Methods in creating alternate assessments: Calibrating a mathematics alternate assessment designed for students with disabilities using general education student data
Jung, Eunju, 1974-
A significant challenge in developing alternate assessments is obtaining suitable sample sizes. This study investigated whether psychometric characteristics of mathematic alternate assessment items created for 2% students in grade 8 can be meaningfully estimated with data obtained from general education students in lower grades. Participants included 23 2% students in grade 8 and 235 general education students in grades 6-8. Twenty three 2% students were identified through the Student Performance Test (10 standard items and 10 2% items) and the Teacher Perception Survey. Performance on 10 2% items by the 2% students and the general education students were analyzed to address the questions: (a) are there grade levels at which the item parameters estimated from general education students in grade 6-8 are not different from those obtained using the 2% student sample? and (b) are there grade levels at which the estimated ability of general education students in grades 6-8 are not different the 2% student sample in grade 8? Results indicated that the item response patterns of 2% students in grade 8 were comparable to those of general education students in grades 6 and 7. Additionally, 2% students in grade 8 showed comparable mathematics performance on 2% items when compared to general education students in grades 6 and 7. Considering the content exposure of students in lower grades, this study concluded that data from general education students in grade 7 would be more appropriate to be used in designing alternate assessment for 2% students in grade 8 than data from students in grade 6. The general conclusion is that using data obtained from general education students in lower grade levels may be an appropriate and efficient method of designing alternate assessment items.