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Universally-Designed Assessments

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My blog post about "books of the future" using principles of universal design for learning brought this comment from source Candace Cortiella, director of The Advocacy Institute, which I thought was worth bringing up:

Hi Christina:

UDL approaches also extend to large-scale assessment design. The National Center on Educational Outcomes has written a guide for states to help begin thinking about designing assessments (UDA) with all students in mind, just as UDL attempts to design curriculum accessible to the widest range of students right from the start.

It would be most unfortunate for UDL to take hold without UDA coming along at the same time. We would be yanking away lots of accessibility aspects in the most important arena -- testing what a student has learned -- the results of such tests are used BOTH for school accountability (NCLB) and student stakes (exit exams) ... so it's important to promote UDA along with UDL.

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I would love to see an assessment that is designed with ALL students in mind. In order to truly do accomplish this goal the assessment would have to be given in different forms so that each student could be successful. I am fed up with teaching to state test and leaving students behind.

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