Vermont Questions Price Hike for Common-Core Aligned Alternate Test

By Christina A. Samuels — September 23, 2016 1 min read
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The board that oversees Dynamic Learning Maps, a testing and instructional system for students with severe cognitive disabilities, is raising the test’s price from $39 to $459 per student in Vermont—a move that may prompt the state to work with another test provider.

Dynamic Learning Maps is one of two groups that created alternate assessments that are aligned to the common core. The second group was the National Center and State Collaborative, now called the Multi-State Alternate Assessment. These tests are intended for the small group of special education students—no more than 10 percent—whose disabilities leave them unable to take regular tests.

(Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers are the two groups that created regular common-core aligned tests.)

Fourteen states are in the Dynamic Learning Maps consortium: Alaska, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

The Associated Press reported this week that the Vermont education secretary believes the pricing decision was made without transparency and involvement from state education chiefs. The University of Kansas’ Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation administers the test, and interim director Neal Kingston also opposes the price changes, the article states.

“Since in fact (for) the majority of the states ... it costs more under the scenario they approved, my expectation is that there is a very good chance that they will change the cost allocation method to one that is not adverse to small states,” Kingston told the AP.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the On Special Education blog.