Accommodation:an alteration in the administration of an assessment that allows students to participate for attaining the greatest measure of success while not changing the constructs (knowledge or skills) that the assessment is designed to measure
In certain situations, individual needs of ELs may warrant accommodations. Each local school should determine whether or not testing accommodations are needed for each identified EL (active, monitored and waived). Any accommodations offered must be consistent with current instructional and assessment accommodations made in the classroom. An accommodation is only allowable if it is practiced on a daily basis in the classroom on all assessments throughout the year. Accommodations are noted on the TPC form which must be completed in the fall or, in the case of newly enrolled transfer students, shortly after the student's enrollment at the school.Accommodations are determined by a Testing Particpation Committee well in advance of the administration of any state-mandated assessment.
Accommodations are determined by the English Learner (EL) Testing Participation Committee which should be comprised of at least three members: ESOL teacher, administrator, counselor, school psychologist, content teacher. The ESOL teacher MUST be a member of this committee and is responsible for completing the TPC form. The local school lead ESOL teacher must retain a copy of the form, place the original in the student's permanent file and indicate the accommodations on a spreadsheet. The accommodation information for every ESOL student in the school must be indicated on the accommodations spreadsheet and submitted to the District ESOL Lead via Blackboard for review and subsequent submission to the Office of Accountability.
The over- or under-accommodating of an EL on mandated tests will render the student's test invalid and will impact the school's results.
ALL TPC Accommodations forms for ESOL and ESOL-monitored students must be reviewed by local lead ESOL teachers to ensure that the accommodations marked for all mandated assessments are in accordance with State guidelines.
Test Administration Accommodations Guidelines from the State:
Accommodations provide access for demonstration of achievement
Do not guarantee proficiency, and therefore should not be selected solely as mean to help ensure proficiency
Must be required by the student in order to participate in the assessment
Must be provided during routine instruction and assessment in the classroom (both before and after the state tests are administered)
Key Considerations for Determining Accommodations for ELs:
the student’s level of English proficiency
the student’s level of literacy in English
the student’s level of native language proficiency
the student’s level of literacy in native language
All local school lead ESOL teachers will receive a spreadsheet of Accommodations to complete for ALL ESOL Active, Monitor and Waivered students in their local school. These spreadsheets must be uploaded into Blackboard prior to the administration of the assessment.
Guidance for Reading of Reading Passages: The use of this conditional accommodation for the Reading CRCT must be restricted to grades 3 – 8 and may be considered when BOTH the following conditions apply:
The student’s English proficiency scores and experiences in the classroom indicate the student cannot access, retain, or comprehend written text without the assistance of a reader; and The student not poised to exit language assistance services within the current school year. Students poised to exit: Tier C or any student approaching a performance level of 4. Consider ACCESS reading score – if 3 or higher, this accommodation is probably not appropriate.
A student comes to your school from another school, what should you do about those ESOL TPC accommodations???
1. Review the information presented on the TPC form (if available) from the transfer school. If the student comes from within the Cobb district, you may contact your District ESOL Lead for assistance. 2. Review the student's progress and current needs as demonstrated to you and the classroom teachers. 3. Form your own Testing Participation Committee, review the accommodations needed for the student and complete a TPC form for your school, if you determine that different accommodations are needed. (Don't forget the Teacher Form and Parent Notification Form.) 4. Regardless of whether or not different accommodations are needed, please don't forget to update your accommodation spreadsheet accordingly and submit the updated spreadsheet via Blackboard to your District Lead ESOL Teacher, who afterwards must submit your updates to the Office of Accountability.
Prior to selecting accommodations for each English Learner, carefully review the implications below:
·ESOL Classroom: Student assessments are delivered in a designated ESOL classroom. This would mean that tests given by the content area teachers in your building are now to be administered by YOU, the ESOL teacher, in YOUR classroom. In order for this to be valid, you would have to designate the ESOL classroom in your building for classroom teachers to send the students to you for all testing.
·Small Group: Student assessments are delivered in a small group setting. The State does not provide a finite number for a small group. The Office of Accountability recommends using ESOL classroom maximum size to determine size of small group, therefore, if one test administrator is in the classroom the small group size for testing is
Grades 1 – 3: 14 students Grades 4 – 8: 17 students Grades 9 – 12: 21 students
·Preferential Seating: Student must sit at the front of the classroom or at an established preferential seat in the classroom.
·Individual or study carrel: Student assessments are delivered in an individual study carrel.
·Individual Administration:Student assessments are delivered individually, only ONE student is tested at a time.
·Explain or paraphrase directions for clarity in English only: Explain or paraphrase directions for clarity in English only. The directions should be paraphrased in simplified English and only in English. Only students with this accommodation marked on their TPC form can receive explanation or paraphrasing of directions. Providing the accommodation to other students will invalidate the test and must be reported as a testing irregularity, thus students with this accommodation will have to be separated from those without this accommodation.
·Color overlays or templates: Students may use color overlays or templates for reading.
