Participation for Interim, Formative, and Diagnostic Assessments
Students with disabilities, English learners, and English learners with disabilities should be included in interim assessments, formative assessment processes, and diagnostic assessments to the same extent that other students are included in them. Participation guidelines with clear criteria will support sound decision making.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires students with disabilities be included in all general state and districtwide assessment programs, including districtwide administrations of interim assessments, with appropriate accommodations and alternate assessments. For English learners and English learners with disabilities, participation requirements are reinforced by several civil rights laws and court cases.
The participation decision-making process for interim assessments should be the same as that used for state assessments. For students with disabilities and English learners with disabilities who receive special education services, the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team should make the decision. For students with disabilities and English learners with disabilities who have a 504 accommodation plan, a school-based decision-making team should be involved. For English learners without disabilities, a team-based approach is desirable.
Many students with disabilities, English learners, and English learners with disabilities have been excluded from interim assessments, due to a lack of or insufficient accessibility features. Students with sensory disabilities are especially likely to be excluded because of a lack of accommodations such as braille.