Outline of Content

Unit 1: Background and Purposes of Assessment

  • Identify the purposes of assessment (e.g., screening, eligibility, diagnosis, identification of relevant instructional content, and effectiveness of instruction).
  • Review the historical events of assessments for special education students.
  • Define key assessment terminology.


  1. Historical Perspectives - Assessment Development
  2. Assessment Terminology - Key Terms
  3. Background and Purpose - Student Progress

Assessment Task #2: Check Your Understanding Quiz
Assessment Task #3: Assessment Instruments

Unit 2: Legal Requirements and Ethical Principles

  • Identify key federal and state laws that guide evaluation practices for students with disabilities.
  • Describe the role of multi-disciplinary teams in conducting a comprehensive educational evaluation and the importance of understanding nondiscriminatory assessment practices.
  • Describe parent participation in terms of consent, input, and procedural safeguards.
  • Identify and describe the function of evaluation when determining eligibility for special education services, including the role of independent evaluations.
  • Identify and describe required components of the IEP document.
  • Identify the procedures and components required for reevaluation of a student with a disability.
  • Identify and describe the document which reflects state and local policies in the evaluation, eligibility and placement of students with disabilities.
  • Describe the importance of professional standards when administering tests (i.e. confidentiality, adherence to test protocols, etc.).


  1. Federal Laws - Key federal and state laws
  2. IDEA and Assessment - Evaluations conducted with a child
  3. State and Local Requirements - State and local policies in evaluation
  4. Professional Standards - Importance of professional standards

Assessment Task #4: Check Your Understanding Quiz 2

Unit 3: Over-Representation Issues

  • Identify the factors that (e.g., curriculum alignment, cultural bias) influence disproportionate representation of students from diverse cultural, linguistic, and socioeconomic backgrounds in programs for students with disabilities.
  • Identify the implications for assessment and the instructional strategies for teaching culturally diverse students.
  • Review national, state, and local data related to disproportionate representation of minorities identified as having a disability.


  • Factors That Influence Over-Representation
  • Assessment and Strategies
  • Data Show the Extent of the Problem

Assessment Task #5: Promising Practices That Influence Over-representation
Assessment Task #6: Assessment and Strategies
Assessment Task #7: Is Disproportionate Identification a Problem?

Unit 4: Types of Assessment

  • Analyze purposes, strengths, and limitations of standardized assessments.
  • Analyze purposes, strengths, and limitations of informal assessments.
  • Identify characteristics and purposes of assessments used for eligibility.
  • Identify measurement concepts, characteristics, and uses of norm-referenced, criterion-referenced and performance-based assessments for students with disabilities.
  • Interpret, analyze, and apply the results of norm-referenced, criterion-referenced, and performance-based assessments for students with disabilities.


  • Types of Assessment
  • Formal Assessments
  • Informal Assessments
  • Assessments Used for Eligibility Determination

Assessment Task #8: Formal Assessments
Assessment Task #9: Informal Assessments
Assessment Task #10: Eligibility Determination

Unit 5: Assessment, Accountability, and Instruction

  • Identify the roles and characteristics of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (item specifications, test formats, grade levels, scoring and reporting, and use of results).
  • Analyze the accountability and assessment requirements of No Child Left Behind.
  • Describe the F.A.I.R. (Florida Assessments for Instruction in Reading) and the Florida K-12 Reading Plan.
  • Identify effective strategies or techniques to strengthen the connection between assessment and instruction.
  • Identify and analyze reliable and valid progress monitoring methods for assessing individual student progress (e.g.; curriculum-based assessments, fluency checks, rubrics, story retelling, informal reading inventories, portfolios.


  • Accountability and Assessment
  • No Child Left Behind and Florida Statutes
  • Connecting Assessment and Instruction

Assessment Task #11: Accountability in NCLB and Reading First
Assessment Task #12: Connecting Assessment and Instruction

Unit 6: Alternate Assessment

  • Describe Alternate Assessment (definition, purpose, federal and state laws).
  • Identify the characteristics of the Florida Alternate Assessment and the levels of complexity of the Sunshine State Standards Access Points for students who need an alternate assessment.
  • Identify alternate assessments and procedures (e.g., observations, performance-based assessments, interviews, and portfolios).


  • Definition of Alternate Assessment
  • Purpose of Alternate Assessment
  • Legal Requirements of Alternate Assessment
  • Targeted Population
  • Alternate Assessment in Florida
  • Reporting Alternate Assessment

Assessment Task #13: Check Your Understanding Quiz 3