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Peabody Journal of Education, Volume 84, Issue 4, 2009

Special Issue on Alternate Assessments Based on Modified Academic Achievement Standards: New Policy, New Practices, and Persistent Challenges

 

In this fall edition, Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations presents an issue devoted to modified assessments for students with persistent academic challenges.  This "Special Issue on Alternate Assessments Based on Modified Academic Standards: New Policy, New Perspectives, and Persistent Challenges" addresses the implications of No Child Left Behind regulations for alternate assessments.  The PJE is proud to offer a forum for this discussion, as coordinated by guest editors Ryan J. Kettler and Stephen N. Elliott.  Dr. Kettler and Dr. Elliott have done a tremendous job at organizing this issue, bringing together assessment researchers, test developers, and policy analysts to consider the challenges for states as they revise alternate assessments.

Kettler and Elliott introduce the issue by first situating the policy context and defining alternate assessments based on modified academic standards (AA-MASs) according to federal regulations and guidelines.  Zigmond and Kloo then consider state-level decisions about how to determine the two percent of students whose performance may be measured using an alternate assessment, and how these decisions will affect states, schools, and IEP teams.  Lazarus and Thurlow examine existing policies that several states had in place, or were developing, at the time of the 2007 federal regulations regarding AA-MAS.  Roach and colleagues discuss issues of curricular access for students with disabilities, and further discuss the historical context of the "opportunity to learn" concept.  Next, Kettler, Elliott, and Beddow examine procedures for developing, modifying, and evaluating alternate assessment items and describe the Test Accessibility and Modification Inventory (TAMI), specifically.  Issues of test validity and reliability are discussed. The following article written by Egan, Ferrara, Schneider, and Barton addresses considerations for designing AA-MAS, especially in a way that ensures the target population is appropriately defined and fairly and accurately tested.  Finally, Palmer presents findings from a survey of 22 states in which decisions of whether or not to implement AA-MAS involve considerations of desire to improve accessibility for students, on the one hand, and resources, on the other.  Lastly, and at the request of this issue's guest editors, Susan Weigert and Michael Rodriguez individually give commentary and review the articles included within this special issue.  

The Peabody Journal of Education would like to extend our gratitude to Ryan Kettler and Stephen Elliott for organizing this excellent issue.  We are thankful as well to all the authors for their contributions, without which this special issue on AA-MAS would not have been possible.  We hope practitioners and researchers alike will find this discussion of the issues inherent in the design of AA-MAS insightful and useful. 

CONTENTS

Journal abstracts are linked to titles.

Introduction to the Special Issue on Alternate Assessments Based on Modified Academic Achievement Standards: New Policy, New Practices, and Persistent Challenges
Ryan J. Kettler and Stephen N. Elliott
Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, Vol. 84, No. 4: pages 467-477.

The "Two Percent Students": Considerations and Consequences of Eligibility Decisions
Naomi Zigmond and Amanda Kloo
Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, Vol. 84, No. 4: pages 478-495.

The Changing Landscape of Alternate Assessments Based on Modified Academic Achievement Standards: An Analysis of Early Adopters of AA-MASs
Sheryl S. Lazarus and Martha L. Thurlow
Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, Vol. 84, No. 4: pages 496-510.

Opportunities and Options for Facilitating and Evaluating Access to the General Curriculum for Students with Disabilities
Andrew T. Roach, E. Namisi Chilungu, Tamika P. LaSalle, Devadrita Talapatra, Matthew J. Vignieri, and Alexander Kurz
Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, Vol. 84, No. 4: pages 511-528.

Modified Achievement Test Items: A Theory-Guided and Data-Based Approach for Better Measurement of What Students with Disabilities Know
Ryan J. Kettler, Stephen N. Elliott, and Peter A. Beddow
Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, Vol. 84, No. 4: pages 529-551.

Writing Performance Level Descriptors and Setting Performance Standards for Assessments of Modified Achievement Standards: The Role of Innovation and Importance of Following Conventional Practice
Karla L. Egan, Steve Ferrara, M. Christina Schneider, and Karen E. Barton
Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, Vol. 84, No. 4: pages 552-577.

State Perspectives on Implementing, or Choosing Not to Implement, an Alternate Assessment based on Modified Academic Achievement Standards
Porter W. Palmer
Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, Vol. 84, No. 4: pages 578-584.

Perspectives on the Current State of Alternate Assessments based on Modified Academic Achievement Standards: Commentary on Peabody Journal of Education Special Issue
Susan Weigert
Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, Vol. 84, No. 4: pages 585-594.

Psychometric Considerations for Alternate Assessments Based on Modified Academic Achievement Standards
Michael C. Rodriguez
Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, Vol. 84, No. 4: pages 595-602.