What are accommodations?
A standard 'accommodation' is defined for South Carolina state assessments as a change in the testing environment, procedures, or presentation to a test that does not alter what the test measures or the comparability of scores. The purpose of accommodations is to enable students to participate in an assessment in a way that allows knowledge and skills to be assessed rather than disabilities.
The term non-standard refers to a change in the test that changes the meaning of the test scores. Non-standard compromise the validity and alter the meaning and comparability of test scores.
How are decisions made about testing accommodations?
The individualized education program (IEP) or 504 Accommodations Plan team, which includes the parents, makes the decisions about how a student will be tested. Accommodations must be consistent with those used routinely in classroom instruction and assessment throughout the school year. Keep in mind some instructional accommodations may not be used on the state assessment as they may compromise the validity of the assessment. Any accommodation used for instruction and assessment must be documented in the IEP or 504 plan.
What customized materials are used in South Carolina state assessment programs?
Customized materials such as those in braille or large print format are available for the South Carolina Palmetto Assessment of State Standards (SCPASS), the South Carolina College-and Career-Ready Assessments (SC READY), the End-of-Course Examination Program (EOCEP), and ACCESS for ELLs®. Contact your District Test Coordinator (DTC) for ordering information.
Where can I find more information about accommodations and customized forms?
Appendix C of each Test Administration Manual (TAM) contains information about testing students with documented disabilities. There is a TAM available for each assessment program. Contact your District Test Coordinator (DTC) for access.
There are several resources regarding understanding assessment, accommodations research and making accommodation decisions that may be helpful in providing professional development opportunities. These resources are from journals and technical reports. You can link to the Research Bibliography document for a list of these resources.
The National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO) maintains a comprehensive Web site with information about testing accommodations from the national perspective.