Issues and considerations in alternate assessments

  • Ysseldyke J
  • Olsen K
  • Thurlow M
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Accountability systems that include all students must have a way to measure the performance of students who cannot be assessed through typical testing procedures. Alternate assessments are designed to meet this need, which is estimated to apply to approximately 1 to 1-1/2% of the student population. There are many issues that need to be considered as states and districts begin to design and implement alternate assessments. Thirteen issues described and discussed in this report are: Issue 1: Eligibility–Who Takes Alternate Assessments? Issue 2: Who Makes Eligibility Decisions? Issue 3: How Do We Maintain a Unified Educational System? Issue 4: How Do We Avoid Overuse of Alternate Assessments? Issue 5: How Do We Assess in Reliable and Valid Ways? Issue 6: Should Data be Aggregated or Reported Separately? Issue 7: How Should Results be Communicated? Issue 8: Linkage: Do We Test What We Teach, and Do Students Have an Opportunity to Learn What We Test? Issue 9: What are the Cost Benefits? Issue 10: How Will Data be Collected? Issue 11: What Kind(s) of Data are to be Collected? Issue 12: How Do We Maintain Confidentiality? Issue 13: How Do We Ensure that School Personnel are Trained to Administer, Score, Interpret and Use the Results of Alternate Tests? [Executive Summary from Authors]

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  • James E. Ysseldyke

  • Ken Olsen

  • Martha Thurlow

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