Better Tests, Fewer Barriers: Advances in Accessibility through PARCC and Smarter Balanced
As the title implies, this Center for American Progress publication provides an overview of the general movement toward increased accessibility for students with disabilities (SWDs) and English Language Learners (ELLs). The authors present statistics showing a substantial increase in the numbers of SWDs and ELLs in U.S. public schools and how paper and pencil tests are often ill-suited for these students. The authors describe in detail how both the Smarter Balanced and PARCC assessments improve accessibility through principles of universal design, improved technology, interactive items and tasks, built in accommodations features, and fast scoring. The article concludes with specific next-step recommendations.