·Oral reading of test questions in English only: Assessment questions are read to students in English only. Only students with this accommodation marked on their TPC can receive the oral reading of test questions. Providing this accommodation to other students will invalidate their test and must be reported as a testing irregularity, thus students with this accommodation will have to be separated from those without this accommodation. Guidance for reading: The questions and answer choices must be read in the order written on the test. The teacher should read the question, read each answer choice and repeat. Remember...in orde for this accommodation to be valid on test day, it must be occurring in the classroom on a daily basis on all assessments.
·Oral reading of reading passages in English only: Assessment passages are read to students in English only. Essentially this accommodation exists to allow those students who have literacy issues that prevent them from having access to the text. The child would have these issues in the native language as well as in English. Do NOT select this accommodation solely based on the amount of time that the student has been in U.S. schools. This accommodation is CONDITIONAL for the CRCT. Please click here to read the guidelines regarding Conditional Accommodations. This accommodation is not permitted for any student in grades 1 - 2 on the reading passages of the CRCT.
·Repetition of Directions in English only: Assessment directions are repeated to students in English only. On the CRCT, Graduation Test and EOCT the directions may be repeated to students as necessary.Therefore, this is not an accommodation that necessitates a separate testing environment for ESOL students.
·Student marks answers in test booklet: Student marks answers in test booklet. A certified teacher in the presence of a test administrator transfers the answers to the answer document.
·Student points to answers: Student points to answers, a certified teacher marks the answers on the answer document.
·Verbal response in English only: Student responds in English, a certified teacher marks the answers on the answer document. This accommodation would necessitate a separate testing environment for the student.
·Word-to-Word Dictionary: Only words may be translated; definitions, example sentences and pictures are not permitted. The State permits the use of electronic translators provided that they follow the same guidelines indicated above. The local school test administrator must verify that the dictionary/translation device meets all of the requirements. This accommodation may not be used on the QCC-based GHSWT, and can only be used if it is observed in the classroom on a daily basis.
·Frequent monitored breaks: Students are provided frequent monitored breaks during testing. Students with this accommodation may require a separate testing environment as their breaks may interfere with the testing environment of students without this accommodation.
·Extended Time: Students are provided extended time. If this accommodation is marked, the students classroom teachers also ensure that extended time be given to the student on assessments in the classroom on a daily basis. Students with this accommodation may have to provided with a separate testing during the administration of standardized assessments unless the school can provide a plan to maintain a secure, quiet testing environment for these students once the others without this accommodation complete the test.
1.By virtue of their English language proficiency, all English Language Learners (current ESOL students, ESOL Monitored and ESOL Waivered) are entitled to accommodations if those accommodations provide them with the ability to access testing material.
2.The State Assessment Handbook clearly states that the accommodations should be determined by a committee. This committee should consist of at least three persons, including the ESOL teacher, classroom teacher/s of the student, the counselor, an ESOL administrator. The committee may include the parent and the student as well.
3. Accommodations reflected on the TPC Form and the spreadsheet must be in place on a daily place in the classroom on all assessments. The accommodations cannot be in place merely on the day of the standardized test if the accommodations have not been in place on a regular basis in the classroom.
4.Some of the accommodations necessitate a separate testing environment. If the accommodation would impact the testing environment for the other students in the room, then a separate testing environment is necessary. All students are entitled to "Repetition of Directions", therefore, this accommodation alone does not necessitate a separate testing environment. However, "Paraphrasing of Directions" is not permitted for all, thus, this accommodations would require a separate environment.
5. The parents and all teachers of the student MUST be made aware of the accommodations selected by the committee. Use the parent notification and teacher notification letters posted on the ESOL Blog. The Georgia Department of Education no longer requires that parents sign the TPC form unless the parent is part of the Testing Participation Committee.
If you still have questions regarding one or more of these accommodations, check out the Frequently Asked Questions section below on the Blog.
The Cobb ESOL Department provides the above guidelines in an effort to assist all local school ESOL teachers and administrators. However, bear in mind that the Office of Accountability is the final authority in all issues regarding testing. Please contact, Janet Gaa for issues related to high school assessments or Leanne Wood for elementary and middle school assessments, should you have specific questions regarding testing.
Remember...just because a student needs an accommodation does NOT mean he/she will know how to use it. Students will need training and practice in using accommodations.
The State has approved the use of word-to-word dictionaries as a standard accommodation for ELLs on all standardized testing.
Keep in mind the following guidelines:
The dictionary must be strictly word-to-word. (ie, no definitions, pictures or examples)
This dictionary can NOT be electronic format.
The dictionary is being used on a daily basis by the student on all classroom assessments throughout the year. Thus, the student must be issued the dictionary in order to ensure daily use.
The local school must purchase and provide the dictionaries throughout the school year as well as for summer school, should the student attend.
This accommodation, as all others, must be determined on a case-by-case basis and noted on the TPC form.
The ESOL Department does not purchase word-to-word dictionaries. The decision to utilize this accommodation is the local school's responsiblity. The local school must ensure that students of ALL language backgrounds have equal access to this accommodation and therefore, purchase of word-to-word dictionaries is the responsibility of the local school.
