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1. IAA Results Ė : This session will discuss the IAA scoring system and how it was designed to measure the overall performance of students with significant disabilities, and specifically, how students are progressing towards the Idaho Achievement Standards.

2. Overview : The IAA was designed to have the performance of students described the same way that the general education assessment, which is the Idaho State Achievement Tests (ISAT), describes the performance of students participating in it. Therefore, both the IAA and the ISAT have a studentís proficiency score that indicates one of four levels of overall performance. They are: advanced, proficient, basic, or below basic.

3. Proficiency Score: The IAA scoring system is unique to this assessment process. The assessments consists of alternate knowledge and skills items aligned with the Idaho Achievement Standards. Two ratings for each item are given. The scoring system incorporates those two ratings and the interaction between the achievement level rating and the progress level rating occurs for each item. A total score is computed from the item scores and then the total score determines the proficiency level.

4. Score Ranges for : Each proficiency level has a score range for each of the content assessments and at each grade level. These ranges were determined by a cut score process that describes the differences between the types of performances. A report about the IAA cut score process is available at the Idaho Department of Education if anyone wants more information.

One of the most important points to make about the proficiency scores is that each assessment for the content areas has its own range of scores so they cannot be compared with each other. For example, a 56 in reading is not the same as a 56 in math. A 56 in reading might be in the proficient range whereas a 56 in math might be in the basic range. Therefore, you cannot compare the raw IAA scores among the content areas or with any other published assessments.




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.

6. Reports: School, District, State: The school, district, and state reports all identify the number of students attaining the four different proficiency levels. These numbers have also been computed as percentage of students at each level.

The school report has one additional set of information. When students have second raters, the number of items that were in agreement are indicated and it is computed to a percentage. 80% agreement is desirable but the only requirement actually is agreement at with the proficiency determination required in AYP.

Finally, the reports do provide the range of scores by students the mean scores and the actual total count that participated in the IAA at each of the grade levels.

Idaho has not had the problem of over identification of students taking the IAA.

7. Individual Student Reports: When you review an individual student report, each section identifies certain information. In section 1: the student score and proficiency level are given. Next to that the range of scores for the studentís proficiency level is given so teachers and parents can view where the studentís score fell in that range.

The state average score is given as well as the studentís and the stateís increase or decrease from the previous year.

In section 2, information for IEP goal and planning is provided. Part A indicates the number of items aligned with IEPís and the studentís average achievement level for those items compared to all items rated. Part B highlights the items that were indicated high on importance in the Importance rating but were rated low on the achievement level. These items can be considered during the development of new IEP goals and objectives during annual IEP reviews.

The last portion of the report provides explanatory notes to assist teachers and parents in interpreting results. Brief descriptions have been provided for Achievement levels, and the Importance survey.

8. Informing Parents: Districts are responsible in providing the Individual Student Report to the parent. After the assessment window has been closed, teachers may log in and go to reports to generate the student reports. These may be printed and sent home with a letter to the parent.
A copy of the Individual Student Report is kept in the studentís confidential file. All data and information used to support the ratings on the scales are file for one year.

A meeting with the parent about the results is not required but it is recommended. The special education teacher should meet with parents to discuss and explain the sections of the report and the collection of data and information used, and finally the factors considered in the achievement level, progress level, and importance levels.

When a studentís IEP needs to be reviewed and revised, parents and teachers can use information from the results of the IAA to assist in the development of new IEP goals. Comparing the scores from year to year may also be an additional way of showing how a student is progressing towards the Idaho Achievement Standards.

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.

10. Public Access & Privacy: Now when we consider public access to the IAA results, educators also need to be aware of privacy requirements. The online website is a secure site with 128 bit encryption. It is only available to district personnel and teachers with the confidential password for the school site. The public has access to results that reflect groups of 10 or more students. For example, if you have a group of 10 third grade students in the district that took the alternate assessment and 9 out of the 10 scored at the proficient or above, the public may see that 90% of the third graders scored proficient or above and the total participating was 10. FERPA requirements protect individual students in smaller districts when they are the only ones taking the alternate assessment. School personnel should also limit discussions of results when it involves groups of ten or fewer to individuals who have a legitimate need to know.

Results in the AYP calculations are only reported when the subgroup has 34 or more students in it. For example, a small district that only has a total of 23 special education students in grade 3 through 10 may not see any information regarding AYP for the special education subgroup because they have less than 34 special education students.
In summary, it is important to protect the confidentiality of students when reporting results of statewide assessments publicly.

In conclusion for this session, interpreting the results of the Idaho Alternate Assessment means that teachers and parents must be informed about the type of assessment is given and there are several benefits to be gained from the individual, school, district, and state reports when designing and planning instructional programs for students with significant cognitive disabilities.