Maryland Assessment Research Center (MARC)

2003 MARC Conference

Validity and Accommodations: Psychometric and Policy Perspectives

August 4 and 5, 2003

University of MarylandCollege ParkMaryland

A conference hosted by the Department of Measurement, Statistics and Evaluation and the Center for the Study of Assessment Validity and Evaluation, University of Maryland.  Supported by the Maryland State Department of Education.  Organized by Dr. Rebecca J. Kopriva, Dr. David E. Wiley, Dr. Phoebe C. Winter, and Dr. Robert Lissitz, Department Chair, University of Maryland.


Dissatisfaction with the validity of test results for an increasingly diverse population of test takers has led to the widespread use of testing accommodations.  These accommodations adjust testing conditions with the goal of increased validity of scores for accommodated test takers.  Major questions about testing accommodations are

  1. What are the effects of testing accommodations, in general, and of specific accommodations, in particular, on score validity?
  2. Since accommodations are assigned to test takers, are the assignments appropriate, in the sense that other assignments or other accommodations would not improve score validity more?
  3. Are scores resulting from accommodated testing comparable to other scores? If so, in what sense and to what degree?

State and district experts in psychometrics, measurement systems, English language learners, and students with disabilities will pose these questions and others to the conference presenters. It is anticipated that conference presentations will include discussions about:

  1. New psychometric models and concepts addressing the validity and comparability of accommodated and non-accommodated scores.
  2. New approaches to assigning test takers to accommodations.
  3. Legal and policy foundations of accommodation theory and practice.
  4. Methods for evaluating the validity of accommodated scores.
  5. Accommodations in test design and construction: building accessibility into the development of tests.


Edward Haertel, Stanford University, and David E. Wiley, University of Maryland

Comparability Issues when Scores are Produced under Varying Testing Conditions.


Robert Mislevy, University of Maryland 

A Structural Perspective on Accommodations and Validity Arguments


Eva Baker, UCLA, Director of CRESST

The Push-Pull of Policy and Technology in Accommodations Design and Interpretation


Mark Reckase, Michigan State University

Some Hints about the Validity of Inferences from Accommodated Tests from the Study of Tests in Multiple Languages Administered in Multiple Cultures


Guillermo Solano-Flores, American Institutes for Research

Examining the Dependability of Performance Measures for English Language Learners


Martha Thurlow, University of Minnesota 

Policy Pushing Practice: Steps Forward in Addressing Testing Accommodation



Gerald Tindal, University of Oregon

Test Accommodations Research: Decision-making, Outcomes, and Designs


Rebecca J. Kopriva and Phoebe C. Winter, University of Maryland

Designing and Modeling Test Item Schemes to Preserve Construct Validity of Test Scores across Students


Arthur Coleman, Nixon Peabody LLP 

Legal Foundations for Good Educational Policy Decisions:  Understanding How Multiple Federal Laws Guide Accommodations Decisions Affecting Students with Disabilities and English Language Learners