The Standards and Assessments Peer Review– Pg 4
Reading/language arts and Mathematics: Achievement standards for each of grades 3-8 and 10-12 grade range.
Formal adoption/approval of challenging academic achievement standards for all public schools and students in the state is required by 2005-2006. Provide evidence such as state statutes, regulations, State Board minutes or if approved by Chief State School Officer, written documentation of formal approval. The evidence requirement also applies to any revision of cut scores and levels. The evidence must specifically state that the standards apply to all students, unless alternate achievement standards have been developed for students with the most severe cognitive disabilities. In this case, include the formal adoption/approval of the alternate achievement standards.
Science: Achievement standards for each of the grade spans 3-5, 6-9, and 10-12.
The standards must apply to all public schools and students in the state. As with reading/language arts and mathematics, achievement descriptors for science are due by 2005 – 2006. However, cut scores for science are not due until 2007-08. Provide evidence such as state statutes, regulations, or State Board minutes. The evidence requirement also applies to any revision of cut scores and levels. The evidence must specifically state that the standards apply to all students, unless alternate achievement standards have been developed for students with the most severe cognitive disabilities. If these are under development, describe the development process and timelines.
Reading/language arts, Mathematics and Science: Alternate achievement standards for students with the most severe cognitive disabilities (if alternate achievement standards have not been developed then the alternate assessment must be based on grade level achievement standards).
Alternate achievement standards must be:
- aligned with the State’s academic content standards,
- promote access to the general curriculum and
- reflect professional judgment of the highest achievement standards possible.
Provide evidence such as how the alternate standards were defined and how they are linked to grade level content.
The Academic and Alternate achievement standards must include:
- at least 3 levels (2 indicating high achievement and 1 indicating basic achievement);
- descriptions that clearly define the competencies associated with each level;
- cut scores that differentiate between the levels; and
- rationale and procedures used to determine the levels.
The submission must include all four criteria. As evidence, provide official summary reports and documentation of the process (including how impact data was considered).
In addition, for alternate achievement standards the state must document that it has:
- implemented guidelines for IEP teams to apply in deciding when an individual student should be assessed on the basis of alternate achievement standards;
- ensured that parents are informed when a child’s achievement will be based on alternate achievement standards and any possible consequences imposed by the LEA or State;
- reported separately the number and percent of those students with disabilities assessed against alternate achievement standards, those assessed on an alternate assessment against grade-level standards, and those included in the regular assessment (including those administered with appropriate accommodations);
- documented that students with the most significant cognitive disabilities are included in the general curriculum to the extent possible;
- taken steps to promote use of appropriate accommodations for students tested against grade-level standards; and
- provided information for teachers and other staff regarding appropriate test administration practices, including use of accommodations for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.
The submission must include all six criteria. As evidence, provide official summary reports, documentation of the processes (including the involvement of parents in decision making), guidelines for the use of the alternate assessment, training materials and sample test reports.
The academic and alternate achievement standards must be aligned with the content standards.
The achievement standards should fully reflect the content standards for each required grade and describe the content based expectations each achievement level represents. Provide the descriptions of the process used to develop the levels, descriptions and cut scores and how the state assures itself that alignment is present.
The development of achievement standards must involve diverse stakeholders.
The development of achievement standards must involve a broad range of stakeholders that reflect the diversity and needs of students in the state. Provide descriptions of the group compositions; minutes or summaries from public hearings and/or public reviews; and reports which indicate the degree of involvement. Special attention should be made to include individuals knowledgeable of and concerned about the various categories of special needs students.