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News Releases 2014

Mississippi Board of Education Approves Assessment Contract for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities

by Xi Guo | Dec 19, 2014


Carey M. Wright, Ed.D., State Superintendent of Education

Office of Communications & Legislative Support
Patrice Guilfoyle, APR, Director of Communications *601-359-3706 *FAX:  601-359-3033
Jean Cook, Communications Specialist *601-359-3519

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: December 19, 2014 

Mississippi Board of Education Approves Assessment Contract for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities

JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi Board of Education today approved a$73,200 contract with the University of Kansas Center for Research to deliver online alternate assessments for students with significant cognitive disabilities for the 2014-2015 school year.

The assessments will be given for English Language Arts and Math for grades 3-8 and 12. A Request for Proposals will be issued to procure an alternate assessment for academic years 2015-2016 and beyond.

The Mississippi Department of Education had sought a multi-year contract with the University of Kansas to deliver the Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) comprehensive system of instruction and assessment. However, the state Personal Service Contract Review Board (PSCRB) failed to approve that contract because it would have required the agency to make an exception to two contract clauses. The contract was denied even though the Office of the Attorney General informed the PSCRB that its rules provide for the granting of exceptions to its regulations and that Mississippi law would not be violated by approving the exceptions requested.

The comprehensive DLM system would have cost the state less than $100 per student. The previous cost of assessing students with significant cognitive disabilities was $375 per student.

The MDE’s $73,200 contract with the University of Kansas will provide limited services through July 2015 so that students will have an appropriate assessment. The contract lacks the instructional component that would have been included in the multi-year contract.

Along with their general education peers, students with significant cognitive disabilities are required by state and federal law to be assessed starting in the 2014-2015 school year on tests aligned with Mississippi’s College- and Career-Ready standards. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the No Child Left Behind Act require an alternate assessment be provided for students with significant cognitive disabilities. These students include children with autism, traumatic brain injury, intellectual disability, and other health impairments.


  

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