PPT on the NSCS Alternate Assessment

NCSC Model for a Comprehensive
System of Curriculum, Instruction and
Ricki Sabia, JD
Technical Assistance and Parent Training Specialist
National Center and State Collaborative
Senior Associate, edCount, LLC
[email protected]
NCSC Background
• In 2010, with funding from the U.S. Department of
Education the National Center and State
Collaborative (NCSC) began developing a new
alternate assessment in math and ELA to be
completed by the 2014-15 school year*
• 24 states and five national centers are working
together in NCSC http://www.ncscpartners.org/
• NCSC is also developing curriculum/instructional
resources based on Common Core State Standards
(CCSS) that can be used in any state
*states may have different implementation timelines for
NCSC assessment
NCSC Partner States
Importance of NCSC Resources to Parent
Centers in All States
• Free online curriculum and instruction resources
support access to standards based education for
students with significant cognitive disabilities at
• Parent resources describe the NCSC curriculum
and instructional resources, the assessment and
explain related issues at
• Much state discretion- Parent Centers can use
the resources to understand NCSC, follow up
with SEA and provide input on state decisions
NCSC’s Value in States Without
• The main focus of any set of academic standards
addresses similar content in math and ELA (e.g.
equations, elements of fiction)
• The NCSC resources are not meant to “be” the
curriculum – they are models of curriculum and
instructional resources that happen to be based on the
• These models also demonstrate how to develop
curriculum and instructional resources based on
whatever standards a state is using
• The richness of the NCSC resources for students with
significant cognitive disabilities and their usefulness for
professional development are valuable in any state
Key College and Career Ready Skills
Important for ALL students including those with
significant cognitive disabilities:
• Communicative competence
• Social skills to function well in small groups
• Independent and team work skills
• Problem Solving
• Reading/writing/math
• Skills for identifying and requesting supports
NCSC Philosophy
A well-designed state assessment alone is
insufficient for college, career and community
To achieve these goals, an Alternate Assessment
system requires:
 Curricular & instructional framework
 Teacher resources and professional
 Communicative Competence as a priority
NCSC Curriculum and
Instructional Resources
Quality Indicators for Instructional
• Promote Common Core State Standards
• Set high expectations for all students
• Apply principles of Universal Design for Learning
• Apply evidence-based teaching practices for
students with the most significant cognitive
Learning Progressions Framework (LPF)
• Shows the steps students typically take to make
progress in a content area (e.g. math) to get
deeper, broader, more sophisticated
• Represents the essential core concepts and
processes learned in a content area
(sometimes called the “big ideas”)
Hess, Karin K., (December 2011). Learning Progressions Frameworks Designed for
Use with the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts & Literacy K-12.
Core Content Connectors (CCCs)
• Using the Learning progressions framework
NCSC identified the key knowledge and skills
(“the big ideas”) from the Common Core State
Standards needed at each grade to make
progress in later grades.
• These “big ideas” were then broken down into
teachable and assessable segments of content
called CCCs
• CCCs operate as a starting point for instruction
based on the Common Core State Standards
CCC Example
CCSS- Read closely to determine what the text
says explicitly and to make logical inferences from
it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or
speaking to support conclusions drawn from the
CCC- Ask and answer questions* about key details
in a text.
*Instead of an oral or written response, some
students may use picture symbols, character
figures and props, etc.
Instructional Families
• Put related CCCs into families showing how
they develop and interact across all the grades,
across a grade band (e.g. Elementary School)
and within a grade
• Helps educators see what is coming next so
they can prepare students for future learning
• Can be used to inform standards based IEP goal
Grade-span Learning Target from
the Learning Progression
Instructional Families for Data Analysis I (K-4)
Reference to
related CCSS
Distribution of CCCs by
Instructional Families an grade
Element Cards
Curriculum Resource (CR)
Guides for Math and ELA Topics
• Provide guidance and sample materials for
teaching the CCSS to students with the
most significant cognitive disabilities;
• Provide ways to promote college and
career readiness
• Provide examples for differentiating
instruction for a wide range of student
needs (UDL tables)
Example of UDL Table in ELA Curriculum
Resource Guide
Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
Units and Lessons
for more info on UDL see www.udlcenter.org
• Purpose: to model how to plan for ALL students
using the principles of UDL (multiple means of
engagement, representation and expression) and
provide additional considerations for Emerging
Readers and Emerging Communicators
• For use in general education and special education
classes-great for co-teaching and collaborative
Math/ Language Activities for
Scripted Systematic Instruction
• Provide more intensive systematic instruction on key
concepts and symbols in all educational settings,
including general education classrooms
• Incorporate evidence-based instruction from
research, including faded prompting
• Provide teaching scripts for teachers who may not
have a lot of training in systematic instruction
• Are designed with graduating levels of difficulty –
starting with the first steps of teaching the content to
students with little or no understanding of
the content
Professional Development
• Communities of Practice in partner states
received professional development about the
curriculum and instructional resources via
webinars that are publicly available at
• States will also have access to interactive
professional development modules
NCSC assessments are in math and ELA, which includes
both reading and writing, for grades 3-8 and 11
Note: Info on the assessment slides could change after
pilot testing is complete
• Approximately 30 items for each subject
• These 30 items will cover approximately 10 CCCs
• Most of the assessment items ask the student to
select the correct response (e.g. multiple choice).
• Some items will require the student to construct a
response (e.g. write a short answer or use an
alternate way to respond e.g. picture symbols)
Length of Assessment
• Expected testing time will be approximately 1.5 –
2 hours for each assessment (math and ELA.)
• Each student’s assessment can be completed in
multiple smaller time slots over a 2 month period
to meet the student’s needs
• This will be an online testing program.
• Some students will use the online testing
program directly on the computer.
• For other students, the teacher may print out
testing materials and enter student responses
into the computer.
Assessment Participation
• For students
 with pervasive significant cognitive disabilities
 whose IEP goals and instruction are based on
Common Core State Standards and
 who need extensive direct individualized
instruction and substantial supports
• The IEP team will determine annually whether a
student will take assessment
Parent Resources
Parent Resources
(as of September 4, 2014)
NCSC Project Description
NCSC Project Description One Page
NCSC Diagram and Explanation
NCSC Model of Curriculum, Instruction and
• NCSC Alternate Assessment FAQs
• NCSC Commonly Asked Parent Questions
• NCSC IEP Team Guidance For Participation in
Alternate Assessment
Parent Resources
• NCSC College and Career Readiness
• NCSC College Career Ready (CCR) Policy Paper
• NCSC Communicative Competence
• NCSC Newsletter and Website Information for
• NCSC Discussion Points with Research
• NCSC Value in States Without Common Core
State Standards
* There are also PowerPoints on the main topics
and one that is comprehensive
Example: Guidance for IEP Teams on
Assessment Participation Decisions
It is essentially the same Guidance for IEP Teams that
educators receive, but more parent friendly:
• Removes some background information about the
project which is already in the project summary.
• Provides the criteria for participation using the same
language, but side bar provides definitions for the
• Explains (in parentheses) some terms in the list of
information not to be considered for the assessment
decision (e.g. educational setting)
• FAQs are more parent focused, e.g. have placeholder
for info on diploma policies and process for
disagreeing with IEP team assessment
Sample text from the document

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