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Special
Needs

CTB offers a variety of assessments that help educators place students in appropriate special needs programs.

Overview

CTB/McGraw-Hill recognizes that access for all students is of paramount importance for all assessment programs. CTB is committed to publishing tests that allow all students to demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and abilities in an equitable manner.

The process of promoting access for all students begins with the principles of universal design. CTB Research collaborates with other departments at CTB to develop test items and test delivery systems that are inherently accessible. By designing accessibility into tests from the beginning, all students will be able to engage fully with the assessments and demonstrate their knowledge.

CTB Research is proud of its work in developing alternate and modified assessments. These tests are designed to assess students with cognitive disabilities for whom states' standardized tests are not appropriate. In close collaboration with our customers, CTB has helped develop statewide assessments of alternate academic standards and of modified achievement standards. These tests have helped our customers comply with pertinent federal legislation, and have also allowed special education teachers to gain reliable, quantitative insight into the academic performance of their students.

  • Identify students with special needs
     
  • Target instruction to help students
    with special needs
  • Diagnostic assessments
     
  • Aptitude assessments
  • Language proficiency assessments

Our Products


TerraNova, Third Edition

Is TerraNova the right achievement test for your students? Learn more about TerraNova Third Edition tests and assessments from CTB. Learn more »

Subject areas and grades

  • Reading (Grades K–12)
  • Language (Grades K–12)
  • Math (Grades K–12)
  • Science, Social Studies (Grades 1–12)
  • Reading (Grades 3–8)
  • Math (Grades 3–8)
  • English Language Arts (Grades 3–8)

Acuity

CTB offers comprehensive Acuity Assessment solutions to support data-informed teaching. Learn more about the Acuity Tests from CTB. Learn more »

Subject areas and grades

LAS Links

More accurately assess language capabilities through the LAS Links Assessment for grades K-12. Learn if LAS Tests from CTB are right for your school. Learn more »

Subject areas and grades

  • English Language and Proficiency (Age 3 and Grades Pre-K–12)

TABE

TABE testing remains the most comprehensive and reliable assessment solution in the industry. Learn how TABE tests from CTB can improve student achievement. Learn more »

Subject areas and grades

  • Basic Skills (Adult Education)

Writing Roadmap

Looking for an online writing assessment for K-12? Learn more about the Writing Roadmap Assessments from CTB/McGraw-Hill. Learn more »

Subject areas and grades

  • Writing (Grades 3–12, college, and adult learning)

First Performances

CTB offers a suite of engaging observational assessments for early learners in Math and Literacy. Learn how a First Performances can help monitor growth in Pre-K through G3 students. Learn more »

Subject areas and grades

  • Literacy (Grades Pre-K–3)
  • Math (Grades Pre-K–3)
 
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Introduction

CTB/McGraw-Hill understands the need to include all students in large-scale testing programs as part of the educational process. We have been a leader in providing guidance to districts and states on the use of accommodations in large-scale assessments since 2000 (CTB/McGraw-Hill, 2000 & 2002). CTB's previous guidelines have been widely used and referenced. These new guidelines are based on the more recent research and insight into inclusive assessments including English language learner (ELL) students. Federal, state, and local regulations or policies stipulate that students be provided with appropriate accommodations during testing. The characteristics of the tested population of large-scale state and district testing programs are expected to change in response to the movement toward inclusiveness. Test publishers and those who desire to make valid interpretations of test results must consider how these changes affect the concept and practice of standardized assessments.

CTB is committed to supporting the use of appropriate testing accommodations for students taking large-scale assessments, including standardized tests, and the ability of decision-makers to make valid and useful interpretations of test data. This document provides guidelines on the use and appropriate interpretation of the results of inclusive test administrations. These guidelines are intended to facilitate the valid interpretation of individual student results and valid comparisons of year-to-year and group-to-group summary data for students with disabilities, as well as limited English proficiency (LEP) and ELL students. These guidelines are not comprehensive in covering the many needs and issues of such students. Agencies must become familiar with the specific requirements that apply to testing these special student populations, as with all students.

In the first section, we present a general framework for reconciling standardization and accommodation in support of inclusive testing practice. In the next section, we discuss how to interpret criterion-referenced and norm-referenced test results that arise from inclusive test administrations and present recommendations on the use of individual and summary results. In the third section, we detail a simple framework for classifying accommodations in terms of the potential effect on the appropriate interpretation of student test scores. This framework is illustrated using an arrangement of accommodations provided by the National Center on Educational Outcomes (Thurlow, House, Boys, Scott, & Ysseldyke, 2000).

Finally, we list recommendations for constructive interpretations of aggregate results with regard to the use of accommodations. This approach provides relevant information for the use of test results that maintains student privacy and avoids the unintended negative consequences of labeling or—flagging—accommodated students.

Read the complete Inclusive Test Adminstration best practice guide »

Part 1: Primary Tools

Testing, or "assessment," plays a vital role in education today. Test results are often a major force in shaping public perception about the quality of our schools. As a primary tool of educators and policy makers, assessment is used for a multitude of purposes. Educators use assessment results to help improve teaching and learning and to evaluate programs and schools. Assessment is also used to generate the data on which policy decisions are made. Because of its important role, educational assessment is a foundation activity in every school, every school district and every state—a vital component in innovation, higher standards and educational excellence.

Testing has been a pivotal part of American education since early in this century when educators began to seek more reliable and valid means to evaluate students and programs. In the past 40 years, there has been explosive growth and profound change in education. At every step of the way, educational assessment has responded with innovation in measurement and technical expertise. In the past ten years alone, the field of testing has undergone tremendous change because of the emphasis on education reform and development of new education standards.

Local and state education agencies are called upon today, to make many crucial decisions regarding how students and programs are assessed—decisions often involving significant time, effort and public resources. Making the right decisions about testing begins with having a basic understanding of the need for assessments that are valid, reliable and fair, and that fulfill their designed purposes. Though testing is often perceived as a technical field, these "basics" of assessment are not difficult.

This information addresses those "basics." For more than seventy years, CTB/McGraw-Hill has worked in partnership with school districts and states to create successful assessment systems. We hope this information will serve not only as a starting point but also as a continuing reference tool for local and state school board members, educators and policy leaders seeking a firm footing in assessment.

Read the complete Guide for Effective Assessment best practice »

Special Needs Resources

Featured Article

This study uses residuals analysis to explore the comparability of test scores for students who take a test with an accommodation and those who do not. The measurement model functions in a similar model for both accommodated and non-accommodated students, as demonstrated using this analysis.

 

Featured Article

This white paper discusses the purpose of RTI: to identify children who are struggling in school as early as possible, and to ensure each child receives the right instruction or intervention to be successful. By linking assessment and instruction, the practice of RTI gives educators a data-driven framework to quickly and efficiently respond to learning or behavioral problems, and to appropriately identify students with disabilities.

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Assessment Glossary

Build your understanding of key assessment concepts.

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