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Students in an Age of Accountability|
The committee is composed of teachers and individuals with extensive knowledge and experience in these areas. The committee also reviews items for accommodations needed for blind and visually impaired students as well as deaf students. In cases when an item cannot be modified or is not appropriate for a blind student, it will be removed from the Braille version of the test, and the scoring will be adjusted.
After items are written and before the submission of the test items to the test publishing company for inclusion in a field test, they are submitted for review to the Bias Review Committee. Any item that is judged to contain bias is returned to the Delaware Department of Education content specialist with a description of the bias identified. The item may be revised to eliminate the bias and then be resubmitted to the Bias Review Committee for another review before field testing occurs with Delaware students.
The opportunity for bias review is not always an option with standardized formative assessments such as the Measures of Academic Progress assessment by Northwest Evaluation Association that is used at the local level. There are not high-stakes consequences attached to these local assessments in terms of mandatory summer school and diploma requirements; however, the fact that items with bias are present on the formative assessment prevents students from showing what they know and could present an opportunity to discuss strategies for addressing the item and moving forward with the remainder of the test.
TEST ADMINISTRATION AND GUIDELINES FOR INCLUSION OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
Students with disabilities may be administered the test under various conditions in Delaware as outlined in guidelines published by the Delaware Department of Education. The following descriptions are excerpted directly from the 2005–2006 DSTP Guidelines for Inclusion of Students with Disabilities and Students with Limited English Proficiency (Delaware Department of Education, 2005):
Testing Condition 1: Students may be tested under regular conditions. Note that
students may elect to test under regular conditions even if accommodations are
being used in the classroom.
At the Delaware School for the Deaf, students primarily fall under testing conditions 1 through 4 with a very small percentage in the category described in testing condition 1. Approximately 10% of students participated in the alternate portfolio assessment (DAPA) in 2005–2006, which is described in testing condition 4.