LaTEACH
Join Fellow LaTEACH Members!
Put on your Purple 
The Special Education Advisory Panel (SEAP) needs to hear your voice!

September 20, 2013

 

 

Put on your purple shirt and meet us at the Special Education Advisory Panel (SEAP) meeting at 9:00 a.m. on September 25th at the Claiborne Building in Baton Rouge!
  • Does your child currently take an alternate assessment (either the LAA1 or LAA2)?  
  • Did you know that LAA2 is being phased out next year?
SEAP will discuss changes to these two assessments and make recommendations to the Department of Education.  Click here to see the agenda.
What To Do

ALL LaTEACH members are encouraged to attend the Louisiana Special Education Advisory Panel meetings.  If you don't have a purple LaTEACH shirt, contact your  LaTEACH Regional Leader and we will provide one for you.

 

If you cannot make the SEAP meeting, you may offer public comment or share written public comment by e-mail to Cindy L. Arcenaux, Co-Chair of SEAP, at carceneaux@laptic.org

More Information

How many students will be impacted by these changes?
In 2012, approximately 26,000 students (over thirty percent of students with disabilities) were assessed using the LAA1 or LAA2.  Approximately:
  • 19,600 students take the LAA2; and
  • 6,400 students with the most significant disabilities take the LAA1.

LAA2

The 19,600 students taking the LAA2 will see drastic changes.  The federal government has indicated alternate assessments that do not measure grade-level expectations will not be allowed as part of the general assessment.  So the LAA2 will no longer exist after this school year.
 
How do assessments matter?
The ultimate educational goal of earning a diploma depends on a student's performance on standardized assessments.  LaTEACH members succeeded in changing policies to accept performance on the LAA2 as criteria to earn a diploma.  The 26,000 students currently deemed to need an alternate assessment will no longer have this option available after this year.  

  

School performance scores are based mostly on how well students do on standardized assessments.  The more students with disabilities are in a school tends to lower that school's performance score.  Parents have been concerned about how this high-stakes school system creates incentives to not include students with disabilities because these students tend to not score well on these assessments.  And there is some evidence that alternate assessments, at least those not based on grade-level expectations, lower expectations of students with disabilities.  

 

Are the LAA2 assessments aligned with what students are taught?
The LEAP was modified to more closely align with the new Common Core Standards and high school students are being given End-of-Course tests instead of the Graduate Exit Exam.  However, there has not been any indication that a similar shift has occurred with the LAA2.  So parents have expressed concern over whether students will be tested on what is being taught.
 
Can states have alternate assessments that measure academic progress?
Yes.  Assessments based on Grade-Level Achievement Standards (AA-GLAS) are acceptable by the federal government and have been used by at least two states.  LaTEACH has recommended that Louisiana use AA-GLAS to replace the LAA2.  The link above provides a good description of three types of alternate assessments. LAA1 is an AA-AAS, based on alternate achievement standards and LAA2 is an AA-MAS using modified academic achievement standards. 
 
Will the assessments measuring the new Common Core State Standards have an alternate assessment?
Next year (2014-2015) students will take assessments being produced by PARCC.  These assessments are claimed to be developed using principles of universal design that maximize accessibility for all students.
 

LAA1

The Louisiana Department of Education has been working with the National Center and State Collaboration (NCSC) to build an alternate assessment for students with the most significant disabilities to replace the existing LAA1.  

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