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The New Alternate Assessment for Students With Significant Cognitive Disabilities Pathways 2006: Connecting Alaska February 16, 2006 Aran Felix, Alternate.

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Presentation on theme: "The New Alternate Assessment for Students With Significant Cognitive Disabilities Pathways 2006: Connecting Alaska February 16, 2006 Aran Felix, Alternate."— Presentation transcript:

1 The New Alternate Assessment for Students With Significant Cognitive Disabilities Pathways 2006: Connecting Alaska February 16, 2006 Aran Felix, Alternate Assessment Program Manager Alaska Department of Education & Early Development

2 2 Purpose of Presentation Explain why the state is changing to a new Alternate Assessment; the AAs connection to Grade Level Expectations; and general information and background about the AA. Opportunity for stakeholders to provide feedback on several assessment products.

3 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development3 Agenda – (Handout) 3:00 - 3:10 Introductions 3:10 - 3:15 Opening Activity: For the FAQ Files 3:15 – 3:45 New Alternate Assessment 3:45 – 4:15 Review and provide feedback on: Proficiency Descriptors Extended Grade Level Expectations Individual Student Reports 4:15 – 4:30 Review FAQ Cards, Questions/Answers

4 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development4 For the FAQ Files – (Handout) Pink cards in folder Write down your burning questions What do you want to know about the AA? Pass to side, we will collect Review and discuss at end of session Design FAQ File from your questions

5 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development5 Abbreviations - Handout AA – Alternate Assessment CSSA – Comprehensive System of Student Assessment DRC – Data Recognition Corporation DRA – Dillard Research Associates ExGLEs – Extended Grade Level Expectations GLEs- Grade Level Expectations HSGQE – High School Graduation Qualifying Exam IDEA – Individuals with Disabilities Education Act IEP – Individualized Education Program NCLB – No Child Left Behind SBAs – Standards Based Assessments SCD – Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities SWD – Students with Disabilities

6 Background Legal and Historical Shifts

7 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development7 Federal Legislation NCLB High Expectations Same, Challenging Academic Standards Assess ALL students including SWD Accountability Assess Reading, Math, Science IDEA SWD access general education curriculum Accommodations Alternate Assessment Report test results Report performance on standards

8 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development8 Historical Perspective: Changing Curricular Context for SCD Early 1970s Adapting infant/early childhood curriculum for students with the most significant disabilities of all ages 1980s Rejected developmental model Functional, life skills curriculum emerged 1990s Also: social inclusion focus Also: self determination focus Assistive technology 2000 General curriculum access (academic content) Plus earlier priorities (functional, social, self determination)

9 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development9 Positive Consequences for SWD when included in state assessments Higher levels of learning and achievement for students with disabilities Increased access to general ed curriculum Increased opportunity to learn grade level material Accountability for student learning Documents what students know & can do

10 Who are the AA Students? Articulating the Population

11 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development11 Who are the students who take Alternate Assessments? The number of students participating in alternate assessments on alternate achievement standards as compared to the total population of student learners and students with disabilities…

12 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development12 More different than alike… The total student population receiving special education services broken down by disability category SOURCE: Education Week analysis of data from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, Data Analysis System,

13 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development13 Issues in Teaching & Assessing Students taking AA (Handout)

14 Overview of Alaskas Alternate Assessment For Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities

15 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development15 What Is the Alternate Assessment? Part of the Comprehensive System of Student Assessments (CSSA) For a special population of students with disabilities (SWD) Non-Diploma Path AA was a Portfolio assessment consisting of data collection and supporting evidence covering 6+ months of learning

16 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development16 Eligibility Criteria – (Handout) Designed for students with significant cognitive disabilities 1-2% of the student population (approximately 550 students actually take the assessment in AK) IEP Team makes the decision Eligibility Criteria in Participation Guidelines, Page Expanded Format Criteria on website 06/ExpandedFormatPartCriteriaAug05.pdf 06/ExpandedFormatPartCriteriaAug05.pdf

17 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development17 AA Website (Handout) Participation Criteria

18 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development18 Notification of Non-Diploma Path on IEP (Handout) Parent Signature

19 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development19 Diploma Requirements Must earn minimum 21+ credits in specific content areas Plus any additional district requirements Plus Pass all three basic competency exams in Reading/Writing/Math (HSGQE or Modified or Non-Standardized HSGQE)

20 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development20 More Diploma Information Contact District Test Coordinator Assessment Website sgqe.html sgqe.html Map of Regulations eneral/MapofRegulations.doc eneral/MapofRegulations.doc

21 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development21 Why Change Assessments?

