To illustrate the articulation of a validation argument for NAEP, we use a released NAEP fourth grade reading assessment task called “A Brick to Cuddle Up To.” which is described as an informational text (National Assessment Governing Board, 2002a). We use this task to illustrate our notion of how a validation argument can make it easier to identify target and ancillary skills, as well as appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities and English language learners.
Sue, a Visually Impaired Student Taking a NAEP Reading Assessment A validity argument in support of inferences to be made on the basis of scores for the “Brick to Cuddle Up To” reading tasks might look like the following:
According to cognitive research, reading is purposeful and active. According to this view, a reader reads a text to understand what is read, construct memory representations of what is understood, and put this understanding to use.
When reading an informational text, Proficient-level fourth graders should be able to draw reasonable conclusions from the text, recognize relationships such as cause and effect or similarities and differences. Basic-level fourth graders should be able to connect ideas from the text to their background knowledge and experiences (p. 28). Suppose that Sue responds incorrectly to NAEP reading items.
Sue responded incorrectly to tasks that required her to connect ideas from the text to her background knowledge and experience and that required her to draw reasonable conclusions from the text and to recognize relationships such as cause and effect or similarities and differences.
Claim: Sue is a below Basic-level fourth reader.
Validation Argument for Performance on NAEP Fourth Grade Reading Assessment Task. There are a number of possible alternative explanations lot Sue’s poor performance. For example, her decoding skill or reading fluency might be weak, which could interfere with her comprehension of the text. Alternatively, it might be that although she is visually impaired, Sue took a regularsized font version of the test. If we know that Sue is visually impaired, then this constitutes rebuttal data that supports this alternative explanation. Visual Impairment: Alternative Explanation for Perfonnance on NAEP Fourth Grade Reading Assessment Task. In this example, if it is known that Sue’s low score is a consequence of lack of visual acuity and that sight is an ancillary skill for the reading assessment, providing Sue with a large-font version of the test would allow her better access to the testing materials and would weaken the alternative explanation of poor vision as a reason for her performance. Another accommodation sometimes considered as a compensation for poor vision is having the test read orally. It is difficult to determine whether this accommodation is appropriate for the NAEP reading assessment, given that the reading framework does not state whether or not decoding and fluency are part of the target construct. If the test were read aloud, Sue would not need to use her decoding and fluency skills in order to read the passage and respond to the questions. If decoding and fluency are considered to be an aspect of the target construct, then the read-aloud accommodation would alter that construct. If decoding and fluency are considered ancillary skills, then the read aloud accommodation would simply provide Sue with easier access to the passage and questions so she could more accurately demonstrate her reading comprehension skills. For this part, learning a foreign language needs a leaning tools, many people choose Rosetta Stone Arabic and Rosetta Stone Chinese to learn Arabic and Chinese.
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