Elementary and Secondary Education Act: NCLB

Alternate assessments provide a mechanism for students with the most complex disabilities to be included in assessment systems. Like regular assessments, the purpose of alternate assessments is to provide valid and reliable assessment data that accurately reflect the state’s learning standards, and that indicate how a school, district, or state is doing in terms of overall student performance.

Characteristics of Good Alternate Assessments
  • There has been careful stakeholder and policymaker development and definition of desired student outcomes for the population, reflecting the best understanding of research and practice.
  • Assessment methods have been carefully developed, tested, and refined.
  • Professionally accepted standards are used to score evidence (e.g., adequate training, dual scoring, third party tie breakers, reliability tests and rechecks of scorer competence).
  • An accepted standards-setting process has been used so that results can be included in reporting and accountability.
  • The assessment process is continuously reviewed and improved.

Federal Sources Federal Sources



IDEA Partnership Organizations IDEA Partnership Organizations

Education Commission of the States - Home Page
Appropriate Inclusion of Students with Disabilities in State Accountability Systems
ECS Report to the Nation: State Implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act, Indicator 1 and Appendix A: Recommended Actions



National Education Association
- Home Page
NEA 'IDEA Brief' #2: NEA members ask: What testing is allowed under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA/NCLB) for students with disabilities?