The National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO) focuses on the inclusion of students with disabilities, English learners, and English learners with disabilities in instruction and assessments.  The scope of NCEO’s work includes issues related to accessibility of assessments across the comprehensive assessment system including formative assessment practices, classroom-based assessments, diagnostic assessments, interim assessments, and summative assessments.

NCEO is a leader in advocating for appropriate testing access and accommodations for students with disabilities, including English learners with disabilities and English learners without disabilities. NCEO works to ensure that the assessment results for these groups of students are reported just as they are for other students and that they influence accountability systems in the same way as they do other students.

NCEO helps students with disabilities, English learners, and English learners with disabilities by:

  • Collecting, analyzing, synthesizing, disseminating, and providing leadership on evidence-based information on inclusive assessments and comprehensive assessment systems.
  • Promoting the use of assessments for instructional decision-making purposes.
  • Assisting states in their efforts to support districts to improve results.
  • Reviewing the participation and performance of students in national and state assessments, including the use of accessibility features and accommodations and alternate assessments.
  • Examining national and state practices in reporting assessment information.
  • Supporting implementation of U.S. Department of Education accountability systems, including Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) accountability and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) State Systemic Improvement Plans (SSIPs) and State-Identified Measurable Results (SIMRs).
  • Bridging general education, special education, English development, and other systems as they work to improve results of education for all students.

 NCEO focuses its efforts in the following areas:

  • Knowledge Development on the participation and performance of students with disabilities, English learners, and English learners with disabilities in national, state, and district assessments and other educational reform efforts.
  • Technical Assistance and Dissemination through publications, presentations, technical assistance, and other networking activities.
  • Collaboration to build on the expertise of others and to develop leaders who can conduct needed research and provide additional technical assistance.

NCEO Resources

NCEO offers the following kinds of materials and services for state personnel, educators, parents, and others concerned with assessments and the educational outcomes of all students:

  • An extensive list of publications that include reports and briefs, state activity updates, policy documents, self-study guides, and other tools.
  • Principles to guide inclusive assessment systems.
  • Recommendations for developing assessment policies and guidelines for participation, accessibility, reporting, and accountability that include all students.
  • Current information on assessment projects and other efforts to collect data on the educational outcomes of all students.
  • A national network of people who can assist states and other agencies as they consider assessment and accountability issues.

NCEO Director Sheryl Lazarus, Ph.D.

NCEO Assistant Director Kristin Liu, Ph.D.


For Further Information: National Center on Educational Outcomes, University of Minnesota, 2025 East River Parkway, Minneapolis, MN 55414, 612/626-1530 nceo@umn.edu

NCEO is an affiliated center of the Institute on Community Integration,  located within the College of Education and Human Development  at the University of Minnesota .