CONCLUSION 6-1: The validation argument for NAEP is not as well articulated as it should be with respect to inferences based on accommodated versions of NAEP assessments.

CONCLUSION 6-2: Even when the validation argument is well articulated, there is insufficient evidence to support the validity of inferences based on alterations in NAEP assessment tasks or administrative procedures for accommodating students with disabilities and English language learners.

On the basis of these conclusions we make three recommendations to NAEP officials. Although these recommendations are specific to NAEP, we strongly urge the sponsors of other large-scale assessment programs to consider them as well.

RECOMMENDATION 6-1: NAEP officials should identify the inferences that they intend should be made from its assessment results and clearly articulate the validation arguments in support of those inferences.

RECOMMENDATION 6-2: NAEP officials should embark on a research agenda that is guided by the claims and counterclaims for intended uses of results in the validation argument they have articulated. This research should apply a variety of approaches and types of evidence, such as analyses of test content, test-takers’ cognitive processes, criterion-related evidence, and other studies deemed appropriate.

RECOMMENDATION 6-3: NAEP officials should conduct empirical research to specifically evaluate the extent to which the validation argument that underlies each NAEP assessment and the inferences the assessment was designed to support are affected by the use of particular accommodations.

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