Include Matrix for Assessment Accommodations/Modifications
Refer back to list of “best teacher” characteristics
Show Fat City video
Add accommodation page from IEP
Show Fat City video
Accommodation: student uses a calculator to compute the volumes, needs a copy of notes during instruction. Modification: Based on the specific need of the student! Simplify – student can only calculate volume, or a really low level example would be for a student with LIF to be able to describe the attributes of prisms, pyramids, cylinders, etc.
Key points Be cautious of discrepancies between student grades, achievement Consider remediation, reassessments in place of extra-credit assignments Promote differentiated instruction so all students gain equal access to content Prevent perception of grade inflation in inclusive classrooms The National Center for Education Statistics reported earlier this year that the overall grade-point average for high school students rose by a third to 2.89, or a B letter grade, from its average of 2.68 in 1990. Although NCES attributed the rise, in part, to higher student achievement, the federal agency also cited grade inflation as a reason for the increase. Accusations of grade inflation can create legal problems for your special education department. Two cases against the Mountain Lakes (N.J.) Board of Education , for example, included charges that the grades of students with disabilities were inflated in mainstream classes so that they could be passed through the school system without regard to FAPE (J.A. and J.A. ex rel. B.A. v. Mountain Lakes Bd. of Educ., 46 IDELR 164 (U.S. District Court, New Jersey, 2006) and Mountain Lakes Board of Education, 106 LRP 4782 (SEA NJ, 2005)). In both cases, the ruling stated no evidence of grade inflation existed. However, you can protect your special education department from similar accusations by monitoring objective assessment data for discrepancies between student grades and achievement. You also must be prepared to answer accusations with concrete examples of equal instruction and assessment. &quot;Grade inflation is a subjective comment, so our district is very diligent about student data, looking for anything that is out of sync,&quot; said Connie Lewis , special education supervisor at the Mt. Lebanon (Pa.) School District . &quot;Grades are validated by state testing, and these numbers create an ongoing discussion with principals and teachers for instruction decisions and teacher training.&quot; ________________________________________________________________ Special Ed Connection® related stories: Reports: NCLB must not lower expectations for students with special needs (June 20) Keep student perceptions in mind when plotting inclusive co-taught classrooms (Feb. 7 ) ________________________________________________________________ Administrators with Montgomery (Md.) County Public Schools also keep a close eye on objective assessments to identify any discrepancies between student achievement and grades, according to Gwendolyn Mason , director for the department of special education services. High grades and low testing scores could signal grade inflation. &quot;Each school within MCPS has structured data monitoring teams that include general and special education representatives who examine the progress of all students,&quot; she said. Avoid problem practices Even if your district constantly monitors objective exams for evidence of grade inflation, you also should seek to avoid common educational practices that have come under fire. They include: Inflating grades because of pressure from parents who want to see their children pass classes alongside their same-age peers. Sherri Buss Rawlins , director of the Harvey County Special Education Cooperative in Newton (Kan.) Public Schools , recommended that you shift attention away from letter grades and more toward mastery of particular content or skills when discussing academic performance with parents. &quot;The parents of students we serve are more concerned about the learning that is taking place,&quot; she said. &quot;I seldom have a parent come to me with a concern about a specific grade.&quot; Inflating grades via extra-credit assignments. &quot;We have no data that support a presumption that extra credit is being used to inflate grades in the district,&quot; Rawlins said. However, MCPS eliminated extra-credit assignments from all of its schools when the district switched to standards-based grading and reporting five years ago. &quot;All students have the opportunity to be re-taught and reassessed under the new grading system,&quot; Mason said, instead of being given extra-credit assignments to make up for poor performance on homework or an exam. Failing to provide reasonable accommodations in accordance with the IEP. &quot;I can't imagine anyone objecting to a wheelchair, Braille text, or amplification device as 'unfair' for students to have,&quot; Rawlins said. &quot;So why is it not acceptable to make some adjustments for a child who has a neurological disability or a chemical imbalance?&quot; The key is to make sure that accommodations are provided in accordance with students' IEPs, Mason said, so that students with disabilities have access to the general education environment to the maximum extent appropriate without giving them an &quot;unfair&quot; advantage. Failing to make use of differentiated instructional strategies and co-teaching. Differentiated instructional strategies should provide evidence that all students have access to the curriculum, and should eliminate the accusation that grades for special education students are in any way skewed to their advantage. Janet Niedzwicki , an inclusion specialist with Mt. Lebanon, said she believes differentiated instruction in inclusive classrooms can eliminate grade inflation because &quot;the equal opportunities to participate benefit all students.&quot;
