Curriculum Based Assessment/Measurement

Developed by: David C. Rogers, Ph.D., St. Cloud State University CBM is a method for measuring student achievement based on what is taught in the classroom and comparing individual achievement to class, school, or district norms.

Data-Based Decision Making

Developed by: Rachel Freeman, Ph.D., University of Kansas As teachers we have a lot of experience gathering information about our students and using it to make decisions. Decisions that are based on data help us to create the ideal learning conditions for our students. Many of our decisions can be made without collecting data systematically. However, at times a strategic data-based decision making process may be needed. This is especially true for teachers who often deal with many challenges that require their attention all at one time.

Performance Based Assessment

Performance based assessment is measurement process that focuses on what students can do with knowledge, rather that on measuring discreet bits of knowledge, and often uses authentic tasks that are presented within real-world contexts and lead to real-world outcomes.

Quality Test Construction

Developed by: Bruce B. Frey, Ph.D., University of Kansas A good classroom test is valid and reliable. Validity is the quality of a test which measures what it is supposed to measure. Reliability is the quality of a test which produces scores that are not affected much by chance. A quality teacher-made test should follow valid item-writing rules, but empirical studies establishing the validity of item-writing rules are in short supply and often inconclusive, and, "item writing-rules are based primarily on common sense and the conventional wisdom of test experts" (Millman & Greene, 1993).

Assessment Accommodations

Developed by: Sandra J. Thompson, Ph.D., National Center on Educational Outcomes, University of Minnesota Assessments for accountability are required by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, and participation in assessments, with accommodations as necessary, is required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1997. The purpose of these assessments is to show the progress of a school toward proficiency on state academic content standards. For students with disabilities to be successful on these assessments, they need to show what they have learned on a test with access that is equal to the access provided to students without disabilities. For some students this access can be increased through he use of assessment accommodations.


Developed by: Dennis Munk, Ph.D., Northern Illinois University Grading is a complex topic that involves philosophical, pedagogical, and pragmatic issues for all students, and especially for those with disabilities. We all have our own ideas of how grades should be assigned, and what they should tell us about the student's performance. But regardless of our own potential satisfaction with grading systems, research on grades for students with disabilities provides compelling evidence that intervention is needed.