Alternate Assessments Based on Alternate Achievement Standards: Policy, Practice, and Potential

Volume Editors: William D. Schafer, Robert W. Lissitz Ph.D.; Foreword Author: Martha L. Thurlow Ph.D.

Format: Paperback, 408 pages, 6.0 x 9.0
ISBN: 9781598570373
Price: $44.95

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What really works in alternate assessment based on alternate achievement standards? Every state is working to know the answer—both to comply with federal requirements for evaluating students with severe cognitive disabilities, and to ensure that all students reach their full potential. This comprehensive book is the first to gather today's best knowledge about alternate assessments so professionals can act quickly to shape the future of this rapidly developing field.

An urgently needed resource for assessment developers, researchers, policy makers, special education directors, and students in graduate-level courses in both special education and assessment, this book is a rigorous investigation of the challenges, recent successes, and key components of assessing alternate achievement standards. Top assessment experts show readers

  • What we know about alternate assessments. Readers will start with the foundational knowledge they need for effective development and implementation. They'll learn how to determine which students should take alternate achievement standards assessments, what these assessments should measure, how to align assessments with state standards, and how to set standards for and evaluate the success of these unique assessments.
  • What's working today in states across the country. Diverse examples of programs from seven states—complete with insightful commentary from the experts behind the programs—give readers an inside look at approaches such as skills checklists, portfolios, and performance tasks. Includes in-depth information on program development and technical data.
  • What we need to know going forward. Today's most prominent experts come together to give readers clear direction for future efforts. Developers and evaluators will discover what new knowledge they should expand in the next few years, and they'll get specific take-away ideas they can use to ensure validity, reliability, and documented success in alternate assessments.

With this big-picture examination of one of the most critical new topics in education, researchers and practitioners will work together toward alternate assessments that accurately pinpoint the strengths and needs of students with severe cognitive disabilities—so their teachers can help improve academic outcomes for all students.


Review by: Gregory J. Cizek, Professor of Educational Measurement and Evaluation, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
"With its wealth of information about current practices across numerous states and the thought-provoking issues for the future raised by the authors, I believe that this book will immediately become the go-to resource for information about alternate assessments."
Review by: Sheryl Lazarus, National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO), University of Minnesota
"A groundbreaking text by the leading experts on alternate assessments based on alternate achievement standards."
Review by: Patricia Almond, Courtesy Research Associate, Center for Advanced Technology in Education, University of Oregon
"Some of the best knowledge in the country on this topic . . . The principal issues and concerns raised over the last decade are addressed and thoughtfully considered."

Table of Contents

About the Editors

About the Contributors

Foreword: Martha L. Thurlow


Section I: Conceptualizing Alternate Assessment

Chapter 1: Who Are the Children Who Take Alternate Achievement Standards Assessments?
Jacqueline F. Kearns, Elizabeth Towles-Reeves, Harold L. Kleinert, & Jane Kleinert

Chapter 2: Understanding the Construct to Be Assessed
Stephen N. Elliott

Chapter 3: Sampling the Domain for Evidence of Achievement
Gerald Tindal

Chapter 4: Public Policy and the Development of Alternate Assessments for Students with Cognitive Disabilities
Susan L. Rigney

Chapter 5: Alignment of Alternate Assessments with State Standards
Diane M. Browder, Shawnee Wakeman, & Claudia Flowers

Chapter 6: Conceptualizing and Setting Performance Standards for Alternate Assessments
Steve Ferrara, Suzanne Swaffield, & Lorin Mueller

Chapter 7: An Introduction to Validity Arguments for Alternate Assessments
Scott F. Marion & Marianne Perie

Chapter 8: The Long and Winding Road of Alternate Assessments: Where We Started, Where We Are Now, and the Road Ahead
Rachel F. Quenemoen

Section II: Alternate Assessment in Action

Chapter 9: Assessing All Students in Connecticut
Peter Behuniak & Joseph Amenta

Chapter 10: Georgia Alternate Assessment: A Portfolio Assessment for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities
Melissa Fincher & Claudia Flowers

Chapter 11: The Alternate Maryland School Assessment
Sharon E. Hall, Martin D. Kehe, & William D. Schafer

Chapter 12: Alternate Assessment in Massachusetts: Approaches and Validity
Daniel J. Wiener & Charles A. DePascale

Chapter 13: The Mississippi Alternate Assessment of Extended Curriculum Frameworks: Purpose, Procedures, and Validity Evidence Summary
Stephen N. Elliott, Andrew T. Roach, Kristopher J. Kaase, & Ryan J. Kettler

Chapter 14: Test Design and Validation of Inferences for the Oregon Alternate Assessment
Dianna Carrizales & Gerald Tindal

Chapter 15: The South Carolina Alternate Assessment
Lorin Mueller, Steve Ferrara, Suzanne Swaffield, & Douglas G. Alexander

Section III: The Future of Alternate Assessment

Chapter 16: Considering the Consequences of Alternative Assessments
Peter Behuniak

Chapter 17: Which Came FirstThe Curriculum or the Assessment?
Diane M. Browder, Shawnee Wakeman, & Claudia Flowers

Chapter 18: Key Issues in the Use of Alternate Assessments: Closing Comments to Open More Discussion and Exploration of Solutions
Stephen N. Elliott

Chapter 19: Psychometric Rigor for Alternate Assessments: For the Sake of Interpretation, Not Rigor
Steve Ferrara

Chapter 20: Does the Emperor Have New Clothes?
Claudia Flowers

Chapter 21: Assessment Population: Implications for the Validity Evaluation
Jacqueline F. Kearns & Elizabeth Towles-Reeves

Chapter 22: Some Key Considerations for Test Evaluators and Developers
Scott F. Marion

Chapter 23: Toward a Straighter Road
Rachel F. Quenemoen

Chapter 24: How Should States Move Forward?
Susan L. Rigney

Chapter 25: Principles Unique to Alternate Assessments
William D. Schafer

Chapter 26: Reflections on the Alternate Assessment in Oregon
Gerald Tindal

Chapter 27: Essential Truths About Alternate Assessments
Daniel J. Wiener


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