beaton.doc - NAGB Conference on Increasing the Participation of SD and LEP Students in NAEP Commissioned Paper Synopsis The attached paper is one of a

beaton.doc - NAGB Conference on Increasing the...

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NAGB Conference on Increasing the Participation of SD and LEP Students in NAEP Commissioned Paper Synopsis The attached paper is one of a set of research-oriented papers commissioned by NAGB to serve as background information for the conference attendees. The authors bear sole responsibility for the factual accuracy of the information and for any opinions or conclusions expressed in the paper. Measuring the Performance of Students with Disabilities and English Language Learners in the National Assessment of Educational Progress Albert E. Beaton Boston College December 2003 The purpose of this paper is to stimulate discussion of how to measure the educational progress of SD and ELL students who are deemed unable to sit for the NAEP assessment, even with accommodations. Opinions about excluding students with severe disabilities vary substantially from: “testing these children is unsound and hurtful to students and their parents” to “these students must be tested because with no testing there would be not accountability and with no accountability there would be not teaching and no learning.” Different decisions about testing students with disabilities might alter test results and skew the measurement of growth with a state or the interpretation of differences among states. In the early days of NAEP when results were not reported by state, students who were not deemed testable were just not put on the roster of those who could be sampled for assessment. During the design changes of 1983–84, the procedure was changed so that all eligible students were placed on the sampling roster and ten untestable students were excluded. After the introduction of reporting and comparing NAEP results by state, the procedures were tightened up considerably. The problem of including all students comes from setting the same standards—one size fits all—for all students. The idea of a common curriculum with common tests for all students is unlikely to meet the also attractive goal of having every student doing the best that he or she can possibly do. Using the analogy of a marathon running race where prizes are awarded separately for men, women, men in wheelchairs, and women in wheelchairs, the author proposes that each student with and IEP should have clear and objectively measurable goals and that NAEP develop an assessment to measure progress on how well the students accomplish reasonably achievable goals. NAEP could also develop and administer to ELL students an English language acquisition test that is standardized and agreed upon by participating states. 1
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NAEP would administer the new assessment to a random sample of excluded students in each state. The results of this data gathering would be a report on the accomplishments of SD and ELL students. This report would include estimates of the size of the population each state and the types of conditions that make exclusion necessary. Most importantly, this report would contain estimates of how well these students were reaching their academic goals.
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