Technical Documentation for the NCSC 2015 Assessment System
The history of alternate assessment is very short, with the first alternate assessments specified in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act in 1997. Because of that limited history, the NCSC partners believe that there is even more need for transparency, integrity, validity studies, and planned improvement to assessment systems over time. 
This collection of resources includes information about the 2015 administration of the NCSC assessments as well as further studies designed to inform next steps. The NCSC Briefs provide an overview of the comprehensive approach; the NCSC 2015 Technical Manual provides detailed documentation of the 2015 administration; and the 2016 NCIEA Research Reports provide guidance on next steps after the initial 2015 Operational Field Test.
These Briefs cover topics that shaped the NCSC comprehensive system of curriculum, instruction, and assessment during NCSC’s five years of research-to-practice development.
- NCSC Brief 1: AA-AAS: Standards That Are the “Same but Different” PDF
- NCSC Brief 2: AA-AAS: Defining High Expectations for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities PDF
- NCSC Brief 3: AA-AAS: How Do Our Students Learn and Show What They Know? PDF
- NCSC Brief 4: Promoting Communication Skills in Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities PDF
- NCSC Brief 5: Standards-based Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for Students Who Participate in AA-AAS PDF
- NCSC Brief 6: NCSC’s Age- and Grade-Appropriate Assessment of Student Learning PDF
- NCSC Brief 7: NCSC’s Content Model for Grade-Aligned Instruction and Assessment: “The Same Curriculum for All Students” PDF
- NCSC Brief 8: Characteristics of Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities: Data from NCSC’s 2015 Assessment PDF
- NCSC Brief 9: NCSC’s Theory of Action and Validity Evaluation Approach PDF
NCSC 2015 Technical Manual
The NCSC 2015 Technical Manual provides a detailed view of the development, implementation, and evaluation of the 2015 NCSC assessments. Appendices are available in PDF Portfolio Binders to make them manageable, but it does require PDF versions with portfolio capabilities (Acrobat X, Adobe Reader X, or later).
In addition to the technical analyses completed as part of the 2015 Technical Manual, the National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment (NCIEA) completed a series of studies in 2016 to provide guidance on next steps for state improvement of the NCSC assessment system. Reports from these studies are linked below:
- An Evaluation of the Precision of NCSC Scores
- Cross-State Comparison of Participation and Performance on NCSC 2015 Administration
- Guidance for Estimating and Evaluating Academic Growth with NCSC
- Exploring Dimensionality within the 2015 NCSC Operational Administration Data
- An Examination of Item Difficulty by Tier, Domain, and Distribution: NCSC 2015 Administration
- Implications of Post-NCSC Project Scenarios for Future Test Development
- Managing Assessment Assets in a Changing Assessment Landscape
- Technical Directory for the NCSC Assessment