What is alternate assessment and why do we need to learn about it? Every state is working to know the answer both to comply with federal requirements for evaluating students with severe cognitive disabilities, and to ensure that all students reach their full potential. This comprehensive book is the first to gather today s best knowledge about alternate assessments so professionals can act quickly to shape the future of this rapidly developing field. An urgently needed resource for assessment developers, researchers, policy makers, special education directors, and students in graduate-level courses in both special education and assessment, this book is a rigorous investigation of the challenges, recent successes, and key components of assessing alternate achievement standards. Readers will start with the foundational knowledge they need for effective development and implementation. They ll learn how to determine which students should take alternate achievement standards assessments, what these assessments should measure, how to align assessments with state standards, and how to set standards for and evaluate the success of these unique assessments. Diverse examples of programs from seven states complete with insightful commentary from the experts behind the programs give readers an inside look at approaches such as skills checklists, portfolios, and performance tasks. Today s most prominent experts come together to give readers clear direction for future efforts. Developers and evaluators will discover what new knowledge they should expand in the next few years, and they ll get specific take away ideas they can use to ensure validity, reliability, and documented success in alternate assessments. With this big picture examination of one of the most critical new topics in education, researchers and practitioners will work together toward alternate assessments that accurately pinpoint the strengths and needs of students with severe cognitive disabilities so their teachers can help improve academic outcomes for all students.
352 pages. 2009