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Improving Test Performance of Students With Disabilities...On District and State Assessments
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Improving Test Performance of Students With Disabilities...On District and State Assessments

Second Edition


© 2006 | 232 pages | Corwin

"There are no more capable people to advise school districts on improving academic performance of children with disabilities than Judy Elliott and Martha Thurlow. This book is the definitive resource for all who are struggling to meet the challenges put forth first by IDEA 97 and now by NCLB. Simply put, this is a 'must-have' resource. Elliott and Thurlow have combined the most recent research with practical recommendations that go beyond improving test performance to provide the basis upon which real educational equity can be achieved for students with disabilities."
—Thomas Hehir, Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Former Director, Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Dept. of Education

Maximize the academic performance of every student, every day!

Students with disabilities must overcome unique obstacles in order to learn, and the pressure of testing often exacerbates existing challenges. With increased focus on accountability for all, how can educators properly prepare students for tests without sacrificing meaningful learning? In Improving Test Performance of Students With Disabilities . . . On District and State Assessments, Second Edition, authors Elliott and Thurlow offer numerous strategies for improving instruction, student accommodations, and test preparation, all with the goal of improving the test performance of students with disabilities. Emphasizing practical application, this comprehensive resource delineates the key elements district, school, and state professionals must consider in order to maximize the academic performance of students with disabilities.

The second edition of this insightful text addresses the impact of the No Child Left Behind Act on instruction and assessment practices for students with disabilities, including those who are also English Language Learners. Featuring inserts and easy-to-follow worksheets, tables, and appendices, this indispensable resource will enable all educators to help students with disabilities learn more effectively and show what they know on the day of the test.

Improving Test Performance of Students With Disabilities . . . Second Edition includes:

  • Practical steps for linking district and/or state standards with student IEP goals
  • Helpful tips enabling instructors to determine the best ways to accommodate their students during instruction and on tests
  • Detailed instructions for improving performance on general and alternate assessments
  • Tables and worksheets to engage both instructors and learners 
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
1. Maximizing the Performance of Students With Disabilities
Incorporating Standards Into Assessment and Instruction  
Using Data to Drive Assessment and Instruction  
Making Good Decisions About Accommodations  
Helping the Student Prepare for Testing  
Addressing the Needs of IEP/ELLs  
Improving Test Performance on the General Assessment Through Instruction  
Improving Performance on the Alternate Assessment Through Instruction  
Generating Parent Support – and the Support of Others, Too  
Summary  
Test Your Knowledge  
Resources  
Internet Resources  
 
2. Standards-Based Assessment and Instruction
Changing the Tide  
Where is Lake Wobegon, Anyway?  
Trademarks of a Standards-Based Classroom  
Aligning IEPs With Standards  
Linking the IEP to Standards  
Content Standard: Reading  
Summary  
Test Your Knowledge  
Reflections on Change  
Resources  
Internet Resources  
 
3. Using Data to Drive Instruction
Opportunities and Challenges  
Basic Data to Know  
Case Study Discussion  
Questions You Should Be Asking, Answers You Should Know  
Principals/District Site Administrators  
Teachers  
Parents  
Board Members  
Superintendents  
Summary  
Test Your Knowledge  
Reflections on Change  
Resources  
Internet Resources  
 
Chapters 1-3. Self Check: Where Do I Stand?
 
4. Making Sound Accommodations Decisions
Opinions Versus Research-Based Knowledge on Accommodations  
Court Cases and Settlements  
Considerations in Making Decisions About Accommodations  
Considerations in Making Decisions About Accommodations  
Steps to Take in Identifying Accommodations for Individual Students  
Rolling Classroom Accommodations into District and State Assessments  
A Word About Technology Accommodations  
A Word About Technology Accommodations  
A Word About Technology Accommodations  
Non-Approved Accommodations  
Alternative Route to Diploma or Promotion  
Summary  
Test Your Knowledge  
Resources  
Reflections on Change  
Resources  
Internet Resources  
 
