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States’ Participation Guidelines for Alternate Assessments Based on Modified Academic Achievement Standards (AA-MAS) in 2009 

Synthesis Report 75

Sheryl S. Lazarus • Jennifer Hodgson • Martha L. Thurlow

March 2010

All rights reserved. Any or all portions of this document may be reproduced and distributed without prior permission, provided the source is cited as:

Lazarus, S.S., Hodgson, J., & Thurlow, M.L. (2010). States’ participation guidelines for alternate assessments based on modified academic achievement standards (AA-MAS) in 2009 (Synthesis Report 75). Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota, National Center on Educational Outcomes.


Table of Contents


Executive Summary

All students, including students with disabilities, must be included in state accountability systems as required by law. In April 2007, federal regulations provided states the flexibility to offer another assessment option—an Alternate Assessment based on Modified Achievement Standards (AA-MAS) for some students with disabilities. The AA-MAS is an optional assessment.

The National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO) has annually compiled, analyzed, and summarized states’ participation guidelines for the AA-MAS since 2007. The purpose of this report is to update information in previous reports. As of October 2009, 14 states (Arizona, California, Connecticut, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas) had publicly available participation guidelines for an assessment they considered to be an AA-MAS. As of November 2009 only one state—Texas—had successfully completed the U.S. Department of Education’s peer review process that determines whether the assessment fulfills the necessary requirements for the state to receive federal funds.

Results from this study suggest that states are continuing to develop or update their participation guidelines. A majority of states included flowcharts, decision trees, or checklists in addition to text-based description of guidelines. Over half of the states in the current study required that parent notification and implications for graduation be considered as part of the decision-making process.

The participation guidelines differed across states, but all states required that the student must have a current IEP. Additionally over two-thirds of states included the following criteria: consideration of previous performance on multiple measures, learning grade-level content, and not progressing at rate expected to reach grade level proficiency within school year covered by IEP.


Overview

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) require that all students, including students with disabilities, participate in state assessments used for accountability. Most students with disabilities participate in the regular assessment with or without accommodations. A few students with the most significant cognitive disabilities may be eligible for an Alternate Assessment based on Alternate Achievement Standards (AA-AAS). In April 2007, new federal regulations gave states flexibility to offer another option: Alternate Assessments based on Modified Academic Achievement Standards (AA-MAS). States may count up to two percent of students proficient based on the results of the AA-MAS. States are not required to offer this assessment option.

The regulations indicate that the AA-MAS is for students with an Individualized Educational Program (IEP). Additionally, IEP teams must gather valid data from multiple sources (e.g., previous state assessments, classroom assessments, etc.) demonstrating that the student will not achieve grade-level proficiency in the particular content area due to disability. It must also be demonstrated that, even if the student is provided with intensive instruction in the content area, he or she is unlikely to achieve grade level proficiency within the year covered by the IEP. The student must also have a standards-based IEP and the student must have access to grade-level content standards (U.S. Department of Education, 2007).

States must develop a set of criteria for determining which students are eligible to participate in different assessment options. This report refers to these criteria as participation guidelines. IEP teams use participation guidelines to determine whether the student will participate in the AA-AAS, AA-MAS, or in the regular assessment with or without accommodations (U.S. Department of Education, 2007).

Although some states have an assessment they consider to be an AA-MAS, as of November 2009, only one state—Texas—had successfully completed the U.S. Department of Education peer review process that determines whether the assessment fulfills the necessary requirements.

This is the third time that NCEO has tracked states’ participation guidelines for the AA-MAS. Each time that NCEO has analyzed the guidelines (Lazarus, Thurlow, Christensen, & Cormier, 2007; Lazarus, Rogers, Cormier, & Thurlow, 2008) there have been numerous changes. Please refer to the NCEO Web site at www.nceo.info, for more information and relevant research about the AA-MAS.

 

Need to Update and Analyze

The most recent NCEO report tracking states’ participation guidelines (Lazarus et al., 2008) identified states that had what they considered to be an AA-MAS, and provided each states’ participation guidelines. In 2008, federal legislation offering states the option to develop an AA-MAS had only been finalized for one year. Therefore only a small group of states had publicly available participation guidelines for an AA-MAS. In 2009, we hypothesized that there would be more states who had either developed or were in the process of developing an AA-MAS, and that had publicly available participation guidelines.

Similar to Lazarus et al. (2008), the specific questions that we sought to answer in this study were:

1. As of October 2009, which states had publicly available guidelines for students with disabilities to participate in an AA-MAS?

