Who can use these testing accommodations?
Over the past few years, the number of accommodations and the number of students eligible to use testing accommodations has grown. What used to be reserved for a select group of students or a certain type of assessment is no longer the case.
The transition from TAKS to STAAR has also changed the rules for who is eligible to use an assessment accommodation. TEA previously noted in the 2010-2011 Accommodations Manual (still a valid manual for 11-12 TAKS test takers) that assessment accommodations were for students with “special needs and disabilities.”
For the purposes of the STAAR assessment, there has been a major change as to how TEA specifically defines a “student with a disability.” Please remember this new definition is for assessment purposes only, not special education qualification.
TEA’s NEW guidance provides us with the following three specific examples as to who is eligible for specific testing accommodations due to a disability.
- a student with an identified disability who receives special education services and meets established eligibility criteria for certain accommodations (ARD committee decision)
- a student with an identified disability who receives Section 504 services and meets established eligibility criteria for certain accommodations (Section 504 placement committee decision)
- a student with a disabling condition who does not receive special education or Section 504 services but meets established eligibility criteria for certain accommodations (campus level team decision)
The ARD and Section 504 placement committees will document the use of accommodations for the students described in the first two bullets. A campus level team, such as the RTI or student assistance team, will be responsible for the accommodation decisions for the students described in the third bullet, which TEA notes should only apply to a small group of students.
Now that you know who can use these testing accommodations, our next post will look at the NEW optional test administration procedures and materials that will be available to any student who needs them.