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Institute of Education Sciences


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IES Grant

Title: Enhancing Accessibility for Students with Disabilities in Large-Scale Reading Assessments
Center: NCSER Year: 2012
Principal Investigator: Danielson, Louis Grantee: American Institutes for Research
Program: Special Education Policy, Finance, and Systems      [Program Details]
Award Period: 09/01/2012–08/31/2015 Award Amount: $1,198,919
Goal: Measurement Award Number: R324A120110
Description:

Co-Principal Investigator: Allison Gandhi

Purpose: Students with reading and language disabilities make up the largest group of students with disabilities. The majority of these students will participate in their state assessment with or without accommodations. Very little is known about the effects of these accommodations on standardized test scores, yet states continue to allow different accommodations for their state assessment. The purpose of this study is to identify a set of valid accommodations that could be provided to students with word-reading disabilities as a means of demonstrating their skills on standardized reading comprehension assessments.

Project Activities: Students will be identified by their teachers and assessed for eligibility with a standardized reading assessment. The study will consist of two phases. Phase I will include 360 students with and without reading disabilities who will complete the Ohio Assessment Test (OAT) without accommodations and with pacing assistance. Pacing assistance consists of guiding the student's timing through the reading passage and answering the questions. In phase II, 500 students with and without reading disabilities will complete the OAT under four different conditions. The four different conditions include: (1) no pacing assistance; (2) question stems and answer options read aloud plus pacing assistance; (3) question stems, answer options, and proper nouns read aloud plus pacing assistance; and (4) full passage read aloud plus pacing assistance.

Products: The products of this study include practitioner-oriented documents intended to be used by state testing personnel, peer-reviewed publications, and presentations.

Structured Abstract

Setting: The project will take place in public elementary schools in Ohio.

Sample: There will be 860 fourth-grade students recruited from approximately 90 schools. The sample will include students with word-reading disabilities and students without disabilities who are average readers.

Assessment: The four accommodation conditions will include: (1) no pacing assistance; (2) question stems and answer options read aloud plus pacing assistance; (3) question stems, answer options, and proper nouns read aloud plus pacing assistance; and (4) full passage read aloud plus pacing assistance.

Research Design and Methods: In phase I, all 360 students will participate in both conditions. Students will read two passages and questions per condition. To eliminate ordering bias, half of the students will receive the conditions in the reverse order. The entire testing session will be completed in one day. In phase II, students will be divided into four groups. Each student will receive all four conditions; two conditions per day, varying the ordering of the conditions.

Control Condition: A comparison group will consist of students without disabilities who are average readers.

Key Measures: Outcomes on standardized reading assessments will be used to determine students' eligibility. Student scores on the OAT in different conditions will be used to assess the difference between groups and across conditions.

Data Analytic Strategy: A hierarchal linear model (HLM) design will be used to compare the outcomes between groups. In addition, HLM will be used to model growth within students across varying levels of support provided with each OAT.


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