Fall is here, and the new academic year is well underway. In this issue, we share several new reports available from NCEO. One is a report on a forum held prior to the National Conference on Students Assessment to discuss text readers and their availability to all students on many assessments. Another report now available on the NCEO website presents the results of the 2016 survey of states. It provides a snapshot of the status of states related to topics, including many that have emerged since ESSA was enacted. Another report is a brief on making decisions about exiting English learner (EL) services for ELs with disabilities. All of these are highlighted in this issue, with links to the reports. NCEO also announces a new center on inclusive policies and procedures in this issue. The TIES center is being established with several partners to create sustainable changes in schools and districts that will enable students with significant cognitive disabilities to fully engage in the same instructional and non-instructional activities as their general education peers while being instructed in a way that meets individual learning needs. Finally, in this issue we look forward to two future activities. At the end of October, NCEO will attend the annual conference of the National Association of State Directors of Special Education to lead two discussion sessions known as YOU PICKS on the 1% cap and the alternate diploma. And, in November, NCEO will share information on using formative and interim assessments to improve student learning at the annual conference of the Teachers of Education Division of CEC. Look forward to lively discussions during these sessions!
– Martha Thurlow, NCEO Director
Forum Report on Text Readers for Everyone on All Tests
Text readers are now available in many states for all students. On June 27, 2017 NCEO, the Assessing Special Education Students (ASES) State Collaborative on Assessments and Student Standards (SCASS), and the English Learners (EL) SCASS held a joint forum on issues surrounding the use of text readers on tests. This a report on the discussions about availability of text readers for everyone on all tests, the differences in terminology for text readers, ways to develop common language around text readers, and challenges associated with text readers.
NCEO 2016 State Survey Report
NCEO has published its 2016 state survey report, titled 2016 Survey of States: State Activities Amid Evolving Educational Policies. This report presents the results of the 15th survey of states by NCEO. The purpose of the report is to provide a snapshot of the new initiatives, trends, accomplishments, and emerging issues in states during a period of new education laws and initiatives.
Brief on Making English Learner (EL) Exit Decisions for ELs with Disabilities
NCEO has published Meeting the Needs of ELs (English Learners) with Disabilities in Your State: Making EL Exit Decisions (NCEO Brief #13). This Brief summarizes key findings from a 2016 survey of Title III directors that asked about state policies and practices for exiting ELs with disabilities from EL services.
New Center Established on Inclusive Practices and Policies
NCEO has been awarded a $10 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs to establish a National Technical Assistance Center on Inclusive Practices and Policies. NCEO and its partners will establish the TIES Center (Increasing Time, Instructional Effectiveness, Engagement, and State Support for Inclusive Practices for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities).
The purpose of the TIES Center is to create sustainable changes in school and district educational systems so that students with significant cognitive disabilities can fully engage in the same instructional and non-instructional activities as their general education peers while being instructed in a way that meets individual learning needs.
NCEO at NASDSE for YOU PICKS
NCEO staff members, Martha Thurlow and Sheryl Lazarus, will lead two YOU PICKS discussion sessions at the annual meeting of the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE). YOU PICKS sessions are designed to be interactive sessions where states have the opportunity to reflect, share, question, and so forth.
TED CEC Conference Session on Using Formative and Interim Assessments to Improve Student Learning
Please join NCEO’s Kathy Strunk for a session at the Teacher Education Division (TED), Council on Exceptional Children (CEC) Conference in Savannah, Georgia, titled Using Formative and Interim Assessments to Improve Student Learning. This session will be held on November 9 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.
NCEO’s National Assessment Center is supported through a Cooperative Agreement (#H326G160001) with the Research to Practice Division, Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education. The Center is affiliated with the Institute on Community Integration at the College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota. The contents of this report were developed under the Cooperative Agreement from the U.S. Department of Education, but do not necessarily represent the policy or opinions of the U.S. Department of Education or Office within it. Readers should not assume endorsement by the federal government.
Project Officer: David Egnor