Johnson, E. S. (2000). The effects of accommodations on performance assessments . Remedial and Special Education , 21 (5), 261–267.

Journal Article

Johnson, E. S. (2000). The effects of accommodations on performance assessments. Remedial and Special Education, 21(5), 261–267.


Elementary; K-12; Learning disabilities; Math; Oral delivery; Reading; U.S. context



All students took two math tests. Students with reading disabilities had the first test read aloud by a trained proctor (read-aloud), and the second test they read to themselves. The students without disabilities were divided into two groups: one receiving the read-aloud accommodation on the second test, and the other never receiving the read-aloud accommodation on either test.


A total of 115 grade 4 students from the state of Washington participated. Thirty-eight (38) students were receiving special education services for a reading disability (33% of sample). Overall, 47% of the sample was female, 69.6% were White, 5.3% were African American, 13% were Latino, 10.4% were Asian American, and 1.7% were Native American.

Dependent Variable

The 1998 version of the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) (math form) was the first test administered to all students. The 1997 version of the WASL, math form, was the second test administered to all students. Both of these tests included multiple-choice questions and performance-based assessment items. The reading portion of the WASL was used in comparing students with high and low reading abilities.


Reading the math items to students without learning disabilities had no apparent effect on their performance. The accommodation did not have a significant differential effect for poor readers as opposed to good readers among students without disabilities; however, the interaction effect for this approached significance (p < .093). The findings suggest that all students with learning disabilities benefited from having the math items read to them.