Parent Tool Kit Home

  • Assessment Issues
  • Assessment

Federation of Children with Special Needs
This guide is designed to provide basic guidelines and points of reference for participation in discussions related to the inclusion of students with disabilities in large-scale assessment programs. Examples of accommodations from state assessment policies that may be useful in developing a student's Individualized Education Program or in designing state polices are among the information provided.

National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO)
Participation in large-scale assessments is now recognized by many educators and parents as a critical element of equal opportunity and access to education. This short resource from NCEO introduces how this topic applies to students with disabilities.

National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO)
NCEO answers seven frequently asked questions on the participation of children with disabilities in large-scale assessments.

National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO)
This Policy Directions from NCEO provides an overview of the key components of inclusive assessment and accountability and to highlight how they fit together to form a cohesive whole that facilitates the intended benefits of standards-based reform. A list of resources is provided.

National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO)
The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), respectively, are our nation's general education and special education laws. Together, they provide a framework for the education of students with disabilities, especially with respect to participation in large assessment programs conducted at the state and local levels. This 23-page publication takes a look at what both laws require in this regard, how they align with one another, what parents should know about each, and what they should do with that knowledge.

  • Alternate Assessment

National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO)
Alternate assessments are tools used to evaluate the performance of students who are unable to participate in general state assessments even with accommodations. Alternate assessments provide a mechanism for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities and for other students who may need alternate assessment formats to be included in the accountability system. This short resource from NCEO introduces the topic.

National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO)
NCEO answers frequently asked questions on alternate assessments for students with disabilities.

  • Progress Monitoring

National Center on Student Progress Monitoring
Student progress monitoring helps teachers evaluate how effective their instruction is, either for individual students or for the entire class. This information brief on the subject talks directly to parents, describing what student progress monitoring is, how the process works in combination with children who have an IEP, and what kind of information parents might expect to receive from the school if the school or their child's teacher decides to implement student progress monitoring.

Student progress monitoring helps teachers evaluate how effective their instruction is, either for individual students or for the entire class. This information brief on the subject talks directly to parents, describing what student progress monitoring is, how the process works in combination with children who have an IEP, and what kind of information parents might expect to receive from the school if the school or their child's teacher decides to implement student progress monitoring.

National Center on Student Progress Monitoring
This Web site on progress monitoring answers the following common questions: What is progress monitoring? How does progress monitoring work? What are its benefits and challenges? Who should be practicing progress monitoring? Does it have other names?

National Center on Student Progress Monitoring
This is the Spanish version of Web site on progress monitoring described above. It answers the following common questions: ¿Qué es el monitoreo de progreso? ¿Cómo funciona el monitoreo de progreso? ¿Cuáles son los beneficios del monitoreo de progreso? ¿Quiénes deberían implementar el monitoreo de progreso? ¿A qué desafíos se enfrenta el monitoreo de progreso? ¿Existen otros nombres para el monitoreo de progreso?

National Center on Student Progress Monitoring
This online brief gives an overview of curriculum-based measurement (CBM), a method teachers use to find out how students are progressing in basic academic areas such as math, reading, writing, and spelling. It explains how CBM works, what benefits it provides to students, and how their parents can use the results to work more effectively with the school system on their child’s behalf.

This online brief gives an overview of curriculum-based measurement (CBM), a method teachers use to find out how students are progressing in basic academic areas such as math, reading, writing, and spelling. It explains how CBM works, what benefits it provides to students, and how their parents can use the results to work more effectively with the school system on their child’s behalf.

  • Accommodations
  • Instructional and Assessment Accommodations

National Center on Student Progress Monitoring
This paper describes curriculum-based measurement in reading and mathematics and provides sample goal statements for each area. In addition, the process by which teachers can examine data and make meaningful decisions about the overall effectiveness of their instruction is described.

National Center on Student Progress Monitoring
This paper provides a framework for applying one model of student progress monitoring, Curriculum-Based Measurement (CBM), to fulfill the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) accountability requirement of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation and how such an approach may be linked to special education accountability.

  • Response to Intervention

National Center on Student Progress Monitoring
Progress monitoring requires frequent data collection (i.e., weekly) with technically adequate measures, interpretation of the data at regular intervals,and changes to instruction based on the interpretation of child progress. The two cases presented in this report illustrate how progress monitoring data could be used to make reasonable decisions about children’s responsiveness to instruction.

  • Instructional Practices
  • K-3 Literacy

National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY)
This A-Z topics page of NICHCY connects visitors to research-based methods of literacy instruction for students, including those with disabilities. Materials are grouped by: the Research Basics, NCLB (No Child Left Behind) and Reading, Beginning Reading Instruction, Reading with Older Children, and Literacy and Children with Disabilities.

