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Project Forum Documents

The website for NASDSE’s long-standing, but no longer active, project, Project Forum, has been taken down. All documents from the Project Forum website – -- which included documents from the last 15 years of the project can now be found in the list of publications below.



Growth Models and Students with Disabilities: Report of State Interviews

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This in-depth policy analysis begins with a background that briefly describes accountability requirements from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and the assessments states use to meet this requirement. A comparison between the status model for determining performance levels and the growth models is given. Further, a description of three types of growth models that states in a federal pilot program use is given. A summary of the evaluation of this pilot program is provided as well. Fifteen states with approved growth models as part of their accountability system were interviewed. Findings are organized around the following topics: Special education staff involvement in the development of growth models; How students with disabilities are included in the growth models; Training provided on growth models; Reporting of growth model results; and Benefits and challenges of a growth model. The document closes with a discussion of the complexity of adding a growth model to a state’s accountability and assessment system; obstacles to including students who participate in alternate assessments based on alternate academic standards in a growth model; and progress in instruction and assessment for this population of students that could ease these obstacles.

December 2009

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