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.


Criteria for Identifying Students with Disabilities for Participation In a Mod-MSA

A student who would have been eligible for the Mod-MSA would be identified based on his/her individual evaluation information and the instructional and service information on his/her IEP. The student would be identified as appropriate for instruction and assessment using modified academic achievement standards aligned with the student's grade-level academic content standards. Students pursuing the Mod MSA are not precluded from completing the requirements for the regular high school diploma. The student would have been identified as meeting each of the following criteria:

• The student is learning based on the State's approved grade-level academic content standards for a grade for which the student is enrolled. There must be sufficient objective evidence demonstrating that the student is not likely to achieve grade-level proficiency within the school year covered by his/her IEP.

AND

• The student requires and receives modified academic achievement standards aligned with the Maryland Academic Content Standards for the student's grade- level during assessments and instruction. In addition, specific accommodations implemented in these instructional and assessment settings may include: test items are less complex, fewer and shorter reading passages, shorter or less difficult questions, and test items with fewer answer choices.

AND

• The student has had consecutive years of individualized intensive academic instruction intervention in Reading and/or Mathematics and/or Science consistent with his/her IEP, and although progress toward grade level standards was made, he/she is not yet making progress at grade level.

AND

• The student must demonstrate that he/she cannot attain proficiency on the actual grade level MSA, even with the provision of accommodations based on documented multiple valid and objective measures of student's progress (or lack of progress). Examples include the State assessments, district wide assessments, data gathered from classroom assessments, and other formative assessments that can validate documented academic achievement in response to appropriate instruction. There must be enough time to document the progress (or lack of progress) in response to appropriate instruction.

IEP Team Decision-Making Process Eligibility Tool for Mod-MSA