edCount Completes Validity and Process Evaluation for Development of National Center and State Collaborative (NCSC) Alternate Assessment System

The National Center and State Collaborative (NCSC) was a project led by five organizations and 24 states (18 core partner states and 6 Tier II states) to build an alternate assessment based on alternate achievement standards (AA-AAS) for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. edCount led NCSC's validity evaluation work group, one of four organizational pillars for the project's activities.

The National Center and State Collaborative (NCSC) was a multi-state, multi-organizational consortium that was awarded a General Supervision Enhancement Grant (GSEG) in late 2010 by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) in the U.S. Department of Education. The result of this grant project was an alternate assessment system and related content that assesses the English language arts and mathematics achievement of students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. The National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO) at the University of Minnesota led the partnership that included 24 states and four organizational partners. edCount, as one of the organizational partners, led the validity and process evaluation for the project and provided direct oversight to the external evaluation for the project. edCount’s activities included establishing a Theory of Action and Interpretative Argument to guide the project, developing and implementing studies to provide formative feedback for curriculum and instruction, professional development, and assessment development, as well as contributing to the overall validity evaluation of the system, and providing overall project management for the project.

Once the development project ended, the state partners who agreed to move forward with using the NCSC system renamed the ongoing collaborative the Multi-State Alternate Assessment (MSAA), with the Arizona Department of Education as lead state. States that have not joined MSAA may acquire license agreements through edCount for the use of assessment components. All other curriculum, instruction, and professional development resources associated with the project are publicly available on the NCSC Wiki (here) and the NCSC Website (here).

edCount is the partner organization that provides licensing options for use of the National Center and State Collaborative (NCSC) alternate assessment system and content in English language arts and mathematics to states/entities, on behalf of the MSAA group. The NCSC Alternate Assessment technology system and test content for students who have significant disabilities were developed by the NCSC consortium. Several licensing options are available for entities who want to make use of the NCSC system and/or test content. To protect the NCSC Intellectual Property, entities requesting use of the NCSC system, the system code, and/or test content or to view the system, code, and/or test content, must follow appropriate licensing procedures.