2. What were the characteristics of these guidelines?

Process Used to Find Information about States’ AA-MAS

Procedures used in the current study were similar to those in Lazarus et al. (2008). Information concerning states’ participation guidelines for an AA-MAS was gathered from state Web sites in September and October of 2009. NCEO compiled and analyzed the data. Data for each state were entered into a State Profile. The profiles were electronically sent to state department of education contacts in assessment or testing for verification. States were asked to verify that we had found the most current criteria. If a state identified additional criteria, we required evidence of a written document before accepting the change. No attempt was made to determine whether participation guidelines met the federal requirements.

Figures summarizing the results of this analysis are presented in the Results section of this report. Comparisons are also made between findings in the current update and the 2008 report (Lazarus et al. 2008). More complete information can be found in tables presented in Appendix A. The titles and locations of all state documents referenced in the report can be found in Appendix B. Appendix C contains a compilation of states’ 2009 participation guidelines.


Results

As of October 2009, 14 states—Arizona, California, Connecticut, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas—had publicly available participation guidelines for an assessment the state considered to be an AA-MAS. The previous year’s report (Lazarus et al., 2008) found that only nine states—California, Connecticut, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Texas—had publicly available participation guidelines for AA-MAS. Several states included in the previous report have since revised their participation guidelines for 2009.

 

Format

The participation guidelines of all 14 states included text-based description of the guidelines. The guidelines of seven states also included a flow chart or decision tree, and six states included a checklist in addition to text (see Figure 1). One state (Michigan) included case studies as part of its guidelines. The case studies identified grade level, special education status, skill level, previous performance on state assessments, and other relevant information pertaining to example students. Following the case studies, an answer key was provided to indicate the most appropriate assessment option for the student in the case study.

Some states posted three or more documents containing participation guidelines. Tennessee’s guidelines, for example, were spread across five documents. These included one flow chart, one state memorandum, two documents containing text-based description of guidelines, and one document entitled “Parent and School Initial Guidance.” Tables A-1 and A-2 in Appendix A provide further information on participation guidelines formats.

Figure 1. Format of Participation Guidelines Documents for AA-MAS

Figure 1 Bar Chart 

Changes Since 2008

Lazarus et al. (2008) reported that all states used text-based description of criteria in their participation guidelines, similar to current findings. Seven states of the fourteen states (50%) in 2009 had flow charts or decision trees as compared to four of the nine states (44%) in 2008. Similarly, the number of states using checklists increased to six states in 2009 from three in 2008. No states used case studies prior to 2009.

 

Combination Participation

All except two states allowed combination participation (i.e., students taking different assessments across content areas). For example, a student may take the regular assessment in English-Language Arts, and the AA-MAS in mathematics and science. Nine of the fourteen states allowed combination participation across content areas for the regular assessment and AA-MAS, but did not allow participation across all three assessment types (e.g., regular, AA-MAS, and AA-AAS). For example, California’s guidelines stated:

The student shall not be allowed to take both the CAPA [California Alternate Performance Assessment] and CMA [California Modified Assessment]. Students shall take either: CAPA in all subject areas, CST [California Standards Test] in all subject areas, or a combination of CST and CMA in the subject areas being assessed.

Figure 2. Combination Participation

Figure 2 Bar Chart 

In comparison, three states allowed combination participation across the regular assessment, AA-MAS, and AA-AAS. While North Dakota was among the states that allowed participation across all three types, the guidelines acknowledged that, “It is unlikely that students with significant cognitive disabilities will participate in NDAA2 [North Dakota’s AA-MAS] but there may be a rare circumstance where the IEP team deems it appropriate.” Of these three states, Michigan was unique in that it had three AA-AAS assessments (e.g., Supported Independence, Participation, Functional Independence). Michigan allowed students to combine participation across the regular test, the AA-MAS, and the AA-AAS; however, if the IEP team determines that a student should participate in the “Supported Independence” or “Participation” version of Michigan’s AA-AAS then the student must take it across all content areas.

Finally, one state (Ohio) allowed combination participation without further specification as to which assessments may be combined. Table A-3 in Appendix A provides additional information on combination participation.

