Dr. Ryan J. Kettler

Dr. Ryan J. KettlerTitle

Putting the Score First: Selection of Test Accommodations for IEP Teams
May 11, 2018 (Friday), 11:00-12:30 CDT


Educational testing accommodations are often selected in practice solely by considering whether they are likely to increase scores; this method does little to distinguish the selected accommodations from an award of bonus points. This webinar presents a framework for practitioners in education and psychology to select accommodations based on student profiles and testing demands. A brief history of testing accommodations policy in the U.S. and a definition of terms provide context for the discussion. A review of theory and empirical findings related to testing accommodations follows. The key assumption is testing accommodations are properly used to attain scores from which valid inferences can be drawn, rather than to increase scores. The webinar presents a three-step process that involves identifying access skills, selecting accommodations, and considering their impact on target skills or knowledge.


Ryan J. Kettler, PhD is a core faculty member in the School Psychology Program of the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. He earned his doctorate in Educational Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Kettler's research on data-based decision making in education has been externally funded and yielded more than 60 publications. Active areas within this program include universal screening, inclusive assessment, and educator effectiveness. Dr. Kettler has been a principal investigator or co-principal investigator on eight grant projects, including three funded by the U.S. Department of Education. He is currently a co-principal investigator of the School System Improvement Project, the Website Editor for the Society for the Study of School Psychology, and co-editor of the upcoming Handbook of Accessible Instruction and Testing Practices: Issues, Innovations, and Applications (Second Edition).  

  1. Describe policy, theory, and empirical evidence that have influenced our current thinking about educational testing accommodations.
  2. Identify the roles of the examinee, the test, access skills, and the target construct within the selection of the appropriate accommodation(s) for each testing event.
  3. Select testing accommodations for individuals using a process that improves the consistency of scores and the validity of ensuing inferences.