Special Edition: Assessment 2014-2015
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Florida Statewide Assessment


Computer-Based Testing Overview

 

FSA Item Types

 

Online Tools


Accommodations

 

Read-aloud Accommodations Update

 

Paper-Based Accommodations

 

Accommodations Process


Unique Accommodations


Exemptions and Waivers


Pre-Assessment Activities


Assessment Vendors


Our Partners

 

 

Assessment Schedules

 

2014 - 2015 Statewide Assessment Schedule

 

2015 - 2016 Statewide Assessment Schedule

 

Florida Alternate Assessment

Student Testing Window

 

March 2 - April 8, 2015

 

Resource Links














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"Technology & Learning Connections - MTSS: Increasing student 
achievement through the systemic alignment of technology, policies, 
and curriculum in a multi-tiered system of supports." 

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flassessFlorida Statewide Assessment
The Florida Standards Assessments, FCAT, FCAT 2.0, End-of-Course Assessments, and Florida's Alternate Assessment are important components of Florida's accountability system. These statewide assessments measure how well students have achieved the knowledge and skills required in the academic content standards. In Florida, all students attending public schools must participate in the statewide assessment program. The Florida Department of Education offers a variety of resources to assist districts in preparation for assessment.
 
2014-2015 Assessment Accommodations Q & A - Developed in collaboration with the Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services and the Bureau of Student Achievement through Language Acquisition, this document was developed to share information and guidance regarding the provision of assessment accommodations for students with disabilities and for English Language Learners.

2014 - 2015 Assessment Schedule - All schools within a district must adhere to the same daily schedule. Districts wishing to suspend testing on a given day (e.g., due to a religious holiday) may do so for all schools in the district. There is no limit on administration days within a testing window. http://www.fldoe.org/asp/schedule.asp.

Florida's Transition to Computer-Based Testing - 2014-2015 Florida assessments will include computer-based testing by two contractors, American Institutes for Research (AIR) and Pearson. FCAT, FCAT 2.0, and EOC are contracted through Pearson while the Florida Standards Assessments are contracted through AIR.

Accommodations Guide - Students with disabilities who have an IEP or section 504 plan may be eligible for accommodations in instruction and assessment. 
http://www.fldoe.org/ese/pdf/accomm-educator.pdf.
As Florida transitions to computer-based testing a portion of the assessments will continue to be paper-based for the 2014-2015 administration. The chart below depicts the contractor and platform for each assessment type.

For more information please consult your local assessment coordinator.
FSAitemFSA Item Types

The FSA are comprised of test items that include traditional four-option multiple-choice items, items that require students to type or write a response, and technology-enhanced items (TEI). Technology-enhanced items are computer-delivered items that require students to interact with test content to select, construct and/or support their answers.

For Grades 3 and 4 assessments, which are paper-based tests in 2014-2015, and for Grades 5-11 students with an IEP or Section 504 plan that specifies a paper-based accommodation, TEIs will be replaced with test items that can be scanned and scored electronically.


 

Sample test items are available at http://www.fsassessments.org/training-tests.

Students taking specific assessments will have access to online and handheld calculators. Students can access and practice using online calculators prior to assessment by visiting:

Florida Standards Assessment (AIR) - www.FSAssessments.org
FCAT/FCAT 2.0/EOC (Pearson) - www.FLAssessments.com
screen shots of a 5 function and a scientific calculator

For more information please consult your local assessment coordinator.
young girl sitting at a computer wearing headphones and looking at a piece of paper while typing
Accommodations are changes that can be made in the way individual students access information and demonstrate performance. Accommodations make it possible for students to work around the effect of their disabilities and are not the same as instructional interventions for academics or behavior. Students with disabilities who have an IEP or section 504 plan may be eligible for accommodations.  Allowable accommodations are listed in the test administration manuals published by the Florida Department of Education Bureau of K-12 Student Assessment. 


  • Flexible Presentation - oral presentation (human reader, text-to-speech), signed presentation, masking.
  • Flexible Responding - written, signed, or verbal responses, braille responses, speech-to-text technology, communication devices/computer switches, pointing devices, special paper, blank mathematics grids/guides.
  • Flexible Scheduling - brief sessions, frequent breaks, testing during certain times of the day, extended time (not unlimited).
  • Flexible Setting - individual or small group, special lighting, white noise or approved music, special acoustics, adaptive or special furniture.


