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8. Require development of alternate assessments.

IDEA provides for the State, or an LEA in the case of a districtwide assessment, to develop alternate assessments that are the aligned with the State's challenging academic content standards and challenging student academic achievement standards.
[20 U.S.C. 1412(a)(16)(C)(ii)(I)]

If the State has adopted alternate academic achievement standards permitted under the regulations promulgated to carry out Section 1111(b)(1) of the ESEA, the State's guidelines the State or its LEAs developed and implemented for alternate assessments must provide for alternate assessments that … measure the achievement of children with disabilities against those standards.
[20 U.S.C. 1412(a)(16)(C)(ii)(II)]

3Final regulations regarding assessment are anticipated shortly.

Dialogue Starter - Cross-stakeholder

Reaction Questions

  1. Why might it be necessary to have alternate achievement standards and assessments for some students?

  2. What are the implications for alternate standards for:
    • students and families?
    • school system personnel?

  3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of alternate achievement standards? What policies and practices does your state have to ensure that alternate achievement standards are aligned to the achievement standards for general education students?

  4. How does the state ensure that alternate assessments are reliable, valid, and do not underestimate student potential?

  5. What, if any, is the impact of alternate standards and assessments on the graduation rate for children with disabilities?

  6. How do alternate assessments impact the overall quality or performance data for the school/district?

Application Questions

  1. How is the validity and reliability of alternative assessments measured?

  2. How might your district incorporate alternate standards in the development of a student’s IEP?

  3. What training might schools, families, and IEP teams need in order to make decisions regarding alternate assessment?

  4. How might a school involve students, families and the community in the decision-making process regarding student participation in an alternative assessment?

    These questions were developed by the following stakeholders working together:

    Role: TA Provider
    Location: California

    Role: Teacher
    Location: Florida

    Role: General Education Administrator
    Location: Illinois

    Role: Family Member
    Location: West Virginia

    Role: Related Service Provider

    Role: General Education Administrator
    Location: Wyoming

    Role: Special Education Administrator

    Role: Higher Education
    Location: Indiana

    Role: Related Service Provider
    Location: Kentucky

    Role: Special Education Administrator
    Location: Georgia