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The New Alternate Assessment for Students With Significant Cognitive Disabilities 15 th Annual Alaska Statewide Special Education Conference: Perspectives.

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Presentation on theme: "The New Alternate Assessment for Students With Significant Cognitive Disabilities 15 th Annual Alaska Statewide Special Education Conference: Perspectives."— Presentation transcript:

1 The New Alternate Assessment for Students With Significant Cognitive Disabilities 15 th Annual Alaska Statewide Special Education Conference: Perspectives & Snapshots Developing images of success February 21, 2006 Aran Felix, Alternate Assessment Program Manager, EED Fran Maiuri, Special Education Professional Development, ASD

2 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development 2 Purpose of Presentation, Section 1 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. Assessments connection to standards and instruction. Opportunity for stakeholders to provide feedback on several assessment products.

3 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development 3 Quick Quiz Who takes the alternate assessment? Approximately how many students in Alaska take this test? Who decides eligibility to take this test? Where can you find the eligibility criteria? What kind of test is the AA? Is the Alternate part of the CSSA? Who scores the alternate assessment portfolio?

4 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development 4 For the FAQ Files – (Handout) Pink cards in folder Write down your burning questions throughout presentations 1 ? per card, more cards available 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 Development 5 Abbreviations – (Handout) AA – Alternate Assessment CSSA – Comprehensive System of Student Assessment DRC – Data Recognition Corporation (Vendor for SBA, HSGQE, Science) DRA – Dillard Research Associates (Vendor for all AA, R/W/M/S) 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 Development 7 Federal & State Legislation IDEA –SWD access general education curriculum –Accommodations –Do Alternate Assessment –Report performance on standards & test results AK STATUTES –Assess Grades 3-10, R/W/M and HSGQE NCLB –Same, Challenging Academic Standards for all, including SWD –Assess ALL students including SWD –Accountability (AYP) –Assess Reading, Math, Science –High Technical Quality

8 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development 8 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) –Digitally accessible materials

9 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development 9 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 Development 11 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 Development 12 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 Development 13 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 Development 15 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 Development 16 Eligibility Criteria – (Handouts) 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 (Handout) Expanded Format Criteria on website (Handout) –http://www.eed.state.ak.us/tls/assessment/AlternateOptional/05- 06/ExpandedFormatPartCriteriaAug05.pdfhttp://www.eed.state.ak.us/tls/assessment/AlternateOptional/05- 06/ExpandedFormatPartCriteriaAug05.pdf

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

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

19 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development 19 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 Development 20 More Diploma Information Contact District Test Coordinator Assessment Website Map of Regulations al/MapofRegulations.doc al/MapofRegulations.doc

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

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

23 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development 23 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 (Meaning of Generalization, Appropriateness categories, System vs. Student scores) Major change to link portfolio collections to GLEs Due to NCLB, many states currently developing new AA

24 New Alternate Assessment

25 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development 25 Background Work – (Handouts) Workgroups of special education teachers & content teachers met April & November 2005 Developed draft proficiency descriptors (Handout) 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 (Handout) Commissioner Announcement (Handout) System test of connectivity in December by Tech Coordinators and AA Mentors Pilot Test and Bias Review

26 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development 26 New Test 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 Development 27 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 Development 28 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 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development 29 Preview of New AK AA Handout & Website Handout of Reading, Writing, Math Task Lists and Example of a Task Servers currently being installed Alaska URL Preview Training Module: Welcome to ExRWMS Online Training, to ExRWMS Online Training

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

31 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development 31 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

32 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development 32 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

33 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development 33 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

34 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development 34 Advent of Assistive Technology Provides Access Tools

35 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development 35 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)

36 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development 36 Reading Pen Start to Finish Books Write: Out Loud Read and Write Read with technology Denham, 2004

37 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development 37 Modified text from Jumangi using Writing With Symbols Read using graphics Denham, 2004

38 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development 38 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

39 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development 39 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

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

41 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development 41 Proficiency Descriptors 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

42 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development 42 Look in ExGLE Handbook - (Handout)

43 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development 43 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

44 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development 44 Look in ExGLE Handbook–(Handout)

45 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development 45 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.

46 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development 46 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

47 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development 47 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)

48 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development 48 Tasks today for group… Using new draft handbook in your folder –Review & provide feedback on introduction –Review & provide feedback on Proficiency descriptors –Review & provide feedback on Extended Grade Level Expectations in Reading, Writing, Math Write your questions about new AA on pink FAQ cards – one question per card

49 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development 49 Contact Information Aran Felix, Alternate Assessment Program Mgr Telephone: Website: ate_optional.html Local Mentors: ateOptional/05-06/2005AAMentorsContact.xls ateOptional/05-06/2005AAMentorsContact.xls

50 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development 50 Questions?

51 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development 51 What are Access Skills? From Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks: After repeated attempts to address academic content through successively less complex entry points in a subject strand, it may be determined that the student would benefit at present from exposure to access skills (under other educational needs defined in the IEP) within the context of standards-based activities. In order to provide access to the general curriculum, the student may engage in standards-based instruction by practicing targeted social, motor, and communication skills (I.e. access skills) during such activities. Practicing these skills in the context of academic instruction benefits students by exposing a student to challenging new ideas and content, by providing new opportunities to practice targeted skills in a variety of settings.

52 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development 52 Example of Access Skill From Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks: This is a grade 5 activity in which students describe how electromagnets can be made and used. Small student groups design and construct electromagnets using a six-volt battery, insulated wire, a large nail, and an electronic switch. Norman participates in this activity by activating an electronic switch that connects the current to the electromagnet so his group can test a variety of objects for magnetic properties. Although Norman does not address the essence of the learning standard directly, this activity provides the opportunity for Norman to participate in instruction with his peers while practicing a targeted skill in his IEP.

53 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development 53 Quick Quiz Answers Students with significant cognitive disabilities (1% of the student population) Approximately 550 students IEP team decides eligibility using Participation Guidelines, page –Additional expanded criteria on AA website Portfolio assessment using data collection and other types of supporting evidence Yes, part of Comprehensive System of Student Assessment Trained DRC ( & )

54 Other Topics Proposed Federal Regulation (2%)

55 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development 55 Federal Proposed Regulation The proposed regulations would provide States with additional flexibility regarding State, local educational agency (LEA), and school accountability for the achievement of a group of students with disabilities who can make significant progress, but may not reach grade-level achievement standards within the same time frame as other students, even after receiving the best-designed instructional interventions from highly trained teachers.

56 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development 56 Proposed 2% Flexibility Status: Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) Comment period until February 28, 2006 Purpose of rule to provide flexibility for states in reporting on a specific group of SWD Reporting proficient scores for AYP capped at 2% Still allow reporting proficient scores for 1% group

57 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development 57 Requirements of 2% Rule Develop participation guidelines Develop Modified Achievement Standards (MAS) Align instruction and assessment to GLEs Reduce breadth, depth of content No out-of-level testing allowed Students eligible to receive diploma

58 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development 58 EEDs Current Position on 2% Rule EED is examining the NPRM. After the rules are finalized, EED will determine if pursuing the modified achievement standards and a different assessment is good for Alaska students. If Alaska uses an assessment based on modified achievement standards, a student would still have to take the HSGQE under the state regulations currently in place, to earn a diploma in the state of Alaska.

59 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development 59 Interesting Data from NCEO Teleconference Feb 2006


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