Accommodations vs. modifications
Choosing & UsingAccommodations Grades 3-12 How to Select, Administer, and Evaluate Use of Accommodations for Instruction and Assessment of Students with Disabilities
OUTCOMES for this session:1. Expose students with disabilities to grade level academic content standards2. Learn about accommodations and modifications for instruction and assessment3. Select accommodations and/or modifications for individual students4. Administer accommodations and/or modifications during instruction and assessment5. Evaluate and improve accommodation and/or modification use
Accommodations or Modifications? Modifications Accommodations Do NOT fundamentally alter or DO fundamentally alter or lower expectations or standards in lower expectations or standards instructional level, content, or in instructional level, content, or performance criteria. performance criteria. Provide student meaningful and Provide equal ACCESS to productive learning experiences learning and equal based on individual needs and OPPORTUNITY to demonstrate abilities. what is learned Grading and credit is the Grading and credit are SAME as typical students DIFFERENT
Outcome 1Expose students with disabilities to grade level academic content standards
STUDENT PARTICIPATION INASSESSMENTS The participation of students with disabilities in assessments is required by the following federal and state laws: – No Child Left Behind (NCLB) – Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA) – California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE)
ASSESSMENTS FORACCOUNTABILITY Assessments for Accountability help to measure: – How successful schools are in including all students in standards-based education – How well students are achieving standards – What needs to be improved for specific groups of students
INCLUDE ALL STUDENTS ININSTRUCTION AND ASSESSMENTS To include all students in standards-based instruction and assessments: – Provide accommodations/modifications during instruction and assessment to increase access – Use alternate assessments for students with significant cognitive disabilities (CAPA)
PRIMARY CONSIDERATIONS1. Teachers qualified to teach content areas and who know how to differentiate instruction for diverse learners2. IEPs that provide specialized instruction (e.g., reading strategies, study skills)3. Accommodations and modifications which increase access to instruction and assessment
Accommodations ORModifications? Accommodations do not reduce learning expectations. They provide access. Modifications or alterations refer to practices that change, lower, or reduce learning expectations.
Examples of Modifications Requiring a student to learn less material than is required to meet grade level standards Reducing assignments so a student only needs to complete the easiest problems or items Revising assessments to make them easier or change the content being assessed Giving a student hints or clues to correct responses on assignments and tests
EQUAL ACCESS TO GRADE LEVELCONTENT THROUGHACCOMMODATIONS Remember that equal access to grade level content is the goal Every IEP team member must be familiar with state and district content standards and where to locate standards and updates Collaboration between general and special educators is key
BENEFITS OF COLLABORATION Definition: General and special education staff working as a team for the benefit of students with disabilities Promotes understanding of general and special education staff roles and responsibilities
COLLABORATION Provides opportunities to gain new skills (e.g., general educator’s knowledge of content—special educator’s knowledge of specialized instructional techniques) Serves as a support building process that fosters the creation of a collaborative school culture
ROLES IN COLLABORATION Who are the stakeholders? How often do they meet? Who is responsible for generating materials? Who implements each accommodation? Who is responsible for collecting data on the use of the accommodation? What are the agreed upon standards for grading the student?
Outcome 2 Learn about accommodations and modifications for instruction and assessment
ACCOMMODATIONS Definition: Accommodations are practices and procedures in the areas of presentation, response, setting, and timing/scheduling that provide equitable instructional and assessment access for students with disabilities. Accommodations reduce or eliminate the effects of a student’s disability and do not reduce learning expectations.
ACCOMMODATIONS APPLICATIONS The use of accommodations is linked through each of these areas: Classroom instruction Classroom State & district assessments assessments Content standards
ACCOMMODATIONS CATEGORIES Presentation Accommodations – Allow students to access information in ways that do not require them to visually read standard print. These alternate modes of access are auditory, multi-sensory, tactile, and visual. – Example – book on tape for a literature assignment.
