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IDEA & Testing: Modifying Tests for Special Needs Students

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on 5 February 2014

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Transcript of IDEA & Testing: Modifying Tests for Special Needs Students

What is modified testing?
Alternate assessment based on
academic achievement standards, or modified curriculum.
In Texas, this is STAAR-M.
Who can take a modified test?
How is a modified test different from a standard STAAR test?
TEA has created guidelines to ensure consistency when modifying STAAR test items. Modifications are made to test questions while maintaining alignment with grade-level or course content standards.
Change is coming.
U.S. Department of Education stated that with the development and implementation of more accessible general assessments, combined with appropriate supports and instruction, modified academic achievement standards and alternate assessments based on those standards will no longer be educationally appropriate.
No Change Necessary
TCAP: Transitional Colorado Assessment Program
Given to all students grades 3 through 10.
Reading, writing, and math assessments are given to all testing grade levels. Science is assessed in grades 5, 8, and 10.
Students in Colorado who qualify for special education take either the TCAP with accommodations, or the TCAP alternate assessment, as outlined in their respective IEPs.
No modified version is available.

IDEA & Testing: Modifying Tests for Special Needs Students
Combined with regulations from USDE
In April, 2007, the U.S. Department of Education authorized the use of modified achievement standards for up to 2 percent of special education students for federal accountability purposes.
The Individuals with Disabilities Act is a law ensuring services to children with disabilities throughout the nation. It governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to eligible children.
What does modified curriculum look like?
Let one of the beautiful, special minds in my classroom demonstrate:
The IEP team (ARD committee) must consider the participation requirements outlined below.
Standards Based IEP:
Under IDEA, IEP teams (ARD commitees) are required to develop goals based on grade-level academic content standards to ensure that students who participate in alternate assessment based on modified academic achievement standards receive instruction in grade-level content. IEP goals are in place to monitor progress toward meeting grade-level proficiency.
As a result of the recent (2013) amendment to Title I, Part A of NCLB, states are no longer authorized to develop or administer alternate assessments based on
academic achievement standards.
After the 2013-14 school year, STAAR-M will no longer be an option.
Accommodations vs. Modifications
Changes made to instruction and/or assessment intended to help students fully access the general education grade-level curriculum without changing the instructional content.
Accommodations provide equitable instruction and assessment for students by reducing or eliminating the effects of a student’s disability.
Alterations made to instruction and/or assessment that change, lower, or reduce learning or assessment expectations.
Modifications change or reduce the learning expectations in regard to the goal being addressed or assessed.
Under IDEA, a state must ensure that all children with disabilities are included in all general state and district-wide assessment programs, with appropriate accommodations and alternate assessments if necessary, as indicated in their respective individualized education programs.
Alternate assessments based on
academic achievement standards will still be allowable for the students who qualify. In Texas, this is STAAR-Alt, and meets requirements outlined in IDEA.
What are they thinking?
According to research funded by USDE, low-achieving students with disabilities made academic progress when provided with appropriate supports and instruction. Special education teachers reported that when IEPs were aligned with academic content standards, students with disabilities had improved exposure to subject matter and received focused instruction to meet challenging goals.
Some of you may be thinking...
So my kids who take STAAR-M will just take the STAAR-Alt now, right?

No. Participation requirements for STAAR-Alt have not changed. Students who take STAAR-M will not take STAAR-Alt simply because STAAR-M is no longer an option.
presented by: Jennifer Lee Worden
In 2013, 64,000 third grade students took the math test state wide. Only 7% did not meet the passing standard.
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