NCEO Publishes and Presents on Accommodations and Assessments

Thu Jun 21 2018
Logo of the National Center on Educational Outcomes.

Assessments (i.e., tests) are an integral part of today's educational system, for informing instruction and for documenting the achievement of students and groups of students. For decades, ICI's National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO) has been a national leader in documenting the accessibility and accommodations of state tests, as well as exploring the challenges that educators face in making decisions about appropriate accessibility and accommodations, and in providing suggestions for addressing those challenges. "For students with disabilities and English learners, appropriate accessibility and accommodations are an important part of ensuring that students are able to show what they know and can do," says NCEO director Martha Thurlow.This spring/summer, NCEO is publishing and presenting on two of its core research areas: accommodations and assessments. In May, the center's Data Informed Accessibility -- Making Optimal Needs-based Decisions (DIAMOND) project published Educators' Perspectives on Classroom Implementation of Accessibility Features and Accommodations (see "New Releases" section below), a report written by Deb Albus, Thurlow, Kristin Liu, Sheryl Lazarus, and Erik Larson. Further, during this month and in early July, NCEO staff present on accommodations and assessments at conferences in California and Canada:

  • On June 26, NCEO and the Assessing Special Education Students State Collaborative on Assessment and Student Standards host a pre-session at the National Conference on Student Assessment (NCSA) in San Diego titled, "Speech to Text and Scribing -- Getting a Handle on What it Means." This NCSA pre-session will bring together states, assessment vendors, and other educational stakeholders to clarify implementation of speech-to-text and scribe accessibility features and accommodations. During instruction, all students commonly use speech to text on their phones, so it is becoming an issue in testing.

  • On June 27-29, NCEO staff members participate in several sessions at the 2018 NCSA in San Diego. This conference is the premiere forum for assessment practitioners to discuss what is happening in the real world of educational assessment -- what is new, what is going on at the state and federal level, what works, and what doesn't.

  • On July 3, Yi-Chen Wu, Thurlow, and Larson will present on research from the DIAMOND project at the International Test Commission conference in Montreal. Wu and Martha Thurlow will present, "Who is Benefiting from Increased Access to Large Scale Assessments?" Larson and Thurlow will present, "Educator Perspectives on Assessment Accessibility Features and Accommodations."