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Paper Authored by Elizabeth Towles-Reeves and other edCount Staff Accepted for Publication in Exceptional Children

In July 2014, Exceptional Children accepted the paper “Where students with the most significant cognitive disabilities are taught: Implications for general curriculum access” for publication. This paper, coauthored by Elizabeth Towles-Reeves from edCount, Harold Kleinert from the University of Kentucky, and Rachel Quenemoen and Martha Thurlow from the University of Minnesota, reported on a survey of 15 states about placements of 39,837 students to examine the extent to which students who took the AA-AAS in the 2010-11 school year had access to regular education settings, and the extent to which that access correlated with expressive communication, use of an augmentative/alternative communication (AAC) system, and reading and math skill levels. The vast majority (93%) of students were served in self-contained classrooms, separate schools, or home settings, while only 7% were served in regular education or resource room placements. Researchers found a significant, positive correlation between expressive communication, reading and math skill levels, and increasingly inclusive classroom settings; and a significant, negative correlation between use of AAC and more inclusive settings, indicating those students using AAC had less access to inclusive settings.

This paper developed out of relationships formed in the National Center and State Collaborative (NCSC), a project led by five centers and 24 states to build an alternate assessment based on alternate achievement standards (AA-AAS) for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. To read the paper in its entirety, click here. To learn more about the work NCSC is doing to ensure students with the most significant cognitive disabilities achieve increasingly higher academic outcomes and leave high school ready for post-secondary options, click here.

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edCount and REL Mid-Atlantic present Longitudinal Data Use Research Alliance

In February 2014, edCount joined forces with ICF and DataSmith Solutions through the Regional Educational Laboratories Mid-Atlantic to launch the Longitudinal Data Use Research Alliance (LDURA). LDURA consists of representatives from state and local education agencies in the mid-Atlantic states and other stakeholders who have a significant interest in data use. edCount guides the alliance in maximizing the use of longitudinal data in the region by facilitating collaboration among participants to review, discuss, implement, and disseminate innovative uses for longitudinal data at the state and local level. edCount and LDURA use research and applied analytics to discover useful performance indicators and trends that improve common practices, programs, or behaviors that affect student achievement.

LDURA follows edCount’s 2013 REL-MA Data Governance Workshop Series, solidifying edCount’s status as a trusted leader in longitudinal data use.

For more information on how edCount and LDURA are building data capacity across the mid-Atlantic region, visit the LDURA website by clicking here.

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Instructional Sensitivity Conference -- November 13-15, 2013

international instructional sensitivity conf slideshowgraphic fin 0The Achievement and Assessment Institute (AAI), the Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation (CETE), edCount, and Renaissance Learning are presenting the Instructional Sensitivity Conference from November 13-15 at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas.

When tests are instructionally sensitive, higher scores can be interpreted as indicators of greater learning due to better teaching. Conversely, lower scores represent less learning due to poorer teaching. However, a growing body of evidence suggests that large-scale assessments lack the levels of instructional sensitivity needed for valid and trustworthy accountability decisions at the classroom, school, district, state, and national levels. If so, this would pose serious problems for a variety of initiatives, including state waivers, common-core assessments, and teacher evaluation systems. The ultimate goal of the First International Conference on Instructional Sensitivity is to create a critical mass of interest and concern for the issue of instructional sensitivity.

The conference will feature noted experts, authorities, and personalities addressing research related to instructional sensitivity and issues from multiple perspectives. The presentations, discussions, and debates will interest not only researchers but also publishers, practitioners, and policymakers.

To learn more, click here.

To register, click here. Please note: registration for this conference closes on November 1, 2013.