Effects of using modified items to test studentswith persistent academic difficulties

Stephen N. Elliott, Ryan J. Kettler, Peter A. Beddow, Alexander Kurz, Elizabeth Compton, Dawn McGrath, Charles Bruen, Kent Hinton, Porter Palmer, Michael C. Rodriguez, Daniel Bolt, Andrew T. Roach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


This study investigated the effects of using modified items in achievement tests to enhance accessibility. An experiment determined whether tests composed of modified items would reduce the performance gap between students eligible for an alternate assessment based on modified achievement standards (AA-MAS) and students not eligible, and the impact on student proficiency levels. Three groups of eighth-grade students (N = 755) from four states took original and modified versions of reading and mathematics tests. Findings indicate modified item conditions were significantly easier for all students and modifications would result in more AA-MAS eligible students meeting proficiency status. Study limitations and follow-up research on item modifications and the performance of students with disabilities are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)475-495
Number of pages21
JournalExceptional children
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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