In November of 2016, NYS Education Department issued a memo to all NYS school districts allowing the testing accommodation “tests read” for tests of reading beginning in the 2017 testing season based on students IEPs and 504s. As school districts make decisions for their students, interpretation and usage of the memo and the need for the accommodation becomes subjective. Research has demonstrated that this decision-making process is neither standardized nor objective. Because of the emphasis on “high-stakes testing” and mandates that SWD be included in assessments used for accountability, research such as this is important for driving testing policy and for IEP and 504 decision making.
The difference in usage of this specific testing accommodation among school districts, categorized into regions, was investigated. This was analyzed using an ANOVA to check for difference among regions across New York State. In addition, the impact on overall student outcomes was analyzed to determine if school districts that are more likely to allow the accommodation are impacting the outcomes for students with disabilities (SWD). The student level data were analyzed using the Kruskal-Wallis, which is used for a single ordinate independent variable (proficiency level). The November 2016 memo was applicable to the last two years of testing (2017 and 2018). This research used the 2017and 2018 test scores for 4th grade SWDs who used the accommodation “tests read” on the 4th Grade NYS Common Core ELA Exam. Finally, a qualitative analysis of Special Education Administrators’ survey responses about testing accommodation professional development, assignment considerations and purpose was performed.
Results from the analyses indicate a difference did exist among regions of NYS regarding the use of the “tests read” accommodation on the NYS 4th Grade ELA Exam (F(9, 173) = 6.08, p < .001) and on the outcomes among regions for the SWD populations using the accommodation among regions in NYS (χ2(9) = 29.78, p < .001). When asked about the consideration for assigning this accommodation, many special education school district leaders report “to level the playing field” rather than access, and there was a lack of knowledge and/or reported use of state issued guidelines and “Decision Making Tool” as well as a lack of training for teachers on the tool and accommodations in general.
|Commitee:||Cho, Seokhee, Gil, Elizabeth|
|School:||St. John's University (New York)|
|Department:||SoE Educational Administration and Supervision|
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||DAI-A 81/7(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Education Policy, Special education, Educational tests & measurements, Educational evaluation, Educational administration, Elementary education|
|Keywords:||ELA, Special Education, Special education administrator, Testing accommodations, Testing outcomes, Tests read, High stakes testing|
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