Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Common Core Assessment Survey from NFB

NFB assessment collage

NFB (National Federation of the Blind) is conducting a survey on the Common Core Assessment.  They are seeking information regarding both PARCC’s and Smarter Balanced’s field, practice, and training test availability and accessibility. Your feedback in this area is critical. As parents, students, and teachers, you can provide NFB with valuable data reflective of the assessments’ use within your local school districts. 

This spring, over one million students nationwide will participate in field tests, practice tests, and training tests aligned to the new Common Core State Standards.  As the consortia selected by the United States Department of Education to design and administer these new assessments, Smarter Balanced and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) are required to provide accessible tests that measure students’ mastery of curricula, rather than reflect their disabilities.  Appropriate and individualized accommodations must be available.
 
Since 2010, the NFB has advocated to both PARCC and Smarter Balanced regarding accommodations and accessible testing platforms.  In January 2014, after PARCC confirmed that key accommodations would not be available with its field tests, including Braille, tactile graphics, and commercially available screen-reading software such as JAWS, effectively excluding blind students from participating in its field test, the NFB filed suit against the consortium, raising claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. 
 
On February 24, 2014, PARCC and the NFB reached a settlement agreement in which PARCC committed to working with the NFB to ensure that blind students are not left behind in the assessment process. Under the terms of the settlement, PARCC will make its practice tests accessible to blind students in spring 2014, and will consult with the NFB to ensure that all subsequent practice tests and assessments will be available at the time of deployment in accessible formats used by blind test-takers, including Braille files for embossing in hard-copy Braille, or via electronic access methods such as refreshable Braille displays and text-to-speech screen-reader software. 
 
Though the NFB and PARCC have entered into a settlement agreement, our work is far from finished.  NFB is continuing to gather information regarding both PARCC’s and Smarter Balanced’s field, practice, and training test availability and accessibility.  Your feedback in this area is critical.  As parents, students, and teachers, you can provide the NFB with valuable data reflective of the assessments’ use within your local school districts.  Please complete the following survey and encourage other parents, students, and teachers to do the same:  Common Core Assessment Survey.
 
The NFB will not voluntarily release your identifying information without your permission. If you have questions about completing this form, please contact Valerie Yingling by e-mail at vyingling@nfb.org, or by phone at (410) 659-9314, extension 2440.
 
To take the survey, begin here:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MKPNP5T