A Guide to Alternate Assessments Based on Modified Achievement Standards
Teaching and Assessing Low-Achieving Students with Disabilities
Special Education
Make the best decisions about the design and development of AA-MAS, so students can reach their full potential and schools can meet adequate yearly progress requirements. A comprehensive, research-based guide for policymakers and administrators.
71172 978-1-59857-117-2
2010 344
Available Stock
For lower-achieving students with disabilities, effective and appropriate alternate assessment based on modified achievement standards (AA-MAS) can open the door to greater expectations and opportunities. State policymakers have the option of providing certain students who have disabilities with AA-MAS aligned with grade-level content—and now there's a comprehensive, research-based guide that shows the way.

The most in-depth exploration of AA-MAS available, this book will help policymakers and administrators make the best decisions about the implementation of alternate assessments and provide guidance for teachers as they align instruction with state-determined content standards. Blending analysis of cutting-edge research with today's best assessment practices, a diverse panel of experts give readers complete guidance on the technical and practical aspects of AA-MAS, including

  • setting and evaluating criteria for participation in AA-MAS
  • ensuring access to the general curriculum, with special focus on reading and math standards
  • understanding cognitive development barriers to learning grade-level material
  • establishing clear links between assessment and content standards
  • designing and assembling test forms for AA-MAS
  • defining proficiency for the target population
  • setting appropriate cut scores on tests
  • incorporating modifications to items on tests
  • reviewing test items for accuracy, fairness, universal design, and psychometric concerns
  • accurately evaluating comparability between AA-MAS and general assessments
  • conducting a thorough validity evaluation for the AA-MAS
  • determining the impact of the AA-MAS on the state accountability system

To support readers as they meet the challenges of assessing what lower-achieving students know, this essential volume also gives them helpful content such as a glossary of assessment terms, examples of test modifications, and goals associated with content standards in math and reading.

Ideal for use as a textbook or by policymakers seeking clear guidance on alternate assessment, this book will help schools make progress toward better instructing and assessing students with disabilities-and bringing about better academic outcomes.

About the Editor

About the Contributors


David Abrams



Marianne Perie

I: Identifying and Understanding the Population and Their Curriculum

  1. Assessing Students with Disabilities Using Modified Achievement Standards
    Rachel F. Quenemoen
  2. Developing Standards-Based IEPs that Promote Effective Instruction
    Meagan Karvonen
  3. The Challenges of Conceptualizing What Low Achievers Know and Assessing that Knowledge
  4. James W. Pellegrino

II. Understanding Test Design Content and Achievement Standards and Incorporating Appropriate Item Modifications

  1. Content Understanding in Reading and Mathematics
    David K. Pugalee & Robert J. Rickelman
  2. Developing Items and Assembling Test Forms for the Alternate Assessment Based on Modified Achievement Standards
    Catherine Welch & Stephen B. Dunbar
  3. Developing Achievement Level Descriptors and Setting Cut Scores on the Alternate Assessment Based on Modified Achievement Standards
    Marianne Perie

III. Technical Considerations and Practical Applications

  1. Comparability Issues for the Alternate Assessment Based on Modified Achievement Standards
    Jamal Abedi
  2. Constructing a Validity Argument for Alternate Assessments Based on Modified Achievement Standards
    Scott F. Marion
  3. Accountability and Operational Issues for Alternate Assessments Based on Modified Achievement Standards
    Chris Domaleski




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Suzanne Lane, Professor in the Research Methodology Program, School of Education, University of Pittsburgh. - July 1, 2010
"State-of-the art . . . will make a very important contribution to the fields of assessment, psychometrics and instruction."
Martha L. Thurlow, Director, National Center on Educational Outcomes, University of Minnesota - July 1, 2010
"A wonderfully comprehensive research-based guide for anyone interested in the teaching and testing of low-performing students. It prompts deep thinking about who these students are, how to adjust testing for them, and what the technical and practical considerations are."
Claudia Flowers, Professor of Educational Research, University of North Carolina at Charlotte - July 1, 2010
"Despite best efforts by educators, low-achieving students with disabilities continue to struggle in school. Marianne Perie has gathered some of the field's best thinkers to discuss innovative educational approaches for these struggling learners."