Sharing the Conviction that all Students Count

Our alternate assessment partnerships with states are more than contracts—they’re commitments. Our alternate assessment staff members are former special educators who feel a deep sense of responsibility to the students and their teachers.

Meeting the Challenges of IDEA

Alternate AssessmentThe Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 1997 redefined what students with disabilities should know and be able to do, and was the first mandate for states to administer alternate assessments. Since 1998, we’ve helped 23 states (plus the District of Columbia) meet the enormous challenges of IDEA with approaches that meet the federal mandates and provide meaningful information to help improve instruction.

  • For portfolio assessments, we help teachers collect and store student performance evidence electronically to showcase student work and progress.
  • We work with special educators in states across the country to develop and administer performance-based assessments.
  • We’ve designed and implemented scoring procedures that result in consistent, valid scores.
  • We conduct trainings for hundreds of teachers and test administrators to help them reveal student progress using assessment tools.

Supporting States’ Transitions

Well into the second decade of IDEA, the options are expanding, from portfolio to a variety of performance-based assessments, from states going it on their own to participating in consortia.

Among our recent projects, we worked with multiple partners in the National Center and State Collaborative (NCSC) to design and develop the consortium’s assessment (funded by the federal Race to the Top program). We partnered with Breakthrough Technologies to deliver the first NCSC operational administration—online—in 14 states and territories in spring 2015.

We built our reputation for collaboration and leadership by working with our clients to navigate the continuing transitions in alternate assessment. We can help you

  • Design a new assessment
  • Enhance an existing program
  • Implement an assessment
  • Train educators to use assessment tools and data
  • Make a transition from one test format to another

Discover how 14 states successfully worked together to assess students with significant cognitive disabilities.

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Putting Students First

The “Measured Progress Difference” is the phrase we use to describe the mix of values, habits, and convictions that go into our work. It means that we share your objectives and make decisions with your students in mind. This “difference” is especially apparent when it comes to our work assessing students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.

We know that sometimes the structure of an assessment—no matter how individualized—isn’t easy to follow. When something doesn’t go quite right in a specific test administration or with upload of a student’s work, we put the student’s need first. We don’t slam the door shut. Instead, we ask, “Is there any way we can include this student?” We’ll work with the state to try to make sure that the student—every student—gets a score, and the parent will get a report. This student’s work matters.

Range of Services

Our specialists share your goals and your challenges. We thrive on working with you to overcome challenges. See the descriptions of our Services to learn more about how we can support your assessment program.