TABLE 6-4 Alterations in Task Characteristics as a Consequence of Accommodations

Task Characteristic

Unaccommodated Task

Accommodated Task 1

Accommodated Task 2

Accommodated Task 3

Language of response

English

Native language

English

Native language

Channel of response

Visual: Writing

Visual: Writing

Oral: Speaking

Oral: Speaking

To weaken the third alternative explanation, that Tina’s poor reading performance is the result of the scorer’s using the wrong scoring criteria, the test developers need to control two characteristics of the scoring process: the criteria used for scoring and the scorers themselves. Such corrections are handled most effectively through rigorous and repeated scorer training sessions.

Figure 6-5 portrays the relationships between the alternative explanations, rebuttal data, and types of data needed to weaken the alternative explanations.

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

In this chapter we have discussed the components of the kind of validation argument that underlies the intended inferences to be made from any assessment. We have illustrated how intended inferences, or claims, about test-takers’ target skills or knowledge need to be based both on warrants that are backed by relevant theory or research findings, and on data. These data consist of two types: (1) the test-taker’s response to the assessment task and (2) the characteristics of the assessment task. We have explained that a variety of test-takers’ characteristics, such as disabilities, insufficient proficiency in English, or lack of cultural knowledge, can constitute alternative explanations for their performance on assessments. We have also discussed the ways specific accommodations can be described in terms of specific aspects of the assessment tasks and administration procedures.

The committee has reviewed a variety of materials about the NAEP assessment (National Assessment Governing Board [NAGB], 2001, 2002a, 2002b; National Center for Education Statistics, 2003a, 2003b) and has heard presentations by NAEP and NAGB officials about these topics. In light of the validity issues related to inclusion and accommodations for students with disabilities and English language learners that have been discussed, we draw the following conclusions:



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