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Disentangling Mathematics Target and Access Skills: Implications for Accommodation Assignment Practices


Requests for reprints should be sent to Leanne R. Ketterlin-Geller, Southern Methodist University. Electronic inquiries should be sent to


Appropriate assignment of accommodations is predicated on a clear distinction between target skills and access skills. In this study, we examine the agreement between test developer/researchers’ and educators’ classification of target and access skills as a possible explanatory mechanism for assigning accommodations. Findings indicate that participants with expertise in mathematics education had the highest agreement when classifying target skills, as evidenced by a higher overall sensitivity value and the greatest number of items with the highest sensitivity value. Conversely, special education faculty members had the highest overall agreement when classifying access skills, as evidenced by a higher overall specificity value. Mathematicians, however, had the highest sensitivity values for the greatest number of items. Implications for accommodation assignment practices are discussed.

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