ACCOMMODATIONS CATEGORIES Response Accommodations – Allow students to complete assignments, tests, and activities in different ways or to solve or organize problems using some type of assistive device or organizer. – Example – use of calculator, fill in the blank instead of essay.
ACCOMMODATIONS CATEGORIES Setting Accommodations – Change the location in which a test or assignment is given or the conditions of the assessment setting. – Example – let the student take the test in tutorial or a learning strategies class.
ACCOMMODATIONS CATEGORIES Timing/Scheduling Accommodations – Increase the allowable length of time to complete a test or assignment and may also change the way the time is organized. – Example – the student works for a specified period of time and then takes a short break. – Example – student is given a specified extended amount of time to complete an assignment or test.
Modification/AccommodationSorting Activity In small groups, identify the listed items as: – ACCOMMODATIONS – MODIFICATIONS Discuss what characteristics each group has in common
Case Carrier Responsibilities forAccommodations/Modifications,Assessments and Grading Share information with team Clarify difference between accommodations/modifications with team members Ensure accommodations and modifications are specifically documented on the IEP at the annual IEP Share with team at the beginning of marking period both what accommodations/modifications will be used and how student will be graded
Outcome 3Select accommodations and modifications for instruction and assessment
DocumentingAccommodations/Modifications Need to be specifically identified in the accommodations/modifications section Share with each person responsible for instructing the student Verify whether accommodations or modifications were used with staff at progress reporting periods
WHAT DOESN’T WORK Checking off every accommodation available on the IEP form, hoping “something” will work Adding accommodations to an IEP for state assessments when the student does not use the accommodation on a regular basis for instruction and assessment Unspecified timing and scheduling Lack of communication with staff
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER FOR USEOF ACCOMMODATIONS What are the student’s learning strengths and needs? How does the student’s learning needs affect the achievement of grade level content standards?
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER What specialized instruction (e.g., learning strategies, organizational skills, reading skills) does the student need to achieve grade level content standards? What accommodations will increase the student’s access to instruction and assessment by reducing the effects of the disability?
REVIEW CURRENTACCOMMODATIONS What accommodations are currently used by the student during instruction and for assessments? What are results for assignments and assessments when accommodations were used and not used? Are there effective combinations of accommodations?
REVIEW CURRENTACCOMMODATIONS What difficulties did student experience when using accommodations? What is student’s perception of how well accommodations “worked”? What are perceptions of parents, teachers and specialists about how well accommodations “worked”?
BASED ON THIS REVIEW Decide whether the student should – Continue using an accommodation “as is” – Use an accommodation with changes – Have an accommodation discontinued
OF THE ACCOMMODATIONS THAT MATCHTHE STUDENT’S NEEDS, CONSIDER: The student’s willingness to learn to use the accommodation Opportunities to learn how to use the accommodation in classroom settings Conditions for use on state assessments
PLANNING USE OF NEWACCOMMODATIONS Plan how a student will learn to use each new accommodation Be certain there is sufficient time to learn to use instructional and assessment accommodations before test day Plan for the ongoing evaluation and improvement of accommodations use
INVOLVE STUDENTS Involve students in selecting, using, and evaluating accommodations The more input students have in selecting their accommodations, the more likely the accommodations will be used Students should see accommodations as adding value to their daily life—not only in school—but for postsecondary, career, and community life
Outcome 4Administer accommodations and modifications during instruction and assessment
COORDINATING THE LOGISTICS Accommodations and modifications during instruction Logistics of providing the accommodations/modifications must be mapped out Case carrier is responsible for coordinating assessment accommodations and modifications Prepare for the implementation of accommodations prior to, on, and after day of assessment
Tips for Using Accommodations &Modifications Before instruction – adapting lesson plans – adapting physical environment – preview content and access prior knowledge
Tips for Using Accommodations &Modifications During instruction – graphic organizers – adapting teaching techniques – adapting media – adapting the format of content
Tips for Using Accommodations &Modifications After instruction – study guides – assessment
Outcome 5 Evaluate and improve accommodations/modifications use
USING FORMATIVE EVALUATION Use formative evaluation to turn over useful information quickly to make improvements in accommodation use Useful information can be obtained from members of the IEP planning team— evaluation is a team effort Formative evaluation is based on the premise of using information for continuous improvement
QUESTIONS TO GUIDE EVALUATION What accommodations are used by the student during instruction and on assessments? What are the results of classroom assignments and assessments when accommodations are/are not used? If student not demonstrating expected performance level, did student have access to instruction in assessed content, receive accommodation, or was accommodation not effective?
