Issues in Including Students with Disabilities in Large-scale Assessment Programs

Christopher DeLuca


Large-scale assessment programs are becoming increasingly common throughout Canada and the United States. Given the emphasis on inclusive education in North America, special education students are largely expected to participate in these programs. However, several challenges exist for educators, policymakers, and psychometricians with respect to including students with disabilities in large-scale assessments. This article is a critical interpretive review of the academic literature in this area intended to identify and examine issues pertinent to inclusive practice. In particular, attention is given to consequences (both positive and negative) of including students with disabilities in large-scale assessments, validity of assessment results, provisions for accommodations, and research limitations. Areas for continued research are also considered.

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