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PARCC Needs to Hear From You Re: Accomodations

Posted By Denise Marshall, COPAA, Thursday, January 31, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 31, 2013

Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC)

COPAA, through our participation in the Collaboration to Promote Self-Determination(CPSD) and Constortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), is submitting comment onPARCC's Draft Policies on Reading Access Accommodations & Calculator Accommodations for Students with Disabilities.

We need as many folks as possible to do so too BY FEBRUARY 4, 2013

BACKGROUND ( provided byCOPAA Member Candace Cortiella at the Advocacy Institute)

  • PARCC states educate 3 million students with disabilities-over half of all students with disabilities in the nation.
  • PARCC states are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas,Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico,New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Tennessee.
  • PARCC assessments will be implemented beginning in the 2014-2015 school year.
  • PARCC must develop a common set of policies and procedures for states to use in providing accommodations to students with disabilities.
  • PARCC invites public comment on two draft policiesthat will be part of a larger Accommodations Manual to be released later this year. These policies pertain to the reading access accommodation and the calculator use accommodation.Comments must be submitted by February 4, 2013.

Get full text of draft policies and link to survey form for comment submission here.

Here are some suggested talking points to use when submitting comments:

In general:

  • The draft policies are premature since the assessments themselves are still in development.
  • The draft policies don't reflect the possibilities of computer-based, technology-enhanced, universally designed assessments envisioned by the U.S. Dept. of Education and promised by PARCC.
  • The draft policies only apply to summative assessments (tests given at the end of instruction) and not to tests given through the year (sometimes called formative assessments), yet students need consistent access to accommodations on all assessments.
  • The draft policies are overly restrictive and overly prescriptive, imposing narrow definitions of students who would be in need of these accommodations then further restricting access by requiring certain conditions to be met in order to receive the accommodation.
  • The specific "conditions” that students must meet in order to be provided the accommodation would violate the student's rights under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. A student with a disability who is eligible under IDEA and/or Section 504 cannot have his/her right to participate meaningfully in an assessment provided to all other students conditioned upon actions of the student's IEP Team.

Reading Access Accommodations (commonly known as text to speech or read-aloud):

  • The draft policy demands overly restrictive level of reading in order to access, student must be a "virtual non-reader,”(i.e., at the beginning stages of learning to decode) or blind/visually impaired and unable to read braille.

Calculator Accommodations:

The draft policy demands overly restrictive level of math in order to access, student must be "unable to calculate single-digit numbers (i.e., 0-9) without a calculation device, using the four basic operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division

Tags:  Calculator Accomodation  Reading Access Accomodation  Students with Disabilities 

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