QUESTIONS TO GUIDE EVALUATION What is the student’s perception of how well the accommodation “worked?” What seem to be effective “combinations” of accommodations? What are the difficulties encountered in the use of accommodations for a student? What are the perceptions of teachers and others about how the accommodation appears to be “working?”
TALKING TO PARENTS ABOUTCERTIFICATE & DIPLOMA Should begin BEFORE transition to high school Be data-driven and give examples Clearly explain diploma requirements Clearly explain what is gained in a certificate program One is not preferable to another; it is based on student needs and data
CONSIDERATIONS FORDETERMINING WHETHER A STUDENTRECEIVES A CERTIFICATE OR ADIPLOMA Nature of student’s disability Rate of past progress Grades and progress reports General education teacher input Use of accommodations and modifications, and evaluation of their effectiveness
Accommodations & Modifications:The Effect on Grading Accommodations allow students access to content AT GRADE LEVEL and students are still graded on grade level standards Modifications substantially alter or lower grade level standards, and students are graded alternatively according to their IEP
Accommodations/Modifications Continuum Enhancing Environmental Participation or Instructional & Guidance Difficulty Change Time No Functional support Curriculumrequired Individualized Quantity Alternate Reinforcers Input Goals Output Least Restrictive to Most Restrictive
Grading Curriculum Standards and ExpectationsThis studentmeets enough ‘D-’ Gradestandards topass the class. ‘C’ Grade ‘B’ Grade ‘A’ Grade
Grading Curriculum StandardsStudent who is and Expectationsnot able toachieve aminimum levelof proficiencyon standards ‘D-’ Grade ‘C’ Grade MODIFIED GRADE ‘B’ Grade ‘A’ Grade
Content Area Example: Math The “Modified Algebra” Exception Examples – Accommodation: student uses a calculator to compute volume of a prism; needs a copy of teacher/student notes during instruction – Modification: Simplified problems (one step problems, when the expectation is two or more) – Modifications must be based on the specific needs of the student!
Content Area Example: English Accommodation: – Student uses word processing device for essay instead of hand-writing it Modification: – Student produces shorter assignments on simplified topics
Content Area Example: Social Studies& Science Accommodation: – Student receives copy of teacher/student notes to enable them to listen fully to lecture – Oral test taking (without prompting for student responses) Modification: – Student receives simplified assignments – Removing two choices from multiple choice questions on tests or exams
Content Area Example: P.E., Health &Fine Arts Accommodations: – Oral test taking (without prompting for student responses) – Enlarging print on worksheets or assignments Modifications: – Expectation on project is lowered due to student’s fine motor difficulty
Students in “Pull-Out” SpecialEducation Classes Direct or Collaborative Classes – Are the expectations the same as general education for the grade level/content? Modified (NS and SH)– A “modified” course indicates that the standards have been fundamentally or substantially lowered as compared to their general education equivalents – Students should not be receiving diploma credit for taking “modified” courses because they haven’t met the minimum standards for passing the course
Problems with Grade Inflation Inflating grades because of pressure from parents who want to see their children pass classes alongside their same-age peers Inflating grades via extra-credit assignments Failing to provide reasonable accommodations in accordance with the IEP Failing to make use of differentiated instructional strategies and co-teaching
Grade Inflation High grades and low testing scores could signal grade inflation Be cautious of discrepancies between student grades and achievement Consider remediation, reassessments in place of extra-credit assignments Promote differentiated instruction so all students gain equal access to content
Grade Inflation Cases Two cases against Mountain Lakes Bd of Ed. in New Jersey Charges that the grades of students with disabilities were inflated in mainstream classes so that they could be passed through the school system without regard to FAPE
How do we prevent grade inflation? Monitor objective assessment data for discrepancies between student grades and achievement Be prepared with concrete examples of equal instruction and assessment