Funding Creates National Center at IHDI

Contact: Ralph Derickson or Sandi Webster

 

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“This is an exciting time in the field of disabilities and more specifically alternate assessment. Through the work of this new center, we will be able to directly impact alternate assessments as they relate to the school, teachers, administrators, and, most importantly, students with disabilities and their families.”

-- Jacqui Kearns,
director,
National Collaborative Center on Standards and Assessment Development

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 9, 2004) -- The Interdisciplinary Human Development Institute (IHDI) at the University of Kentucky recently was awarded a five-year, $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to create a National Collaborative Center on Standards and Assessment Development (NCCSAD).

The federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act requires all students be represented in each state’s accountability system. Each school is required to assess each student, even students with moderate or severe disabilities. The IHDI project develops inclusive large-scale assessment systems – those designed to incorporate students with disabilities into assessment and scoring procedures. The new center will look at issues relating to the development and subsequent implementation of these assessments.

The NCCSAD will partner with UK researchers; technical assistance providers; nationally known experts in measurement, curriculum, and special education; advocates; policy-makers; and 11 partner states to look at four distinct issues associated with alternate assessments, including:

  • Technical quality of various types of alternate assessments;
  • Alignment of alternate assessments to academic content;
  • Effective practices for developing and administering alternate assessments; and
  • Impact of these assessments on student learning and access to the general curriculum.

In addition, a model demonstration feature will support the redesign or development of new types of alternate assessments in collaboration with programs in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Mexico and South Dakota.

IHDI also will work with the state partners to improve and develop new types of alternate assessments that exemplify high quality assessment practices. In addition, the research findings will be broadly disseminated across the nation.

“This is an exciting time in the field of disabilities and more specifically alternate assessment,” said Jacqui Kearns, director of the NCCSAD. “Through the work of this new center, we will be able to directly impact alternate assessments as they relate to the school, teachers, administrators, and, most importantly, students with disabilities and their families.”

“Once again, we are on the cutting edge of disability research and systems change,” said Harold Kleinert, director of IHDI. “I look forward to the positive impact this center will have.”

For more information about the National Collaborative Center on Standards and Assessment Development (NCCSAD), contact Jacqui Kearns at (859) 257-7672. For more information about the Interdisciplinary Human Development Institute, call (859) 257-1714.

The Interdisciplinary Human Development Institute at the University of Kentucky works to improve life opportunities for persons with disabilities and their families through interdisciplinary training, research, technical assistance, community education, and information dissemination.


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