Hodgson, J. R., Lazarus, S. S., Price, L. M., Altman, J. R., & Thurlow, M. L. (2012). Test administrators’ perspectives on the use of the read aloud accommodation in math on state tests for accountability (Technical Report No. 66). University of Minnesota, National Center on Educational Outcomes. https://nceo.info/Resources/publications/OnlinePubs/Tech66/default.htm
NCEO Technical Report 66
The read-aloud accommodation was examined. Read-aloud was provided in-person by test administrators at the time of the state assessment administration, to individual students or in small-group settings.
Participants were 12 special educators at various levels who administered state mathematics assessments; 10 were special education teachers and 2 were district-level special education directors. Potential participants were purposively selected from throughout the state of South Dakota (U.S.), including the western and southeastern parts of the state. Participants attended one of three focus group meetings held in their own school district offices.
Semi-structured focus groups were used for data collection, obtaining test administrators' perceptions of the read-aloud accommodation as offered during the South Dakota Test of Educational Progress (DSTEP) in mathematics.
Researchers found that this state is similar to many others which provide read-aloud on state mathematics assessments as one of the most frequent accommodations offered. The researchers found that there were variations in administration practices across the state. Some administrators arranged small-group or individual space for providing read-loud, and some provided read-aloud to students with similar reading pacing needs. Another finding was that test administrators had views that read-aloud provided a range of benefits. In addition to supporting reading and providing access to tests, read-aloud can assist with focus when students have difficulty with testing endurance and motivation, and can decrease concentration if administrator's reading pace differs with students' pace. In comparison with other academic content tests, read-aloud provided during math tests differed in how it was implemented. For example, participants indicated that administration of read-aloud on math tests required more training and math content familiarity, in order to limit inadvertent pronunciation mistakes and variations in following guidelines across administrators. In comparison with other accommodations, read-aloud was used more often than accommodations such as breaks, calculator, enlarged print, and scribe, among others. Additionally, read-aloud is provided in combination with other accommodations such as alternative setting or frequent breaks, due to the circumstances of having a person read the test aloud, rather than because those other accommodations were identified in the individualized education program (IEP) plan.