22 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development22 Reasons for Change Reliability/Validity Study Conducted Recommendations Include: Restructuring portfolio to include standardized performance tasks Standardize the way teachers collect data, supporting evidence, & examples of work Align alternate standards to grade level expectations (content/learning standards)

23 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development23 Worth Fixing the Old? Difficult to retrofit an old assessment Shorter assessment window desirable Portfolios require much staff development and staff time to collect, assemble Standardize the assessment with performance tasks Scoring Rubric issues Due to NCLB, many states currently developing new AA

24 New Alternate Assessment Performance Tasks

25 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development25 Background Work – (Handout) Workgroups of special education teachers & content teachers met April & November 2005 Developed draft proficiency descriptors Proficiency levels for this group of students by grade cluster (3-4, 5-6, 7-8, 9-10) Extended Grade Level Expectations developed to provide access to the general content Commissioner Announcement System test of connectivity in December by Tech Coordinators and AA Mentors

26 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development26 New Test – (Handout) Developed and used in Oregon, 7 years Modified for Alaska Reading, Writing, Math & Science Type of test: Performance Tasks administered by a teachers one-on-one to a student Replaces AA Portfolio – is the last year

27 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development27 Online Assessment Materials downloaded from web Online training modules for test administration Test results are entered online Student reports immediately generated Student does NOT take the assessment online

28 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development28 Test Administration AA Mentors become Qualified Assessors, then Qualified Trainers Mentors train district teachers to administer test Teachers achieve proficiency before administering assessment (Qualified Assessors) 6 week test window One-on-one assessment Teachers record results online, report generated

29 What are AA Proficiency Descriptors? What are Extended GLEs?

30 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development30 Proficiency Descriptors -(Handout) Narrative descriptions that describe how a student performs at the four proficiency levels used in Alaska: Advanced, Proficient, Below Proficient, Far Below Proficient Guide instruction and assessment Draft form until after 2007 test given

31 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development31 Extended GLEs – (Handout) Students receive instruction on grade level content standards and curriculum Provide entry points to grade level content Using same or adapted age-appropriate themes, topics, materials, activities Complexity of standards reduced Intent of grade level content remains intact Use appropriate assistive technology

32 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development32 Purpose of GLEs and ExGLEs Guides development of assessment items Basis for school districts curriculum development GLEs do not represent the entire curriculum GLEs indicate core curriculum to be mastered by the end of a given grade.

33 Providing Access to the General Curriculum Slides from Massachusetts used with permission, Dan Wiener & Pam Green, 2002

34 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development34 Access to the General Curriculum: A Continuum of Learning (Mathematics) Dan Wiener & Pam Green 2002 Grade 7-8 Learning Standard #2 for Algebra: Solve simple algebraic expressions for given values Example: 3a 2 – b, for a=3 & b=7 Match pictures & objects to create and compare sets Understand symbols and meaning of: * addition + * subtraction - * equal to = Solve simple one- and two- digit number sentences Example: = x 2 + x = 5 3x + 8 = 29 Standard as written Less Complex More Complex Entry Points

35 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development35 Access to the General Curriculum: A Continuum of Learning (ELA – Reading and Literature) Dan Wiener & Pam Green 2002 Grade 7-8 Learning Standard #16.10 for Reading and Literature: Identify and analyze mythologies from different cultures Example: Student creates a hero tale, using epic tale conventions (e.g., quest, special weapons) Respond to epic tales read aloud by selecting/ drawing pictures related to the story Recognize that an epic tale is fictional Example: Student reads (or listens to) adapted stories, and categorizes each as make-believe or real Identify elements of fiction in an epic tale Example: Student reads an epic tale, identifying details related to characters, setting and plot Standard as written Less Complex More Complex Entry Points

36 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development36 Examples of Weak Linkage to Content Math Replace rollers in beauty parlor Measure growth of fingernails Reading Show anticipation on roller coaster Attend to visual stimuli NAAC, June 2005

37 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development37 Advent of Assistive Technology Provides Access Tools

38 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development38 Advent of Assistive Technology Provides Access Tools Provides multiple means of representation of content (e.g., words, pictures, symbols, objects) Provides engagement alternatives (e.g., use of computer, digital materials) Provides multiple means of expression (e.g., communication systems) (CAST, 2002)

39 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development39 Reading Pen Start to Finish Books Write: Out Loud Read and Write Read with technology Denham, 2004

40 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development40 Modified text from Jumangi using Writing With Symbols Read using graphics Denham, 2004

41 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development41 Cheap Talk 4 (Enabling Devices) DynaVox 3100 Step By Step Communicator, Abel Net Active Participation Picture Exchange Communication System, PECS (Pyramid Educational Consultants) Communication devices must provide a means of active participation within the curriculum

42 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development42 Active Participation - write with A plant needs oxygen.. word stamps.. sentence strips in science water The plant needs sunlight... individual laminated symbols secured with Velcro (Boardmaker, Meyer-Johnson).. pictures – drawn, magazine

43 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development43 We do not know if we can teach academics to these students until we try… Emerging evidence from teachers and students that students with severe disabilities can learn academics. Lack of research with this population of SWD Why its a challenge: 25 year tradition of focusing on separate functional curriculum, not academics Academics (reading, writing, math) ARE functional skills Diane Browder, October 7, 2005ASES SCASS Meeting

44 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development44 Seymour Sarason It could be argued with a good deal of persuasiveness that when one looks over the history of man the most distinguishing characteristic of his development is the degree to which man has underestimated the potentialities of men. (Christmas in Purgatory, 1965, p. 107)


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