Changes Since 2008

There were more states in 2009 that only allowed combination participation across the AA-MAS and regular assessment than in 2008: nine of fourteen states in 2009 (64%) as compared to three of nine states in 2008 (33%). The number of states allowing participation across the regular assessment, AA-MAS, and AA-AAS, on the other hand, has only increased by one state since 2008. States allowing combination participation without further specification have decreased in number since 2008: three in 2008 as compared to one in 2009.

 

Parent Notification and Graduation Considerations

The participation guidelines of nine states required parent notification prior to student participation in the AA-MAS (see Figure 3). The states acknowledged that, as part of the IEP team, parents must be informed of their child’s participation.

Figure 3. Parent Notification and Graduation Considerations

Figure 3 Bar Chart 

The guidelines of eight states required implications for graduation to be considered prior to participation. Most of these guidelines further stipulated that participation in an AA-MAS would not preclude students from attempting to complete requirements for a regular high school diploma.

The guidelines differed across states. For example, Arizona, provided space for the IEP team to reflect on “potential consequences.” The guidelines posed the question, “Are there any effects of state or local policies that would preclude completion requirements for a regular high school diploma for the child participating in either test?” Following the question, there was a check box for “yes” or “no” and blank space under “explain.” Michigan included the statement, “A divergent path at a young age may have consequences later and may prevent the student from progressing on Michigan’s GLCEs as needed to meet the requirements of the Michigan Merit Curriculum and earn a general high school diploma.” Louisiana required parents or guardians to initial that they understood the following statements:

  • Testing in LAA 2 means my child is performing below grade level. If my child continues to perform below grade level, it is highly unlikely that he or she will earn a standard high school diploma. I am aware that in order for my child to receive a standard high school diploma, my child must participate in and pass the required components of the Graduation Exit Examination (GEE) and earn the necessary 23 Carnegie units.
  • The decision for LAA 2 is an IEP team decision based on the needs of the student.
  • If my child participates in LAA 2, he or she will be eligible to receive a Certificate of Achievement. My child may earn Carnegie Units when appropriate.
  • My child is eligible to participate in the Pre-GED/Skills Option Program based on participation guidelines.

Table A-4 in Appendix A provides additional information on parent notification and graduation considerations.

Changes Since 2008

About the same percentage of states required parent notification prior to participation in the AA-MAS in 2008 and 2009—that is, six of the nine states (67%) required notification in 2008 and nine of the 14 states (64%) required notification in 2009. A greater percentage of states required consideration of graduate implications in 2008 than in 2009. While four of nine states (44%) required consideration of graduation implications in 2008, eight of 14 states (57%) required implications to be considered in 2009.

 

Participation Criteria

States had different criteria that were used to make participation decisions. While certain participation criteria were common across all states, other criteria were mentioned in only a few guidelines (see Figure 4).

Figure 4. AA-MAS Participation Criteria

Figure 4 Bar Chart 

Has IEP. All 14 states required that students have a current IEP to participate in the AA-MAS. In other words, students must be eligible for and receiving special education services prior to participation. On Connecticut’s checklist, for example, the first question asks, “Does the student receive special education services with an active IEP?”

Learning Grade Level Content. The guidelines of 11 states required that eligible students must have access to grade level instruction. For example, North Dakota’s guidelines specify that although students receive services for special education, they must still participate in the general education curriculum.

Previous Performance on Multiple Measures. A majority of states in the current report (n = 12 states) required that the student’s performance on multiple assessments be taken into consideration. Often, previous performance on state assessments was considered along with performance on classroom tests or formative assessments. Arizona’s guidelines, for example, included the following:

Based on all predictive data, the IEP team has determined that this student most likely will not be able to demonstrate proficiency of the grade level Academic Content Standards through further administration of AIMS, but may be able to with enhanced accessibility. Use a minimum of two additional data sources listed and attach: district assessments or other comparable measurement; performance on other assessments that can validly document academic achievement (DIBELS, Reading First); Response to Intervention documentation; measurable progress on academic standards IEP goals.

Cannot Demonstrate Knowledge on Regular Assessment even with Provision of Accommodations. More than half of the states in the current study (n = 8 states) reported that students must be unable to demonstrate knowledge on the regular assessment even when provided with accommodations. For example, Maryland’s guidelines said, “The student must demonstrate that he/she cannot attain proficiency on the actual grade level MSA [Maryland’s regular assessment], even with the provision of accommodations based on documented multiple valid and objective measures of student’s progress (or lack of progress).”

Not Based on Disability Category Label. The guidelines of eight states indicated that eligibility for the AA-MAS must not be dependent on disability category label. For example, Louisiana’s guidelines said, “The decision to test the student in LAA2 [Louisiana’s modified assessment] is not based on disability category label.”

