Alternate Assessment for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities: An Educator's Guide

Authors: Harold L. Kleinert, Jacqueline F. Kearns; Foreword Author: Daniel J. Wiener

Format: Paperback, 376 pages, 7.0 x 10.0
ISBN: 9781598570762
Price: $42.95

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To support K–12 students with significant disabilities and get an accurate picture of their skills and knowledge, schools need to implement effective alternate assessment based on alternate achievement standards (AA-AAS). This is the guidebook every team should have—not only to develop successful AA-AAS linked with grade-level content standards, but also to ensure the kind of quality instruction that leads to higher achievement.

The follow-up to Kleinert and Kearns's pioneering Alternate Assessment, this cutting-edge book synthesizes current research on AA-AAS and gives education professionals strategies for implementing assessments and improving instruction. With a strong focus on practical classroom application, the expert authors show readers how to

  • understand the key principles of alternate assessment, including validity, technical quality, and content standards
  • align instruction with assessment across major academic content areas: reading, math, science, and social studies
  • implement a clear four-step process to improve student access to the general curriculum
  • use multiple measures to ensure that assessments accurately reflect students' abilities
  • link IEPs with grade-level content standards
  • teach relevant functional and life skills within grade level content
  • build students' communicative competence to improve their educational outcomes
  • educate families about the purpose and content of alternate assessments
  • decode the federal mandates for alternate assessments and the most recent regulations
  • see how alternate assessment works in the context of a school's broader accountability system

To help educators ensure a high-quality inclusive education for students with disabilities, the authors include detailed, step-by-step examples of modified lessons in math, reading, science, and social studies. Readers will see how instruction and assessment can be adapted for students of all ages with a wide range of abilities and communication needs.

The definitive resource on AA-AAS—and an essential supplementary text for future general and special educators—this book will make alternate assessment meaningful and lead the way to higher academic achievement for students with significant disabilities.


Review: Research & Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities
"Succeeds in addressing some of the most difficult questions in special education in accessible language...both useful and thoughtful and will likely be highlighted, earmarked, and heavily relied upon by many educators and students of education."
Review by: Erik Carter, Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison
"A thoughtful, thorough, and timely guide to the design and implementation of high-quality alternate assessment . . . reflects high expectations for what students with severe disabilities can and should learn."
Review by: Fred Spooner, Department of Special Education, and Child Development, College of Education, University of North Carolina, Charlotte
"A great resource for the people on the front line of alternate assessment . . . will help teachers in the planning and implementation of daily instruction and alternate assessment methods."
Review by: Claudia Flowers, Professor of Educational Research, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
"Exemplifies the best thinking on making a positive impact with the academic development and assessment of students with intellectual disabilities."
Review by: Margaret J. McLaughlin, Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education, University of Maryland, College Park, MD.
"The content is without a doubt the most up-to-date and evidence based in the field. While descriptions of assessment concepts and strategies are excellent, so too are the chapters that detail how to provide instruction linked to grade level curricular standards."

Table of Contents

About the Authors


Foreword - Daniel J. Wiener



I. An Overview of Alternate Assessment

  1. An Introduction to Alternate Assessments: Historical Foundations, Essential Parameters, and Guiding Principles
    Harold L. Kleinert, Rachel Quenemoen, & Martha Thurlow

  2. Principles and Practices for Achievement Assessments in School Accountability Systems
    Jacqui Farmer Kearns

  3. Students in the AA-AAS and the Importance of Communicative Competence
    Jane O'Regan Kleinert, Jacqui Farmer Kearns, & Harold L. Kleinert

  4. Aligning Curriculum with Grade-Specific Content Standards: Using Eight Criteria to Create Access
    Shawnee Y. Wakeman, Diane M. Browder, Bree A. Jimenez, & Pamela J. Mims

II. Teaching and Assessing Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities

  1. Ensuring Access: A Four-Step Process for Accessing the General Curriculum
    Michael Burdge, Jean Clayton, Anne Denham, & Karin K. Hess

  2. Reading Instruction and Assessment Linked to Grade-Level Standards
    Lynn Ahlgrim-Delzell, Robert J. Rickelman, & Jean Clayton

  3. Math Instruction and Assessment Linked to Grade-Level Standards
    Lou-Ann Land, David K. Pugalee, Anne Denham, & Harold L. Kleinert

  4. Science Instruction and Assessment Linked to Grade Level Standards
    Ginevra Courtade, Deborah A. Taub, & Michael Burdge

  5. Social Studies and the Arts Instruction and Assessment Linked to Grade-Level Standards
    Karen M. Guettler, Jacqueline M. Norman, James Zeller, & Mariel L. Zeller

III. Enhancing Student Outcomes: The Role of Students and Families, and Directions for Future Research

  1. Embedding Life Skills, Self-Determination, and Enhancing Social Relationships and Other Evidence-Based Practices
    Harold L. Kleinert, Belva C. Collins, Donna Wickham, Leah Riggs, & Karen D. Hager

  2. Alternate Assessments, Families, and the Individualized Education Program
    Jacqui Farmer Kearns & Rachel Quenemoen

  3. What We Have Learned from Alternate Assessment Research and What We Still Need to Know
    Harold L. Kleinert & Elizabeth Towles-Reeves

Appendix: Blank Forms


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