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Riverside County Office of Education Validates a Special Education Assessment Tool

Establish the reliability and validity of the SANDI assessment to encourage broad adoption nationwide.

The Challenge: Establish Validity with External Testing

Riverside County Office of Education (RCOE) developed the Student Annual Needs Determination Inventory (SANDI) Assessment, a comprehensive alternative assessment system for students with significant cognitive disabilities, and needed to formally test the reliability and validity of the assessment to encourage broad adoption nationwide.

“Hanover was a true partner with us throughout this process. They provided step-by-step support in demonstrating the efficacy of SANDI as a fully-developed, comprehensive student assessment system.”

Dr. Chun-Wu Li

Administrator, Assessment and Accountability

The Solution: Hanover’s Experts Analyzed Test Quality

Hanover Research performed analyses measuring three key indicators of technical quality to confirm the reliability and validity of SANDI.

Reliability Analysis

Hanover examined the correlations between students’ SANDI outcomes and their performance on three other assessments: California Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA), Woodcock-Johnson-III (WJ), and Vineland-II (Vineland).

Validity Analysis

Hanover analyzed special education experts’ evaluations of the SANDI assessment to determine the extent to which items on the SANDI assess the relevant content areas.

Interpretation of Results

Hanover conducted an inter-rater reliability study that examined the level of agreement between special education teachers on subject items from SANDI.

“The SANDI is a comprehensive online system of capturing data through effective student assessment and delivering meaningful standards-based, data-driven instruction. Riverside County Office of Education has been on the leading edge of strengthening instructional programs and assessment for students with significant disabilities. Hanover Research has validated RCOE’s Special Education Needs Determination Inventory (SANDI) as a viable, evidenced based tool in this process.”

Dr. Judy D. White

Riverside County Superintendent of Schools

The Outcome: A Technically Sound Assessment Tool Ready to Support Educators  Nationwide

Hanover’s analysis found that the full value of the SANDI goes beyond that of other current alternate assessment options to provide a larger framework for guiding the kinds of communication and collaboration that effective alternate assessment requires: defining appropriate standards, differentiating instruction to meet those standards, and accurately observing the success of such efforts in providing students access to those standards. The analysis also confirmed that the SANDI assessment demonstrated technical quality across each content area, showing correlation with other key alternate assessment instruments, internal item content validity, and inter-rater reliability.

As a result of Hanover’s analysis, RCOE:

  • Can demonstrate the reliability and validity of the SANDI assessment to K-12 education organizations nationwide.
  • Used findings in the analysis to develop the SANDI Technical Manual to support district partners in implementing the assessment.
Riverside County Office of Education
The Client

The Riverside County Office of Education (RCOE) provides specific educational, financial, legislative, and leadership services and support to all K-12 school districts in Riverside County.


Riverside County, CA

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