Reading Rockets
This Web resource from Reading Rockets is designed to help parents and classroom teachers understand the specific problems a child may be having with reading. You'll find practical suggestions on what you (and kids themselves) can do to help students overcome or deal with their reading difficulties.

U.S. Department of Education
This publication highlights ways to help your child get ready to read and ready to learn.

U.S. Department of Education
Consejos Prácticos para los Padres sobre la Lectura highlights ways to help your child get ready to read and ready to learn.

The Access Center
This brief provides information on the purpose of a literacy rich environment and important elements that make it effective. Research evidence on classroom materials, the role of the teacher, and the classroom layout are discussed as well. 

Reading Rockets
The colorful bilingual Family Guide includes tips for helping children get the most out of reading as well as pointers on working with schools and teachers, ideas for using the public library, and more. The PDF of the guide above includes both the English and the Spanish versions.

  • Social Interaction and Communication

California Deaf-Blind Services
When infants have a visual impairment and hearing loss in additional to other disabilities, the communication process does not develop naturally. Communication with these infants requires careful planning, consistent attention, and specific procedures. The purpose of this article is to discuss selected strategies that families and service providers can use for communicating with infants (birth to 36 months) who are not yet using words and who have significant and multiple disabilities.

California Deaf-Blind Services
This is the Spanish version of the article above, Aprendiendo a Comunicarse: Estrategias para Desarrollar Comunicación con Infantes cuyas Incapacidades Múltiples Incluyen Incapacidad de la Vista y la Pérdida del Oído.

  • Adolescent Literacy

National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET) 
This resource explores approaches to improving the literacy skills of adolescents so that they can succeed in content-area classes and enjoy reading.

  • Behavior

Families and Advocates Partnership for Education (FAPE)
This document explains what are functional behavioral assessment and positive interventions for children with behavioral problems. Information about the requirements of IDEA 97 is provided, as well as an overview of current thinking on behavior. The basic steps in conducting a functional behavioral analysis are outlined, and common elements of a behavior plan are listed. The publication concludes with examples of behavior intervention strategies.

Families and Advocates Partnership for Education (FAPE)
This is the Spanish version of the article above, Evaluación de Conducta Funcional e Intervenciones Positivas: Lo que los Padres Necesitan Saber.

National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY)
This NICHCY resource list identifies and describes 37 resources offering a teacher more information and guidance about how to adapt classrooms and curricula to address the unique needs of students with disabilities.

National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO)
Accommodations are changes in testing materials or procedures that enable students to participate in assessments in a way that allows abilities to be assessed rather than disabilities. They are provided to "level the playing field." Without accommodations, the assessment may not accurately measure the student’s knowledge and skills. This short resource from NCEO introduces the topic.

National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO)
NCEO answers frequently asked questions on accommodations for students with disabilities.

National Center of Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET)
This brief focuses upon the issue that fewer students with disabilities in middle schools and high schools use accommodations than students with disabilities in elementary schools. The issue is defined, legal considerations are presented, and examples of instructional and assessment accommodations are provided, along with state-reported levels of use of accommodations.

Families and Advocates Partnership for Education (FAPE)
This 4-page publication provides examples of common accommodations and modifications made to: textbooks, curriculum, classroom environment, instruction and assignments (directions, time/transitions, handwriting, grading, tests, math), and behavior.

Families and Advocates Partnership for Education (FAPE)
This is the Spanish version of the article above, Acomodaciones y Modificaciones Escolares.

PACER Center
This publication provides a very succinct list of questions that parents can ask to focus the discussion on appropriate adaptations for their child with a disability.

PEAK Parent Center
This 3-page fact sheet provides an overview and many examples of academic accommodations and modifications for children with disabilities.

Family Center on Technology and Disability (FCTD)
This guide includes the following sections: The Possibilities of Assistive Technology (AT); Assistive Technology in Schools; Funding AT; Quick Questions and Tips; Glossary of AT Terms and Definitions; and Additional AT Information.

Family Center on Technology and Disability (FCTD)
This is the Spanish version of the guide above, La Guía Familiar sobre Tecnología Asistencial, which includes the following sections: Las Posibilidades de la Tecnología Asistencial (TA); Tecnología Asistencial en las Escuelas; Financiando la TA; Preguntas y Recomendaciones; Glosario de Términos de TA y Definiciones; and Recursos Informativos Adicionales sobre TA.