Measuring domain-specific competencies of students with special educational needs (SEN) represents a challenge for the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS). In order to enable the assessment of students with SEN, the NEPS has set up feasibility studies in which the possibility of obtaining reliable test scores that are comparable to test scores of students without SEN is analyzed. In this study, we address the question of how the reading competence and the mathematical competence of students with special educational needs in learning (SEN-L) may reliably be assessed.
For this purpose, students with SEN-L in grade 9 completed a test of reading competence (N = 404) as well as a test of mathematical competence (N = 1.098). In addition to the standard test that was originally developed for students without SEN-L, reading competence was assessed with an adapted test version. Mathematical competence was tested with two different adapted test versions aiming at meeting students’ special needs.

Data were analyzed using models of Item Response Theory. For both domains, the results on test targeting reveal that the items of the standard tests are rather hard for students with SEN-L. Concerning item fit, item discrimination is low for many items of the tests. In turn, the adapted test versions yield a better test targeting and item fit improved substantially. We compare the results in both domains – reading competence and mathematical competence – and derive implications for the assessment of students with SEN-L.
Translated title of the contributionAssessing reading competence and mathematical competence of students with special educational needs
Original languageGerman
Title of host publicationInklusion von Schülerinnen und Schülern mit sonderpädagogischem Förderbedarf in Schulleistungserhebungen
EditorsPoldi Kuhl, Petra Stanat, Birgit Lütje-Klose, Cornelia Gresch, Hans Anand Pant, Manfred Prenzel
Number of pages30
Place of PublicationWiesbaden
PublisherSpringer Fachmedien Wiesbaden
Publication date2015
ISBN (Print)978-3-658-06603-1
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-658-06604-8
Publication statusPublished - 2015
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