Assessment in Inclusive Settings

Assessment in Inclusive Settings

Brittany L. Hott (Texas A&M University – Commerce, USA), Rebecca A. Dibbs (Texas A&M University – Commerce, USA), DeMarquis Hayes (Texas A&M University – Commerce, USA) and Lesli P. Raymond (Texas A&M University – Commerce, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2520-2.ch018


Assessment is one of the most controversial and challenging aspects of education. While increasing emphasis has been placed on student progress and accountability, effective assessment processes are often overlooked as a critical component of quality instruction. This chapter aims to provide practitioners, educators, and policymakers with an overview of assessment practices that provide information at the classroom and individual levels to drive instructional decision making. A multi-level system of support model is emphasized to illustrate types and administration of assessments needed to make instructional decisions.
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State And Federal Legislation

State and federal legislation mandate that assessment is necessary and plays a major role in ensuring student access to the general curriculum and success. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA, 2015), Individuals with Disabilities Improvement Act (IDEA, 2004), and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA, 1990) aim to ensure that students receive the necessary accommodations, modifications, and supports to access educational opportunities.

On December 15, 2015, President Obama authorized the ESSA (2015) that replaced the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB, 2001) that had been in effect for well over a decade. Several significant changes related to curriculum and assessment are now in force. These changes include providing states with the responsibility to determine reading, mathematics, and science standards for each grade level as well as testing Kindergarten through eighth-grade levels in reading and mathematics and once in reading and mathematics in high school. States have increased flexibility to determine the interval and types of testing administered.

Reauthorization of IDEA in 2004 allowed the use of students’ response to instructional interventions as a criterion for identification as having a specific learning disability. The previous criterion for qualification relied on a discrepancy model, where student academic achievement was compared to potential (Hoover & Love, 2011). Some states have used the multi-level systems of support such as a response to intervention (RTI) models for many years with positive results, and all states are now in the process of transitioning to the model (Jimerson, Burns, & VanDerHeyden, 2007). RTI relies on instruction that has been validated through research. Common terms associated with this type of instruction include evidence-based instruction and research-based practices. Hoover and Love (2011) differentiate between these terms, defining evidenced-based instruction (EBI) as being linked to specific interventions and research-based practices as being linked to content area curriculum. Every RTI system involves a progression through an increasingly intensive tier system, driven by assessment called progress monitoring.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Progress Monitoring: On going assessment of student learning.

Assessment: A means of measuring student progress.

Response Tool: A device used to provide an answer to a question posed by a teacher.

Self-Reporting: A method of reporting progress completed by a student to assist with the development of self-regulation skills.

Response to Intervention: A multi-tiered framework with increasing levels of academic or behavioral support to meet the needs of all students.

Accommodation: Altering the presentation, response, setting, schedule, or timing of an assessment to meet the needs of an individual learner without altering content.

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