A r c h i v e d I n f o r m a t i o n
To Assure the Free Appropriate Public Education of all Children with Disabilities - 1995
Summary and Implications
The National Center on Educational Outcomes believes that there has been noticeable progress in assessing the results of education for students with disabilities. While complete national or State-level data on students with disabilities has not yet been collected, more valid information about how many students with disabilities actually participated in various assessments is being gathered. Also, more aggressive policies to facilitate the participation of more students with disabilities in assessments are being developed.
NCEO found that aggregating data on the educational results of students with disabilities into a composite picture of their status and performance is not yet feasible. The measures States use vary too much to allow such aggregation. In addition, States use different measures at different grade levels and in different content areas.
There continues to be considerable variability in State guidelines used to determine which students will participate in State-level assessments and what accommodations can be used. The variability is such that a student included in a State-level assessment in one State might be excluded in the next. An accommodation that is recommended in one State might be prohibited in another. NCEO believes that these kinds of inconsistencies can be lessened by developing consistent national guidelines.
In the opinion of the NCEO, the new types of assessments being developed or considered also highlight the importance of consistent national guidelines. States using non-traditional forms of assessment, such as performance, authentic, or portfolio assessment, tend to use the same approaches to including students with disabilities and making accommodations as they use in their traditional assessments. This occurs despite the opportunity to include students with disabilities in every aspect of new development activities such as item development, procedures, and options for accommodations.
NCEO believes that despite its shortcomings in the areas of data collection and accommodations, NALS is an example of a new commitment to inclusion of individuals with disabilities when conducting national educational data collection. The Center found even more encouraging NCES plans to include students with disabilities in the ECLS, provide them with needed accommodations, and consider the needs of these students in the initial stages of assessment development. Therefore, it is likely that national education data collections will soon provide more information on the performance of most students with disabilities in selected academic areas.
- Kirsch, I. S., Jungeblut, A., Jenkins, L., & Kolstad, A.(1993).
- Adult literacy in America:A first look at the results of the National Adult Literacy Survey. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics.
- Shriner, J. G., Spande, G. E., & Thurlow, M. L.(1994).
- State special education outcomes 1993. Minneapolis, MN: National Center on Educational Outcomes.
- Thurlow, M. L., Scott, D., & Ysseldyke, J.(1994a).
- Compilation of states' guidelines for accommodations in assessments for students with disabilities (Synthesis Report 18). Minneapolis, MN: National Center on Educational Outcomes.
- Thurlow, M. L., Scott, D., & Ysseldyke, J.(1994b).
- Compilation of states' guidelines for including students with disabilities in assessments (Synthesis Report 17). Minneapolis, MN: National Center on Educational Outcomes.
- Ysseldyke, J. E., Thurlow, M. L., McGrew, K. S., & Shriner, J. G.(1994).
- Recommendations for making decisions about the participation of students with disabilities in statewide assessment programs (Synthesis Report 15). Minneapolis, MN: National Center on Educational Outcomes.
- Ysseldyke, J. E., Thurlow, M. L., McGrew, K. S., & Vanderwood, M.(1994).
- Making decisions about the inclusion of students with disabilities in large-scale assessments (Synthesis Report 13). Minneapolis, MN: National Center on Educational Outcomes.
[Data From National Assessments]
[Financing Services for Students with Disabilities]