Not Progressing at Rate Expected to Reach Grade Level Proficiency Within School Year Covered by IEP. A majority of states in the current report (n = 11 states) specified that even with the provision of special education supports and services, the student must not be likely to achieve grade level proficiency within the year covered by his or her IEP. For example, Michigan’s guidelines said:

In determining if the MEAP-Access [Michigan’s AA-MAS] is appropriate, the IEP team needs to determine if the student’s progress to date in response to appropriate instruction, including special education and related services designed to address the student’s individual needs, is such that, even if significant growth occurs, the IEP team is reasonably certain that the student will not achieve grade-level proficiency within the year covered by the student’s IEP.

IEP Includes Goals Based on Grade-Level Content Standards. More than half of the states in the current report (n = 9) required that the student’s IEP goals must be based on grade-level content standards. For example, Ohio’s guidelines said, “Students must have IEPs based on grade level academic content standards in the content areas being assessed by AA-MAS.”

Receives Accommodations During Classroom Instruction. Less than half of the states in the current study (n = 6) included student’s use of classroom accommodations in their participation guidelines. For example, the Oklahoma guidelines said, “Students with disabilities are required to be provided with accommodations and modifications to ensure progress toward meeting his/her IEP goals and short-term objectives and/or benchmarks related to the general education curriculum.” Other states provided examples of appropriate accommodations used across instructional and assessment settings. For example, “fewer and shorter reading passages,” “shorter or less difficult questions,” and “test items with fewer answer choices,” were specified in Maryland’s participation guidelines.

Receives Specialized/Individualized Instruction. Seven states indicated that eligible students must receive specialized or individualized classroom instruction. Of these states, Tennessee had a provision for both, “intensive specially designed instruction,” and “significant individualized supports.” Tennessee provided further explanation and examples under each of these relative provisions (see Appendix C for details).

Not Due to Excessive Absences, Social, Cultural, Language, Economic, or Environmental Factors. Half of the states (n = 7) in the current study did not allow students to be identified for the AA-MAS based on one or more of the following factors: excessive absences, social, cultural, language, economic, or environmental factors. All seven states provided factors not affecting eligibility that approximated, but were not identical to, the above factors. For example, Indiana specified “excessive or extensive absences,” as well as, “social, cultural, or economic difference,” but did not mention language or environmental factors affecting eligibility considerations. Connecticut’s guidelines indicated that, “The student’s inability to reach proficiency is not due to excessive absences unrelated to his or her disability, or to social, cultural, environmental, or economic factors.”

Not Receiving Instruction based on Extended or Alternate Standards or not Eligible to Take AA-AAS. Seven states stipulated that to meet eligibility requirements for the AA-MAS, students must not receive instruction based on extended or alternate standards. For example, on Kansas’ eligibility flowchart, the first item asked, “Is the student’s instruction and IEP goals and objectives based primarily on the extended standards, benchmarks, and indicators?”

Previous Performance on State Assessment. The participation guidelines for six states indicated that student’s performance on state assessments should be considered. Further, many of these states identified the level at which students should test before they were considered eligible for the AA-MAS. For example, Louisiana’s guidelines said, “The student scored at the Unsatisfactory level in English language arts and/or mathematics on the previous year’s LEAP/iLEAP/GEE or participated in LAA 1 or LAA 2.”

Not Based on Placement Setting. Six states indicated that eligibility may not be determined based on placement setting. For example, the Indiana guidelines said that eligibility for the AA-MAS cannot be based on, “a specific special education placement or service.”

Does Not Have a Significant Cognitive Disability. Several states (n = 4) required that eligible students may not have a significant cognitive disability. For example, North Carolina indicated that, “The student IS NOT identified as having a significant cognitive disability.” In Maryland’s checklist, there was an item asking whether the student had a significant cognitive disability. If the answer to the item was “yes,” then the student was not eligible for Maryland’s AA-MAS.

Performance Multiple Years Behind Grade Level Expectations. Only three states in the current report included the provision that students must be multiple years behind grade-level expectations to qualify for the AA-MAS. States required that evidence from previous assessments be taken into consideration before this determination was made. For example, Tennessee’s guidelines said, “Student classroom achievement and performance is significantly below grade level peers.”

