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Illinois joins alternate assessment system consortium led by KU center

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

LAWRENCE — Illinois has joined the Dynamic Learning Maps Alternate Assessment Consortium, a multistate initiative developing a computer-based assessment designed to more validly measure what students with significant cognitive disabilities know and can do.   

With the addition of Illinois, the DLM Consortium, led by the Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation (CETE) at the University of Kansas, now comprises 15 member states: Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Once the assessment is implemented in these states during the 2014-2015 school year, it will mark the first time most students with significant cognitive disabilities are assessed using an online, computer-based, large-scale state assessment.

"We're honored to be a part of this consortium and eager to get to work,” said Illinois State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. "This work will ensure that we continue to measure the performance of students with disabilities and better monitor student progress. The online aspect of this new assessment system will give teachers real-time feedback to drive instruction and any necessary intervention."

The DLM Consortium is developing the Dynamic Learning Maps Alternate Assessment, a computer-based assessment for the 1 percent of the K-12 public school student population with significant cognitive disabilities for whom, even with accommodations, general state assessments are not appropriate. Therefore, these students take an alternate assessment.

The DLM assessment system is being designed to simultaneously support teacher instruction and student learning by having assessment tasks model good instruction and by being embedded within teachers’ classroom activities throughout the school year.

“We are thrilled to welcome Illinois to our efforts to create a valid and meaningful assessment system for students with significant cognitive disabilities,” said Neal Kingston, DLM project director and CETE co-director. “With the addition of Illinois, the DLM Consortium moves a big step forward to ensuring the development of a high-quality assessment system that will support student learning and teacher instruction.”

DLM is funded through a five-year-grant awarded in late 2010 by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. Its $22 million grant award was the largest in KU history at that time. The DLM Consortium is one of two multistate consortia to receive federal grants to create a next-generation alternate assessment linked to Common Core State Standards in math and English language arts for the 1 percent population.

Learn more about DLM online.

DLM is led by CETE, a nationally recognized center specializing in large-scale assessment and online test delivery systems. For more than 30 years, CETE has developed cutting-edge testing programs and technology tools, including the Kansas Assessment Program, Dynamic Learning Maps, Kansas Writing Instruction and Education Tool, and Adaptive Reading Motivation Measures.


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