- Transitioning assessment systems
- Transitioning special populations
New standards, next generation assessments, higher expectations, adaptive testing, and innovative item types – it is a lot of change for a school system to take on in a short time. Ensuring that staff are ready for change will only occur if states provide the necessary transition from the old to the new assessment system through high quality professional development. Two states, West Virginia and Wisconsin will share their plans and experience in training teachers on the standards needed for the next generation alternate assessment.
Wisconsin and West Virginia are members of Smarter Balanced (SBAC) for the general education assessment and Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) consortia for the development of the alternate assessment. The issue of transitioning teachers to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the Essential Elements (which are linked to the CCSS) is made easier by clearly articulating student expectations through structured professional development. Examples of instructional tasks and descriptions of student performance provide special educators with ideas for instructional planning, and the framework for connecting instruction with the new assessment system.
State representatives will share training materials, plans, and experiences in transitioning educators from the previous alternate assessment system to the anticipated next generation. DLM staff will illustrate how the professional development embedded within the scope of the project provides content and the support for the state education agency as they lead special educators through the transition.
This session, with a combination of policy and practical implementation, demonstrates how state department and consortia leaders model collaborative efforts in remembering the lessons learned from previous alternate assessment systems while transitioning to the next generation assessment systems with the goal of increased impact for students with significant cognitive disabilities.