chapter  17
22 Pages

A Methodology for Creating an Alternative Assessment System Using Modified Measures: Robert Helwig

The significance of statewide assessments has increased dramatically over the past three

decades. This is partly the result of state legislatures, departments of education, and the

public’s call for increased educational accountability. The yardstick of educational

success, while formerly centered on inputs such as per-pupil expenditures, class size, or

new construction, now focuses on outputs including graduation rates, college admittance,

and, most important, standardized test scores (Bowers, 1991; Erickson, Ysseldyke,

Thurlow, & Elliott, 1998). However, the high standards accompanying this accountability

have proved problematic for significant numbers of students with learning disabilities

(LD). Issues of item difficulty, format, and cognitive demands in both traditional

standardized tests and performance tasks present significant challenges to these students.

In many cases, the challenges result in low test performance and give school personnel