Changes since 2008

Several major changes have occurred since the previous update in 2008 (Lazarus et al., 2008). For example, the number of states using previous performance on multiple measures to determine eligibility has increased from seven of nine states (78%) in 2008 to twelve of fourteen states (85%) in 2009. States were more likely in 2009 to use a variety of measures and methods to determine eligibility, rather than relying solely on previous performance on the state assessment.

The guidelines of approximately the same percentage of states indicated that the student must be learning grade level content in both years—that is, seven of nine states in 2008 (78%) and eleven in 2009 (79%). The number of states requiring that IEP goals be based on grade level standards has increased from five in 2008 to nine in 2009. The number of states including the criterion that eligible students are “not progressing at rate expected to reach grade level proficiency within school year covered by IEP” increased substantially from six in 2008 to eleven in 2009


Discussion

Fourteen states had publicly available participation guidelines for an AA-MAS in October 2009. As of November 2009, only one of these states had successfully completed the U.S. Department of Education’s peer review process.

Key findings from NCEO’s analysis of 2009 AA-MAS participation guidelines included:

  • All 14 states had text-based description of participation guidelines, and approximately half of the states had a flowchart or checklist in addition to the written description. For the first time, one state’s guidelines included case studies.
  • Over half of the states allowed combination participation across the regular assessment and AA-MAS; less than a third, however, allowed combination participation across all three assessments (AA-AAS, AA-MAS, regular assessment).
  • The guidelines of more than half of the states required that parents be notified, and implications for graduation be considered, prior to determining eligibility for the AA-MAS.
  • All states required that eligible students have a current IEP.
  • Over two-thirds of states included the following participation criteria: consideration of the student’s performance on multiple measures, learning grade level content, and not progressing at rate expected to reach grade-level proficiency within the school year covered by IEP.

The terminology, phrases, and participation criteria in more states’ participation guidelines appear to be drawn from the federal regulations than in the past. For example, 67% of the states included “not progressing at rate expected to reach grade level proficiency within school year covered by IEP” as a criterion in 2008; this increased to 79% of the states in 2009.

IEP teams may find flowcharts and checklists useful for additional clarity and structure. In comparison to the guidelines documented by Lazarus et al. (2008), states were more likely in 2009 to use flowcharts and checklists, in addition to text-based description, within their participation guidelines. The percentage of states using flowcharts increased from 44% in 2008 to 50% in 2009; likewise, states using checklists increased from 33% in 2008 to 43% in 2009.

This is the first year that any states included case studies that were designed to help IEP teams get a better understanding of students who may qualify for the AA-MAS. They might provide useful information for IEP teams in making participation decisions because they may include examples of determinations similar to those actually encountered by IEP teams. Case studies should be evaluated, however, to determine whether they provide accurate descriptions of students—or suggest limitations on which students might qualify for this assessment option that are not supported by the participation criteria.

This year more states included detailed specifications about how students may participate in different assessments in different content areas (combination participation). The percentage of states allowing combination participation without specification has decreased from 33% in 2008 to 7% in 2009. In 2008, less than a third of the states (30%) allowed combination participation across only the regular assessment and AA-MAS; in 2009 almost two-thirds of the states (64%) allowed participation across only the AA-MAS and regular assessment. In both years about 20% of states allowed combination participation across all three assessments (regular, AA-AAS, and AA-MAS).

We would encourage states that scattered their participation guidelines across multiple documents to consider whether IEP teams will easily find all documents containing relevant participation guideline information. For example, one state in the current report posted five separate documents for use in determining eligibility, none of which contained all of the state’s criteria. Also, during our verification process another state identified an additional document that contained some additional participation guidelines that were not posted on the state’s Web site.

The key findings listed above contain some, but not all, of the information gained from the current study. Through engaging in the process of verification with states, we gained a better understanding of the decisions states are making about the AA-MAS. We originally identified 15 states with AA-MAS participation guidelines in October 2009. As a result of the verification process, we found that one of these states had since suspended development of its AA-MAS. Thus this state was not included in this analysis.

Also, as part of the verification process, when we did not find AA-MAS participation guidelines on a state’s Web site, we contacted the state to see whether we had missed something on the Web site. Several of these states responded that it was not yet possible to develop an AA-MAS due to budgetary constraints. Many of these states reported that maintaining current assessments (i.e., regular assessment and AA-AAS) was challenging enough considering current economic conditions. It appears that financial difficulties pose the greatest major challenge for states considering an AA-MAS.