5. Preparing Students for Testing
Causes and Considerations  
Assessment Literacy  
Setting Goals, Targets, and Expectations  
Preparing Daily for the Test  
Helping Students Become Advocates for Their Own Testing Needs  
Summary  
Test Your Knowledge  
Reflections on Change  
Resources  
Internet Resources  
 
6. Addressing the Needs of IEP/ELLs
Who Are IEP/ELLs?  
Participation of IEP/ELLS in District and State Assessments  
Accommodations  
Assessment Performance  
Instruction for IEP/ELLS  
Summary  
Test Your Knowledge  
Reflections on Change  
Resources  
Internet Resources  
 
Chapters 4-6. Self-Check: Where Do I Stand?
 
7. Improving Performance on General Assessment Through Instruction
Where the Rubber Meets the Road  
The Realities  
The Million Dollar Question  
Preparing for Instruction: The Planning Pyramid  
What Do We Know About Effective Instruction?  
Improving Student Performance: A Model of Effective Instruction  
Planning Instruction  
Managing Instruction  
Delivering Instruction  
Evaluating Instruction  
Summary  
Test Your Knowledge  
Reflections on Change  
Resources  
Internet Resources  
 
8. Improving Performance on Alternate Assessments Through Instruction
Federal Requirements That Guide Alternate Assessments  
What We Knew Then  
Where We Are Now  
What Has Changed  
High Standards for Learning for Alternate Assessment Students  
The Impact of Alternate Assessment on Instruction  
Summary  
Test Your Knowledge  
Reflections on Change  
Resources  
Internet Resources  
 
9. Parent Support for Student Performance
Informing Parents About Tests  
Equipping Parents to Make Good Participation and Accommodation Decisions  
Helping Parents Understand Test Results  
Understanding General Test Results  
Understanding Their Child’s Test Results  
Summary  
Test Your Knowledge  
Reflections on Change  
Resources  
Internet Resources  
 
Chapters 7-9. Self Check: Where Do I Stand?
 
