Last Revised:10 August 2016

Refer Questions to: Office of the Vice President, Clerc Center


The purpose of the Clerc Center Assessment Program Policy is to guide the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center at Gallaudet University, hereinafter referred to as the “Clerc Center”, in successfully implementing the requirements of the Education of the Deaf Act (EDA) reauthorization of 2008 (PL 110-315, Title iX, Part A, Section 901), which relates to implementation of components of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015.

Building upon the No Student Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), ESSA provides “all children significant opportunity to receive a fair, equitable, and high-quality education, and to close educational achievement gaps” (Section 1001). ESSA requires that academic assessments provide the appropriate accommodations, such as interoperability with, and ability to use, assistive technology, for children with disabilities (as defined in section 602(3) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1401(3))), including students with the most significant cognitive disabilities, and students with a disability who are provided accommodations under an Act other than the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.), necessary to measure the academic achievement of such children relative to the challenging State academic standards or alternate academic achievement standards described in paragraph (1)(E).

The 2008 reauthorization of the Education of the Deaf Act (EDA) (PL 110-315, Title iX, Part A, Section 901), applies the requirements of ESSA to the Clerc Center’s school programs. The reauthorized EDA, inclusive of ESSA amendments, states that the Clerc Center’s Kendall Demonstration Elementary School (KDES) and the Model Secondary School for the Deaf (MSSD) shall adopt and implement challenging academic content standards and assessments and annually use those assessments to determine how successful KDES and MSSD have been in including all students in standard-based education and how well students are achieving standards.

(A)(i) select challenging State academic content standards, aligned academic achievement standards, and State academic assessments of a State, adopted and implemented, as appropriate, pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (2) of section 1111(b) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6311(b)(1) and (2)) and approved by the Secretary; and

(ii) implement such standards and assessments for such programs by not later than the beginning of the 2016-2017 academic year; and

(B) adopt the accountability system, consistent with section 1111(c) of such Act, of the State from which standards and assessments are selected under subparagraph (A)(i); and

(C) publicly report the results of the academic assessments implemented under subparagraph (A), except where such reporting would not yield statistically reliable information or would reveal personally identifiable information about an individual student, and the results of the annual evaluation of the programs at the Clerc Center, as determined under subparagraph (B).’

ESSA provides states with more autonomy in developing new approaches to accountability for students’ academic performance, but states must have accountability systems in place to ensure that all students are provided an opportunity for a high-quality education. As such, the Clerc Center will partner with a state to meet the regulations defined by ESSA and EDA.

This policy applies to all students at the Kendall Demonstration Elementary School (KDES) and the Model Secondary School for the Deaf (MSSD), and to the teachers, employees, district and school test administrator, monitors, and Clerc Center administrators administering the assessment tests or reporting of same.


Beginning with the 2009-2010 school year, and continuing indefinitely per federal requirements, the Clerc Center Assessment Program (CCAP) will include the assessments of all students in:

  • Reading and mathematics—Grades 3-8, 10
  • Science—Grades 5, 8 and 10

The Clerc Center may elect to administer optional writing and social studies assessments in future years. The Clerc Center may also elect to administer additional assessments during the school year to meet student or program needs and/or external requirements.

The CCAP will also include the participation of Clerc Center students in the National Assessment of Educational Progress as determined by the U.S. Department of Education.

All students in said grades will be tested; however, students with disabilities and English language learners will be tested according to the Clerc Center’s Accommodations for Students with Disabilities and English Language Learners procedures.

The Clerc Center will determine the dates upon which the CCAP assessments will be administered following partner state assessment windows.

Levels of Performance

The Clerc Center Assessment Program adopts the performance levels of their partner state. There are generally three to five performance levels, ranging from ‘exceeds expectations’, to “meets expectations”, to “did not meet expectations’, depending on the test being administered. Each assessment’s performance levels and the descriptions of what students should know and be able to do at each of those levels will be included in the Individualized Student Reports and Interpretive Guides.

Security and Confidentiality

In order to assure uniform and secure procedures, the CCAP assessments will be administered pursuant to the latest version of the CCAP’s Coordinators Handbook, the Clerc Center’s Procedures for Test Security, the CCAP’s Rules Book, and the Directions for Administration. The CCAP assessments will also be administered in accordance with any statewide assessment program rules necessary to maintain the validity, reliability, and security of operational assessments according to the interagency agreements between Gallaudet University, the state, and the state’s test vendor.

Procedures to Ensure Security and Confidentiality

Every pertinent district test coordinator, school administrator, school test coordinator, test administrator/examiner, and monitor will sign certification (provided in the Clerc Center’s Procedures for Test Security), prior to receiving any test administration materials, to attest that procedures will be followed regarding test security before, during, and after test administration.

  • Violation of the security or confidentiality of any test required by the Clerc Center is prohibited, and any violation will be subject to sanctions that are commensurate with the degree of violation up to and including termination of employment. All sanctions will be imposed by the vice president of the Clerc Center.
  • Procedures for maintaining the security and confidentiality of a test will be specified in the appropriate test administration materials.
  • Alleged security breaches and issues will be reported according to the CCAP’s Rules Book using the included forms (Procedures for Reporting Security Breaches).

Additional details on assessment policies and procedures can be found in the Clerc Center Rules Book.

Approved by: Gallaudet University Board of Trustees

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