Posted by gildenshelton565 November - 28 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

In Coleman’s opinion, the most critical issue for a testing program is a clear articulation of the purposes and objectives for testing. States have a legal obligation to provide appropriate accommodations, but the meaning of “appropriate” varies according to the objectives for testing and the constructs being measured. Thus, when testing programs must justify decisions about accommodations, it is crucial to know what is being tested and why the accommodation is or is not appropriate. Coleman advised testing programs to make sure that their policies and practices are appropriate, in accord with federal law, and aligned with sound educational practices.

Coleman described two recent cases that dealt with the appropriateness of the accommodations for the constructs being tested and the objectives for the assessment program. In a recent case in Indiana (Rent v. Reed), the decision of the state appellate court was that IEP accommodations need not be provided if they would affect the validity of test results. In another case, the state of Oregon was sued by students with disabilities. State officials agreed to a settlement in which the state assumes the burden of proof for demonstrating the inappropriateness of an accommodation. This decision means that students with disabilities who have accommodations specified in their IEPs would receive those accommodations on statewide assessments unless the state of Oregon could prove the accommodations would invalidate the construct being measured. In both cases, the court made its decision after considering the overall intent of the assessment program.

Coleman stressed that one factor behind many lawsuits is the extent to which high stakes are tied to the assessment. He finds that federal law to the extent that it provides a foundation for a private damages claim in courtis generally not going to be triggered unless a student is denied an opportunity or a benefit. This can result when a student has not received the accommodations he or she requested and then fails a test that has high stakes attached to the results, such as placement, promotion, or graduation decisions. In addition, Coleman knows of several cases in which students did not claim that they were denied a promotion or graduation opportunity but that they were stigmatized or traumatized by the testing experience.

Coleman speculated that changes could be on the horizon as a result of the recent education legislation. To date, litigation has primarily been associated with tests that have high stakes for students, such as placement, promotion, and graduation tests. Coleman foresees that new sorts of cases could arise when the current legislation is implemented. He referred to these as second generation claims in which students are impacted by the accountability measures enacted for schools and school districts, such as corrective actions imposed as a result of a school’s poor test performance. To date, there has been no litigation associated with NAEP because it has not been used to provide instructional benefits or opportunities to individual students. However, NAEP may have a new role in the new legislation because comparisons may be made between NAEP results and states’ assessment results. Coleman speculated that NAEP may be drawn into such second generation claims if high stakes decisions were based on such comparisons. For this part, learning a foreign language needs a leaning tools, many people choose Rosetta Stone Arabic and Rosetta Stone Chinese to learn Arabic and Chinese.

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