Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor/Committee Member

Dr. Eigenbrood

Second Advisor/Committee Member

Dr. Preciado

Third Advisor/Committee Member

Dr. Beers


Smarter Balanced Assessment Validity, students with disability, reading and writing disabilities, construct validity



For students with specific learning disabilities (SLD) in reading and/or writing, meeting standard on the currently mandated Smarter Balanced Math Assessment (Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction [OSPI], 2018; SBAC, 2018) presents unique challenges. On the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA), students are expected to solve math problems that require language skills, specifically skills which are deficient in students with learning disabilities in reading and/or writing. In particular, Claim 3 (SBAC, 2018) requires students to explain your thinking, and construct and evaluate an argument. These are examples of test questions that, for a student with learning disabilities, may be difficult to answer regardless of math ability. Although SBA authors attempted to mitigate specific learning disabilities with allowable testing accommodations, one might ask, if the student is unsuccessful on these math questions, is it due to lack of math ability or due to the impact of the specific learning disability in reading and/or writing? Examining elements of non-construct variance and construct validity is worthy of investigation for secondary students, for whom meeting standard on these required exams holds lasting consequences. This paper will explore the elements of non-construct variance and construct validity of achieved math SBA scores as it pertains to students with documented learning disabilities in reading and/or writing.

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