Are you thinking of providing a non-standard accommodation on the ITBS or CogAt?
The designers of these assessments have determined that the use of these accommodations interfere with the construct of these tests. Utilizing a non-standard accommodation will result in having that student's scores pulled from the school's total.
Remember...in Cobb these assessments are primarily used for program placement. If you use this accommodation, these assessments can not be used for that child for consideration of placement into gifted services.
ESOL Teachers: Only mark this type of accommodation under the direction of your ESOL Administrator and with the approval of the Office of Accountability.
The Georgia Department of Education has defined conditional accommodations as "...more expansive accommodations that provide access for students with more severe disabilities who would not be able to access the assessment to demonstrate their achievement without such assistance. Conditional accommodations may only be provided to students who meet the specified eligibility criteria."Georgia Student Assessment Program Student Assessment Handbook 2010 - 2011, p. 9.
The State maintains that conditional accommodations (such as reading the test) will be utilized sparingly. The use of any accommodation must be considered in light of a student's disability. Conditional accommodations may NOT be provided solely as a way to ensure proficiency. Caution must be exercised in considering whether a student requires a conditional accommodation. The ultimate goal of any accommodation is meaningful measurement of what the student has learned. (p. 127)
The one accommodation for the 2010 - 2011 school year that has been identified as a Conditional Accommodation is the "Oral Reading of Reading Passages" on the CRCT.
All of the following conditions must apply in order to warrant the accommodation:
1. The student is NOT in 1st or 2nd grade, 2. The student‘s English proficiency scores and experiences in the classroom indicate the student cannot access, retain, or comprehend written text without the assistance of a reader; and 3. The student is not poised to exit language assistance services within the current school year. i.e., the student will not be placed on the Tier C of the ACCESS in the spring.
Keep in mind the following:
Standard and conditional accommodations vary according to each test.
Use of conditional accommodations must be coded on the test.
The recommended accommodation must be identified on the ESOL student's TPC form.
The accommodation must be practiced on a daily basis for each classroom assessment.
Questions regarding use of accommodations should be directed to the Office of Accountability. High schools should contact Janet Gaa and elementary and middle schools should contact Leanne Wood.
There are been several questions regarding the use of accommodations and their requirements for implementation. Listed below are those that we feel should be reviewed by all ESOL teachers and administrators prior to selecting these accommodations and implementing them.
• When is a separate testing room necessary? The ESOL students would need to be removed from the regular ed testing environment and provided with a separate testing room IF the accommodation impacts the testing environment for the other students in the classroom who do not have that accommodation.
• What is the difference between Repetition of Directions and Paraphrasing? On the CRCT, Graduation Test and EOCT the directions may be repeated to students as necessary. Therefore, this is not an accommodation that necessitates a separate testing environment for ESOL students. Paraphrasing of Directions, however, is an accommodation that is not permitted to occur in the regular testing environment and necessitates a separate testing environment for students with this accommodation. The directions should be paraphrased in simplified wording and only in English.
• How do I Read to?: Questions/Reading Passages There are two very different Read To accommodations. The Read To for Directions requires all questions and answer choices to be read to the students. All questions and answer choices should be read twice. The teacher should Read the question, read each answer choice and repeat. This accommodation does include the reading of the questions and answer choices on the Reading portion of the CRCT. In this scenario, the teacher must provide ample time for students to read the passage, ask that students look up when finished and then the teacher reads the question and answer choices. The Read To for Reading Passages is a CONDITIONAL accommodation that should be used very SPARINGLY. This means that certain conditions must exist for this accommodation to be utilized. The conditions include the following: • The student can not be poised to exit ESOL this year. • The student can not have tested on Tier C of the ACCESS this year. • The Reading scores on the ACCESS can not have been 4.0 or above the previous year. Essentially this accommodation exists to allow those students who have literacy issues access to the text. The child would have these issues in the native language as well as in English. Do NOT select this accommodation solely based on the amount of time that the student has been in U.S. schools. For this accommodation the teacher reads the reading passage once and then reads the questions and answer choices twice.
It is important to note…The student can not be in grades 1 or 2. (The Read To accommodation for Reading is not permitted for any student in grade 1 or grade 2. This applies to students identified as Special Ed as well.) • How much time is Extended Time? All students are allowed an additional 10 minutes. Therefore, Extended Time is in excess of this ten minutes. The DOE indicates that all students are allowed 45-70 minutes, as children must be allowed 45 minutes per section and can be allowed up to 70 minutes if they aren't finished. An extended time accommodation would mean that the child could have more than 70 minutes per section. (This only refers to grades 3-8; the CRCTs at grades 1-2 are paced by the teacher rather than being strictly timed.)
• What is a small group? While the State Assessment Handbook does not provide a finite number, our local Office of Accountability provides the following guideline…the small group size should not exceed the maximum class size of the specialized program. Therefore, if one test administrator is in the classroom the small group size for testing is Grades 1 – 3: 14 students Grades 4 – 8: 17 students Grades 9 – 12: 21 students