Accommodating Students on Classroom and Large-scale Assessments: Teachers’ Perspectives and Validity Issues
Master of Science
educational assessment data
EQAO accommodation policy
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The objective of this research was to examine teacher perspectives of accommodation practices in the classroom, on large-scale assessments, and their effect on the validity of large-scale assessment data in Ontario schools. The problem was that students without IEPs may benefit from accommodations in their classrooms but would not be eligible for accommodations on large-scale assessments, including those administered by the EQAO. This study answers three questions: (1) Would grade 3 and 6 teachers in Northern Ontario provide large-scale assessment accommodations consistent with the students’ classroom accommodations? (2) What proportion of teachers would not follow the EQAO accommodation policy? (3) In the opinion of grades 3 and 6 teachers in Northern Ontario, what are the validity issues of large-scale assessments for students without IEPs who are receiving accommodations in the classroom? Data was collected in collaboration with the Northwest professional network centre (PNC) of the Managing Information for Student Achievement (MISA). Using a mixed-methods analysis I examined responses from 37 teachers in grades 3 or 6 throughout Northern Ontario. I found that, in general, students without IEPs would not receive accommodations on the EQAO that were consistent with their classroom accommodations. Further, more than half of all teachers would not follow the EQAO accommodation policies. Finally, inconsistency in accommodations between the classroom and the EQAO Primary and Junior Assessments is possibly a significant concern for validity of the interpretations of the EQAO assessments and should be further examined on a province-wide scale.