Guidebook to Including Students with Disabilities and English Learners in Assessments

Lesson 8. Realize that ensuring full implementation is partly the state’s responsibility

Simply providing the assessment and assuming that it will be used appropriately, and that all guidance will be followed, is not enough. It is important to develop procedures for ensuring that there is full implementation in terms of pre-test decision making, test administration, and interpretations of test results. The U.S. Department of Education State Guide for the assessment peer review process confirms the importance of monitoring in several critical elements (see U.S. Department of Education, 2018 in Lesson 8 Resources).

The U.S. Department of Education State Guide provides many examples of ways in which to carry out monitoring. For examples, see:[1]

2.4 – Monitoring Test Administration

5.1 – Procedures for Including Students with Disabilities

5.4 – Monitoring Test Administration for Special Populations

In addition to examples of evidence presented in the State Guide, a set of steps was proposed by NCEO working with numerous states in 2009 (Christenson, Thurlow, & Wang, 2009), each with questions to ask, samples of forms, and a checklist (see Improving Accommodations Outcomes in Lesson 8 Resources).

Most recently, states have become aware of the importance of monitoring districts when they have exceeded the ESSA 1.0 percent threshold for participation in the alternate assessment. Many examples of procedures and forms states are using are available on state websites. States’ guidelines and definitions were summarized by Thurlow, Albus, Larson, Liu, and Lazarus in 2019 (see Lesson 8 Resources).

Lesson 8 Resources

NCEO (2009, June). Improving Accommodations Outcomes: Monitoring Instructional and Assessment Accommodations for Students with Disabilities. PDF

NCEO (2019). 2018-19 Participation Guidelines and Definitions for Alternate Assessments Based on Alternate Academic Achievement Standards. PDF   

U.S. Department of Education (2018, September). A State’s Guide to the U.S. Department of Education’s Assessment Peer Review Process. PDF


[1]Monitoring is also mentioned in Critical Elements 2.5 (Test Security), 4.4 (Scoring), 4.6 (Technical Analysis and Ongoing Maintenance), 6.2 (Achievement Standards Setting), 7.1 (State Procedures for the User of Locally Selected, Nationally Recognized High School Academic Assessments), and 7.2 (State Monitoring of Districts Regarding the Use of Locally Selected, Nationally Recognized High School Academic Assessments)