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Testing Consortium Releases Draft Accommodations Policy

What accommodations will be provided for students with disabilities and those learning English on the new common assessments? You can get an early glimpse of what half the states are considering by looking at the draft accommodations policy that one of the two testing consortia—the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers—has released.

My colleague Lesli Maxwell explains the policy with regard to English learners on her Learning the Language blog. Christina Samuels details the students-with-disabilities elements in her blog, On Special Education.

If you follow this, you might well have seen some early pieces of the draft policy that stirred a few concerns when PARCC released them in December. Public comment opened on those portions of the accommodations manual in January. Now PARCC has thrown open the public-feedback doors on the entire manual.

This stuff is an important piece of the puzzle as PARCC and the other federally funded testing consortium, Smarter Balanced, design tests that will be given to 90 percent of the students in the country in the spring of 2015. How well English-learners and students with disabilities can access those tests is a question on many minds as that work progresses.

Lesli, who writes about English-learners for EdWeek, and Christina, who covers special education, teamed up on a package of stories previewing the complexities of the two consortia's work on this. In case you missed it, you can revisit that package here: Lesli's overview, and her full story on the English-learner side of that house, and Christina's story on the students-with-disabilities side.

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