Topical Guides


3. Added specific requirements for state guidelines regarding alternate assessments.
State (or, in the case of a districtwide assessment, the local education agency (LEA)) guidelines developed and implemented under Section 612(a)(16)(c)(i) of IDEA must provide for alternate assessments that:
  • Are aligned with the state's challenging academic content standards and challenging student academic achievement standards; and
  • If the state has adopted alternate academic achievement standards permitted under the regulations promulgated to carry out Section 1111(b)(1) of the ESEA, measure the achievement of children with disabilities against those standards.
The state conducts the alternate assessments described above. [612(a)(16)(C)(ii), (iii) of IDEA]

Dialogue Starter - Cross-stakeholder

Reaction Questions

  1. In your mind, what is an appropriate alternate assessment?

  2. How do we distinguish and help the field understand the different types of assessments?
    • Regular assessments with or without accommodations
    • Alternate assessments to state standards
    • Modified assessments to state standards (2%)
    • Alternate assessments to alternate achievement standards (e.g., portfolio assessments)

  3. What are the implications of different types of alternate assessments on instruction?

  4. How might multiple assessment options for students with disabilities impact:
    • Inclusion in the general curriculum
    • AYP progress
    • Public support for accountability

  5. How do we ensure that students parentally placed in private schools participate appropriately in these same options?

Application Questions

  1. What might be the criteria for determining which assessment is appropriate for which students?

  2. What criteria are available for determining which alternate assessments are evidenced-based?

  3. What can states, districts, and schools do to consistently apply both of these criteria in the decision making process?

  4. What procedures might be in place to ensure once a child takes a specific assessment test, s/he is not tracked into taking the same type of test throughout her/his education?

  5. How might one generate professional development opportunities to ensure the application of evidenced-based criteria for classroom instruction?

  6. What is the SEAs role in providing professional development around these issues?

  7. What is the SEAs role in monitoring the appropriate use of these options?

    These questions were developed by the following stakeholders working together:

    Role: Teacher
    Location: Washington, DC

    Role: Parent
    Location: Maryland

    Role: Parent
    Location: South Carolina

    Role: Policymaker
    Location: Virginia

    Role: Service provider
    Location: Virginia