checker/Assistance – An electronic spellchecker may be used only during the Writing session of the English Language Arts test.

Speech/Text Device – An electronic reader may not be used during the Reading and Responding session. A speech synthesizer or communication device is allowed on all tests.

North Dakota

Other – Word Predictor Programs.

Oklahoma

Computer/Machine – Without the use of ‘help’ features like spell check. Allowed only on the English II Writing test.

Tape Recorder – Allowed only on the English II Writing test.

Tennessee

Extended Time – Must be documented in the student’s IEP or 504 Service Plan goals where technology is used consistently throughout the general education program. The amount of Extended Time must be determined by the student’s IEP Team or 504 Review Committee. This accommodation may be used with all assessment materials, including Braille, Large Print, and regular print tests. This accommodation may be used along with visual aids such as masks, pointers, and templates. No test should be administered more than 75 minutes without allowing for a 10 minute break. The student must be tested in an individual setting or small group setting with other students needing the same accommodation. A test or subtest for which Extended Time is used may not exceed one school day. Each test/subtest must be completed within one school day.

Texas

Computer/Machine – Word-prediction and spell-check must be turned off for the TAKS-M grade 4 writing test.

Spell Checker/Assistance – Only allowed on written responses (written composition and open-ended reading responses). Not allowed on the revising and editing sections of the writing or ELA tests or on other subject-area tests. May be allowed at grade 4 with submission and approval of an accommodation request form (ARF). Allowed at grades 7, 10 ELA, and 11 ELA. (On the regular test—e.g., TAKS [accommodated], not allowed at grade 4; may be allowed at grades 7, 9, 10, and 11 with submission and approval of ARF.)

Other – Record responses on a Dry-Erase Board, Chalkboard, or Scratch Paper (Blank, Lined, or Graph Paper).

 

 

Table B4: Specifications and Descriptions of "Certain Circumstances," "Implications for Scoring," and "Other" AA-MAS Scheduling/Timing Accommodations

North Dakota

Multiple Sessions – Each school may develop its own test administration schedule. Students requiring shorter testing sessions will receive these without identifying this deviation from the schedule as an accommodation.

With Breaks – Each school may develop its own test administration schedule. Students requiring more breaks will receive these without identifying this deviation from the schedule as an accommodation.

Tennessee

Extended Time – Must be documented in the student’s IEP or 504 Service Plan. Students requiring extended time are tested in an individual or small group setting with others requiring this accommodation.

Multiple Sessions – Within school day.

Over Multiple Days – Each test/subtest must be completed within one school day. All testing must be completed within the system’s testing window.

Flexible Scheduling – Includes flexible scheduling of subtests and Flexible Time of Day.

 

 

Table B5: Specifications and Descriptions of "Certain Circumstances," "Implications for Scoring," and "Other" AA-MAS Setting Accommodations

Kansas

Other – Access to a computer lab.

Louisiana

Individual – Individual administration must be tested one on one by a test administrator in a location separate from other students.

Small Group – maximum eight.

Seat location/Proximity – Students who depend primarily on lip reading should be seated no more than ten feet from test administrator.

Other – Background Music. Use of Alternative Writing Position.

North Carolina

Other – Additional school support (instructional assistant, special education or other teacher) who does not help the student read or respond to items.

Oklahoma

Small Group – No more than five students.

Texas

Student’s Home Considered a modification. Modifications change the content and/or performance standards of what is being measured by the test.

 

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The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.

Online Privacy Statement
This page was last updated on May 30, 2013

NCEO is supported primarily through a Cooperative Agreement (#H326G050007) with the Research to Practice Division, Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education. Additional support for targeted projects, including those on LEP students, is provided by other federal and state agencies. Opinions expressed in this Web site do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Education or Offices within it.

© 2013 by the Regents of the University of Minnesota.
The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.

Online Privacy Statement
This page was last updated on January 03, 2013

NCEO is supported primarily through a Cooperative Agreement (#H326G050007, #H326G110002) with the Research to Practice Division, Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education. Additional support for targeted projects, including those on LEP students, is provided by other federal and state agencies. Opinions expressed in this Web site do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Education or Offices within it.