 

Please contact your local assessment coordinator or IEP team for more information. 

readRead-aloud Accommodations Update
  • ELA WritingStudents with an oral presentation accommodation on their IEPs or Section 504 plans may have the directions and prompt read aloud to them. The Writing Component of the ELA test requires that students read a variety of texts and respond to what they have read. Because this portion of the test assesses reading skills as well as writing skills, the passages may NOT be read aloud to students. 
  • ELA ReadingStudents with an oral presentation accommodation on their IEPs or Section 504 plans may have the directions, test questions, and answer choices read aloud to them. The Reading passages may NOT be read aloud to students. 
     
  • MathematicsAll mathematics directions, test questions, and answer choices may be read aloud to students with this accommodation. 


 

Please contact your local assessment coordinator or IEP team for more information. 

Students with disabilities who have an IEP or section 504 plan may be eligible for paper-based accommodations. The considerations for determining eligibility are consistent with determining other accommodations and should not be based on preferential reasons. Paper-based accommodations could include: 
  • Regular print
  • Large print
  • Braille
  • One item per page

Students who are eligible to receive paper-based accommodations must have an IEP or Section 504 plan that clearly indicates the reason that the computer-based test is not currently accessible or appropriate for the student. Documentation should include: 

  • Whether or not the student is currently able to use a computer or mobile device to engage in instruction/assessments.
  • Accommodations/assistive technology the student needs when using a computer or mobile device. 
  • Training and services the student needs to successfully use a computer or mobile device in instruction/assessments. 
  • The type of media/accommodations (e.g., paper, braille) that are necessary if it is determined that the student cannot use a computer or mobile device for the foreseeable future. 

Students who are hospitalized/homebound and students who currently reside at Department of Corrections facilities, excluding Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) facilities, are also eligible to receive paper-based test materials. 


Please contact your local assessment coordinator or IEP team for more information. 

Devices that allow access to the computer or visual magnification, auditory amplification or braille manipulatives may be considered for accommodations. This could include such devices as alternative keyboards, trackballs, joysticks, switch scanning systems, touch screens, mouth sticks, head wands, eye-gaze or head control systems. More examples of assistive tools and devices can be viewed at Exploring Technology & Learning Connections.



Please contact your local assessment coordinator or IEP team for more information.

Unique accommodations are specialized accommodations that require changes or alterations to existing test materials, presentation, or administration guidelines. In order to be used during testing, a unique accommodation must be:

  • An allowable accommodation that does not negate the validity of the assessment
  • Indicated in the student's IEP or Section 504 plan
  • Approved by the Department

Paper-based test materials (regular print, large print, braille, one-item-per-page) are not considered unique accommodations and may be provided to eligible students if documented on an IEP or Section 504 plan and included on the district assessment coordinator's spreadsheet submitted to the Bureau of K-12 Student Assessment. 


 Please contact your local assessment coordinator or IEP team for more information. 

Under Florida Statutes there are provisions for exemption from participation and waiver of assessment results. To determine eligibility please contact your school-based assessment coordinator.

  • An exemption from participation in a statewide assessment may be requested for an extraordinary circumstance or condition per Section 1008.212, Florida Statutes, or for medical complexity per s. 1008.22(9), F.S. All determinations regarding participation in the statewide assessment program must be documented in the student's IEP or Section 504 plan. 
  • Per s. 1008.22(3)(c)2 and 3 and s. 1003.4282(11)(e), a student with a disability may request a waiver of assessment results for the purpose of receiving a course grade or a standard diploma. The student must have participated in the assessment at least once and must meet all other waiver criteria. 
Please contact your local assessment coordinator or IEP team for more information. 
  • Use the practice tests   
  • Teach students how to use the features
  • Teach students how to use accommodations
  • Determine test settings that work best

 

FSA Portal and Online Resources
Pearson Portal and Online Resources
www.FLAssessments.com

 

partnersOur Partners
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The Technology & Learning Connections Team is a part of the Problem Solving/ Response to Intervention Project. Services include the alignment of accessible instructional materials, assistive technology, and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in a multi-tiered system of supports.  

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The Florida Diagnostic & Learning Resources System (FDLRS): providing services in the areas of Childfind, HRD, Parent Services, and Technology; including local TA&D, professional development, and capacity building in the areas of accessible instructional materials, assistive & Instructional technologies, UDL, and virtual learning.
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Local Assistive Technology Specialists (LATS): providing local support for assistive technology assessments, evaluations, and related assistive technology services.


Together we are working to help all schools implement a universal, differentiated core curriculum based on the Florida Standards.   

This newsletter was funded by the Florida Department of Education Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services through federal assistance under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), Part B funds. The information included does not reflect any specific endorsement by any parties involved. Please email Gary Pearcy for further information.