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May 8, 2006

MEMO

To: Illinois Alternate Assessment Coordinators and Teachers

RE: Learn About the New Illinois Alternate Assessment!

From: Illinois State Board of Education, Student Assessment

We are pleased to announce the start of our development of the new Illinois Alternate Assessment (IAA). Our new contractor, Pearson Educational Measurement, will be working closely with the Illinois State Board of Education staff and Illinois educators as we design, develop and pilot the new assessment. The new IAA assessment will be operational for the 2007-08 school year.

The new IAA is being developed in response to requests from the field that teachers want a different test format in place to assess students who are significantly cognitively disabled -- other than the portfolio.

For the 2006-07 school year, the Illinois Alternate Assessment portfolio will still be in place. Our current contractor, Measured Progress, will continue to provide training and materials regarding the portfolio process.

Under the new IAA, writing will be piloted in grades 3, 5, 6, 8 & 11 in fall 2006. Then the writing test will be operational in spring 2007 for grades 5, 8 and 11. Writing does not count toward Adequate Yearly Progress.

The following are dates and bullet points regarding the new assessment.

Save the Dates for New IAA

  • Sept. 18-22, 2006: educator training in writing for new IAA at locations statewide
  • Oct. 16-20, 2006: field test new IAA in writing statewide in grades 3, 5, 6, 8, 11
  • Spring 2007: field test new IAA in reading, math, science statewide in appropriate grades
  • Spring 2007: census test in writing in grades 5, 8, 11

Benefits of New IAA

  • Minimal disruption to instructional time
  • NCLB compliant
  • Events based – shorter testing window
  • Linked to Illinois Learning Standards and IEP
  • Instructionally beneficial score reports for schools and families
  • Professional development opportunities -Webinar (online seminar) and Q & A session
  • Optional online assessment

For more information contact:

Illinois State Board of Education, Division of Student Assessment

217/782-4823 or mleveque@isbe.net

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Illinois State Board of Education
100 North First Street
Springfield, IL 62777