5. Results Ė How are they used?: Five ways the IAA results are used are listed on this slide. The use of the IAA results that most people hear about is the Adequate Yearly Progress determination for schools and districts. The No Child Left Behind Act established this single statewide accountability system. AYP is Idahoís measure of progress towards students achieving the Idaho Achievement standards. Goals of improvement have been established for all students as well as the subgroups, and students with disabilities are one of the subgroups. Therefore, the results for students taking the IAA are included in the calculations of the percentage of students achieving a proficient level on the IAA along with students taking the ISAT. If a student is scoring below proficiency on the IAA, then we must make decisions about the instructional programming of students to help him or her improve their knowledge and skills regarding the alternate knowledge and skills.
The second and third use of the results that are listed on the slide, look at the growth of the individualís knowledge and skills. Our goal is for the student to be able to generalize age appropriate skills relative to the alternate knowledge and skills. For example, if a student is only able to read pictures as a means of receptive communication, then we want them to be able to generalize that skill to the level that they can do it spontaneously, independently, in multiple settings, with natural cues in the environment and at an abstract level of understanding. Through the studentís instructional program, we can teach the student starting with very concrete and supported instruction and help them over the years to achieve the skills at a generalized level with accuracy.
The results also provide information about the average score for all students at a particular grade level who took the alternate assessment in the state. The "average student growth" for all students in the state is the increase in scores from the current year to the previous year. It is important to understand that "averages" include a wide variety of students with different needs. Also these scores cannot be compared to any other assessments, such as the Brigance, ISAT, Vineland. The results are not Standard Scores, age equivalency, or RIT scores. The scores are unique to the alternate assessment.
The last section in the Individual Student Report provides information about items on the assessment that the student scored low but was rated as essential or very important. IEP teams may choose to focus future IEP goals and objectives on these items. More emphasis on instructional interventions can then be provided to address those IEP goals.
9. Adequate Yearly Progress: Idaho meets the No Child Left Behind Act and state accountability requirements by determining Adequate Yearly Progress. The AYP determinations for schools and districts are made each year and the goal to reach is raised each year. The amount of growth is set by the Idaho Board of Education. In the AYP calculations, the percentage of students achieving a level of proficiency in reading math is determined by the number of students scoring at the proficient or advanced levels on the ISAT and IAA. The calculations are made for total groups of students as well as the subgroup of just special education students.
NCLB requires all students to participate in the annual state assessments in reading and math. A 95% participation rate for all students and for all students with disabilities must be achieved. If students take the IAA, they are counted as participating in the state assessments. It is only when a student takes the ISAT with adaptations, that the student is not counted as participating because adaptations invalidate the assessment results.
A student who should participate in the alternate assessment but enrolls after March 1 cannot participate because of insufficient amount of time to complete the assessment. These students are not included in the participation calculations.
When the performance AYP determinations are made for schools and districts, the results of the IAA are included. However, if a student has not been continuously enrolled since the first full eight weeks of school, they are not counted in the performance AYP calculations.
Finally, in the performance AYP calculations, there is a one percent cap on the number of students who can be counted as proficient. This does not mean there is a one percent cap on the number of students who can participate in the IAA. It only means that when the AYP calculations are computed, only the number equal to 1% of the total number of students assessed can be counted as proficient in AYP. Individual Student Reports are still going to report proficiency but sometimes the results may not be counted that way in the AYP calculations. There is an appeal process for districts to request an exception to the 1% cap. Small districts with large numbers of students with significant disabilities will probably be submitting an appeal. Contact the SDE for further information.
Failure to meet AYP has negative consequences and eventually parents may have options to enroll their student in another school. So, it is important that we inform the public on how students are performing and the types of instructional interventions we are providing to assist their students in achieving a level of proficiency toward the Achievement Standards.