School Improvement in Maryland

Modified Maryland School Assessment (Mod-MSA)

What is Mod-MSA?

The Mod-MSA assessment is an alternate assessment based on grade level content standards and modified academic achievement standards designed for students receiving special education services who meet specific participation requirements. Students taking the Mod-MSA are assessed in reading and mathematics.

A student who is eligible for the Mod-MSA will be identified based on his/her individual evaluation information and instructional and service information on his/her IEP.

Beginning in 2007-2008, Maryland included the proficient scores from the modified assessments in calculating AYP and capped the scores at 2% of the total tested population. Grades 6-8 took the modified assessment for the first time in 2009. Grades 3-5 will take the modified assessment for the first time in 2010.

Modified Academic Standards

Modified academic standards are based on the same academic content standards as described in the State Curriculum and Assessment limits on the state's Maryland School Assessment (MSA). The Mod-MSA differs in format to provide students access to the grade level content standards that incorporates variation in test delivery to meet the specific learning characteristics of the students. Examples include test items with fewer and shorter reading passages, shorter or less complex questions, and test items with fewer answer choices. Mod-MSA covers the same content as the MSA. The Mod-MSAs are based on grade-level academic content standards to ensure that students who participate in the Mod-MSA receive instruction in grade-level content so they can make progress towards meeting grade-level proficiency.