Accommodating tests

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Assessment Accommodations [Teacher Tools] [Case Studies] Including All Students in State and District Assessments Assessments for accountability are required by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, and participation in assessments, with accommodations as necessary, is required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1997.

The purpose of these assessments is to show the progress of a school toward proficiency on state academic content standards.

In state policies, a variety of terms are used to indicate whether a change in test materials or procedures is considered to be "okay" or "not okay" - i.e., to produce "valid" or "not valid" scores.

More importantly, a picture of the assessment results for all of the students in a school shows where there is strength and where improvement is needed.

An emphasis on improvement might not take place without illuminating where students are having the most difficulty.

For example, only one state continues to use the term "modification" to indicate a test change that produces valid scores.

Most states' policies distinguish between test changes that are viewed as "okay" and those that are viewed as "not okay." The terms that states used to reflect this distinction include: Familiarity with state policy on accommodations is essential.

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