The Administrator’s Guide to Federal Programs for English Learners

edCount president Dr. Ellen Forte and a team of edCount associates co-authored this comprehensive manual about serving English learners, released…

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edCount and Tennessee Department of Education Presented Information on Supporting Access to Science and Social Studies for Students with Significant Disabilities Using Content Modules at the TASH Conference on December 13-15, 2017

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edCount and the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) led a TASH conference session to share information on the development of science and social studies content modules undertaken by the Tennessee Department of Education, edCount, and Educational Testing Service. These modules are aligned to general education standards and support educators in providing grade-level instruction to students with significant cognitive disabilities, addressing their complex learning needs, and promoting inclusion.

Around 30 educators, advocates, and other TASH members attended the session. Presenters discussed the key characteristics of effective content delivery, including evidenced-based practices for teaching key vocabulary, suggestions for incorporating Universal Design for Learning (UDL), strategies for developing tactile maps and graphics, and ideas for transferring and generalizing concepts, knowledge, and skills to future school, community, and work environments. They also shared ideas on ways to support inclusion in science and social studies and discuss the impact that effective content delivery can have for all students. TDOE staff shared their experiences with the implementation of these content modules and how they provide a means to ensure classrooms are places where students with disabilities learn, experience meaningful participation, and develop a sense of belonging. The slides from the December presentation can be found here, and more information about TASH is available here. As their website states, the mission of TASH is “to promote the full inclusion and participation of children and adults with significant disabilities in every aspect of their community, and to eliminate the social injustices that diminish human rights.” 

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Dr. Forte publishes commissioned white paper with Council of Chief State School Officers Collaborative

The Technical Issues in Large Scale Assessment State Collaborative on Assessments and Student Standards (TILSA SCASS) of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) commissioned Dr. Ellen Forte to write the white paper, Evaluating Alignment in Large-Scale Standards-Based Assessment Systems, in 2017. Through this paper, Dr. Forte explores technical and theoretical issues surrounding the evaluation of alignment in large-scale assessment systems for the general student population and for students with cognitive disabilities. This paper also specifically addresses the U.S. federal peer review requirements related to alignment. Click here to read the full text.

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edCount Conducted Workshop on Applications of an Alignment Evaluation Framework at the Annual Northeastern Educational Research Association (NERA) Conference on October 18-20, 2017

Based on Dr. Ellen Forte’s publications on the topic of alignment evaluation (e.g., 2013, 2017), this workshop provided participants with solid grounding in alignment evaluation methods for standards-based assessments within the contexts of principled-design assessment development, the United States Department of Education’s federal peer review requirements, and the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (AERA, APA, & NCME, 2014). Attendees participated in an activity in which they considered an alignment plan and conducted ratings of standards, claims, Performance Level Descriptors (PLDs), task models, blueprints, and items. The workshop concluded with a discussion of communication strategies in terms of reports and questions from stakeholders, including the media, parents, and technical advisory committees. To learn more about the conference, click here