Appendix A: Reflection on Change
 
Appendix B: Technical Assistance and Dissemination Networks
 
Index
 
Figures and Reproducible Forms
Box 1.1: Key Elements of IDEA 97 and NCLB  
Box 1.2: Assumptions About Including Students With Disabilities  
Box 2.1: Examples of Content and Performance Standards  
Box 2.2: IEP Format Linking District Standards and Student Annual Goals  
Box 2.3: Steps for Unpacking Standards  
Box 2.4: Bloom’s Taxonomy  
Box 2.5: A Framework for Unpacking Standards  
Box 2.6: Unpacking Standards: Supporting the Process  
Box 3.1: Strategies for Success (SFS) Overview  
Box 3.2: SFS Grade Results  
Box 3.3: Reading Program Comparison  
Box 3.4: A Case Study  
Box 4.1: Examples of Six Types of Assessment Accommodations  
Box 4.2: Kyle’s Access to the General Education Curriculum With and Without Accommodations  
Box 4.3: Summary of Selected Research Syntheses on Accommodations  
Box 4.4: Common Instructional Accommodations, A-Z  
Form 4.1: Classroom Accommodations Worksheet  
Box 4.6: Student Accommodations Questionnaire  
Box 4.7: Tracking the Effects of Accommodations  
Box 4.8: Case Study on Tracking the Effects of Accommodations  
Form 4.2: Form to Determine Links Between Classroom Accommodations, Classroom Testing Accommodations, and State or District Testing Accommodations  
Box 4.9: Case Study on Making Accommodations Decisions for Instruction and Testing  
Box 4.10: Case Study on Planning Accommodations  
Box 5.1: Self Regulation and Time Management  
Box 5.2: Selected Assessment Terminology and Definitions  
Box 5.3: Points to Make in discussing the Purpose of State and District Assessments  
Box 5.4: Example of a Test Matrix for a “Typical” Standards-Based State Test  
Box 5.5: Example of a Test Matrix for a “Typical” Norm-Referenced Test  
Box 5.6: Partial Test Matrix Analysis  
Box 5.7: Considering the Unique Needs of Students Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired  
Box 5.8: Common Test Vocabulary Terms  
Box 5.9: Suggestions for Answering Different Types of Questions  
Box 5.10: Self-Regulation and Time Management  
Box 6.1: Clarification of Terminology  
Box 6.2: Percentages of All IEP Students and IEP/ELLs by Category  
Box 6.3: Examples of Linguistic Accommodations  
Box 6.4: Considerations for Assessing LEP Students  
Box 6.5: Strategies Identified as Important for IEP/ELLs  
Box 7.1: Instructional Planning Pyramid  
Box 7.2: Guiding Questions for the Planning Pyramid  
Box 7.3: Some Research-Based Findings on Characteristics of Effective Instruction  
Box 7.4: Components of Effective Instruction  
Box 7.5: Deciding What to Teach: Think About It  
Box 7.6: How to Teach: Think About It  
Box 7.7: Communicate Realistic Expectations: Think About It  
Box 7.8: Prepare for Instruction: Think About It  
Box 7.9: Use Time Productively: Think About It  
Box 7.10: Establishing a Positive Classroom Environment: Think About It  
Box 7.11: Presenting Information: Think About It  
Box 7.12: Monitoring Presentations: Think About It  
Box 7.13: Adjusting Presentations: Think About It  
Box 7.14: Monitor Student Understanding: Think About It  
Box 7.15: Monitoring Engaged Time: Think About It  
Box 7.16: Keep Records of Student Progress: Think About It  
Box 7.17: Use Data to Make Decisions: Think About It  
Box 8.1: Federal Documents that Clarify Alternate Assessments Performance Benchmarks  
Box 8.2: Definitions of Basic Terms Used in Relation to Alternate Assessment  
Box 8.3: Examples of Standards of Learning for Alternate Assessments in Massachusetts  
Box 8.4: Examples of Instructional Idea, Strategies, and Entry Points in Massachusetts  
Box 8.5: Selections From High School Course Outline  
Box 9.1: A Parent Version of a Test Matrix  
Box 9.2: Excerpt from Federation of Families Report  
Box 9.3: Parent Questions and Answers About State and District Assessments  
Box 9.4: NRTs Versus CRTs and Standards-Based Assessments  
Box 9.5: Resource Centers and Materials for Parents  
Box 9.6: Guide for Translating Testing Terminology for Parents  
Box 9.7: Example of Information Presented in State Report  

"This is a practical and accessible guide to improving the measurement of performance of students with disabilities that also provides concrete and research-based strategies for the inclusion of students with specialized instructional needs in the general education classroom. This is a book that should be within reach of classroom teachers and school administrators as they strive to provide effective instruction that yields measureable results."

Ronald K. Felton, Associate Superintendent
Miami Dade County Public Schools, FL

"Improving Test Performance of Students with Disabilities is a refreshing "can do" approach, grounded in research and best practice, that addresses effective instruction and proactive use of accommodations and data analysis.  It is filled with resources and "how to" techniques.  Given the current landscape of test scores and instruction, this book is a must have resource for any educator's professional library."

Christine Dominguez, Assistant Superintendent, Curriculum, Instruction & Professional Development
Long Beach Unified School District, CA

"There are no more capable people to advise school districts on improving academic performance of children with disabilities than Judy Elliott and Martha Thurlow. This book, therefore, is the definitive resource for all who are struggling to meet the challenges put forth first by IDEA 97 and now by NCLB. Simply put this is a 'must have' resource. Elliott and Thurlow have combined the most recent research with practical recommendations that go beyond improving test performance to provide the basis upon which real educational equity can be achieved for students with disabilities."

Thomas Hehir, Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Former Director, Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Dept. of Education

Sample Materials & Chapters

Preface

Chapter 1


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