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IEP Team Members
Determine district-wide assessment participation
Documentation on the IEP
Alternate Assessment Questions
Follow-up or Implementation of the IEP
All students must be included in the district’s accountability system. Each student’s IEP team is required to decide if that student will participate and be included in the same district-wide assessments as his/her peers or use an alternate assessment.
No Child Left Behind (NCLB), Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) and state laws require that all students with disabilities participate in assessments.
NCLB defines a state’s accountability system in terms of adequate yearly progress (AYP). This is a way to measure the improvement in achieving district standards and benchmarks for all students and designated subgroups each year.
The Iowa Department of Education (DE) holds nonpublic school, districts, and area education agencies accountable on an annual basis for making AYP. The United States Department of Education (USDOE) holds Iowa accountable for making AYP.
A district-wide assessment can be a test that is given to all students within the district. An example is the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) and the Iowa Tests of Educational Development (ITED), but these are not the only district-wide assessments.
A district-wide assessment can also be an assessment that is given to all students within a grade level. For example, if all 1st graders are given DIBELS that would be considered a district-wide assessment. If all 3rd graders are given a writing test that would be considered a district-wide assessment. If all 8th graders must take a career aptitude test, that would be considered a district-wide assessment.
The alternate assessment provides a mechanism for students, including those with the most significant cognitive disabilities, to be assessed on the same content standards as all students.
Alternate Assessments tests grade level concepts that align with district standards but are reduced in complexity. For example, the fifth graders are being tested about the solar system, a student taking an alternate assessment may be asked to label or identify sun, earth and moon when presented with a model of the solar system while his classmates have to identify all the planets and list characteristics of each one.
|IEP Team Members||
This decision has to be made at every IEP meeting by the IEP Team.
|Determine district-wide assessment participation||
The decision regarding how a student participates in district-wide assessment should be based on whether:
The participation in district-wide assessment decision should not be based on such things as:
|Documentation on the IEP||
The IEP Team should start with the assumption that the student will participate in the district-wide assessment.
Discuss the following:
Accommodations do not change the kind of achievement being measured, but they change how the achievement is measured. If chosen appropriately, an accommodation will neither provide too much or too little help to the student who receives it." (Test Coordinator Guide for The Iowa Tests)
Accommodations provided to a student during districtwide assessments must be the same as the accommodations provided for classroom assessment; a new accommodation is not to be introduced solely for use during districtwide assessments.
Accommodations are intended to reduce or even eliminate the effects of a student's disabilities and level the playing field for the student.
The IEP should use Steps Two (Learn about accommodations for instruction and assessment) and Three (Select accommodations for instruction and assessment for individual students.) in the Iowa Guidelines for the Use of Accommodations during Instruction and District Wide Assessments for Students with Disabilities to determine the appropriate accommodations for the student.
Iowa Accommodations Guidelines Steps Two and Three
|Alternate Assessment Questions||
Why can't the individual participate in the general assessment? Examples:
Why is this alternate assessment appropriate for this student? Examples:
|Followup or Implementation of the IEP||
The educators should use Steps Four (Administer accommodations during instruction and assessment) and Five (Evaluate and Improve Accommodations Use) of the Iowa Guidelines for the Use of Accommodations during Instruction and District Wide Assessments for Students with Disabilities to assure that the selected accommodations are used appropriately and effectively.
Iowa Accommodations Guidelines Steps Four and Five