The current study did not attempt to determine the extent to which state policies complied with federal requirements under ESEA or IDEA. Those determinations would need to be made by the appropriate federal authorities. Although only one state (Texas) had successfully completed the peer review process as of November 2009, it is likely that more states will follow in the near future. In addition, states that have not yet completed the peer review process will continue to revise their guidelines in response to peer review.

It is expected that both the number of states developing an AA-MAS and the characteristics of AA-MAS participation guidelines will change as states determine how best to proceed with the two percent flexibility. NCEO will track these changes as they develop.


References

Lazarus, S. S., Thurlow, M. L., Christensen, L., & Cormier, D. (2007). States’ alternate assessments based on modified achievement standards (AA-MAS) in 2007 (Synthesis Report 67). Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota, National Center on Educational Outcomes.

Lazarus, S. S., Rogers, C., Cormier, D., & Thurlow, M. L. (2008). States’ participation guidelines for alternate assessments based on modified academic achievement standards (AA-MAS) in 2008 (Synthesis Report 71). Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota, National Center on Educational Outcomes.

U.S. Department of Education (2007, April 9). Final Rule 34 CFR Parts 200 and 300: Title I-Improving the academic achievement of the disadvantaged; Individuals with disabilities education act (IDEA). Federal Register: 72(67), Washington DC: Author. Retrieved October 26, 2009, from http://www.cehd.umn.edu/nceo/2percentR-Eg/FederalRegApril9TwoPercent.pdf


Appendix A: Participation Guidelines Characteristics by State

Table A-1. Format of Participation Guidelines for AA-MAS, September 2009

 

State

Criteria

Description of criteria (e.g., text-based elaboration/description)

Flow chart/decision tree

Check list

Case studies

Arizona

X

X

X

California*

X

Connecticut

X

X

X

Indiana

X

Kansas

X

X

Louisiana

X

X

Maryland

X

X

Michigan

X

X

X

North Carolina*

X

North Dakota

X

X

X

Ohio

X

X

Oklahoma

X

X

Tennessee

X

X

Texas

X

No. of States

14

7

6

1

*See Table A-2 for additional information.

 

Table A-2. Descriptions of Participation Guidelines Format

State1

Additional Information

California

Separate participation guidelines for science.

North Carolina

In addition to core subject areas, North Carolina also has an NCEXTEND2 Alternate Assessment for Occupational Course of Study (NC EXTEND2 OCS). It is available for the following courses: Occupational English I; Occupational Mathematics I; and Life Skills Science I and II. Grade 10 students following the Occupational Course of Study also participate in the NCEXTEND2 writing assessment.

1Only California and North Carolina required additional information.

 

Table A-3. Combination Participation

State

Combination Participation Allowed (No Specification)

Regular Assessment + AA-MAS + AA-AAS

Regular Assessment + AA-MAS only

Specifications and Descriptions

Arizona

X

California

X

The student shall not be allowed to take both the CAPA [California Alternate Performance Assessment] and CMA [California Modified Assessment]. Students shall take either: CAPA in all subject areas, CST [California Standards Test] in all subject areas, CMA in all subject areas, or a combination of CST and CMA in the subject areas being assessed.

Connecticut

X

Indiana

Kansas

X

Eligibility must be determined for each content area separately.

Louisiana

Maryland

X

Michigan1

X

X

Regular Assessment + AA-MAS + AA-AAS: Prior to implementation of MEAP-Access, the IEP team could determine that a student would take the MEAP for one or more content areas and MI-Access Functional Independence (FI) for the remaining content area(s). For example, a student could take MEAP mathematics and FI in English Language Arts (ELA). With the addition of MEAP-Access, the IEP team has the flexibility to have a student participate in MEAP, MEAP-Access, or FI.

Regular Assessment + AA-MAS only: As in the past, if an IEP team determines that a student will participate in MI-Access Supported Independence or Participation, he or she must take the same assessment for all content areas (e.g., Supported Independence ELA and Mathematics or Participation ELA and Mathematics).

North Carolina

X

The IEP team may determine that a student is to be assessed with modified academic achievement standards (NCEXTEND2) in one or more subjects for which the assessments are administered; if the IEP team determines, based on participation guidelines below, that the NCEXTEND1 is the most appropriate assessment for a student, then that student must be assessed with the NCEXTEND1 in all subjects assessed at that grade level.

North Dakota

X

Any combination of the above [ND State Assessment with no accommodations; ND State Assessment with assessment accommodations documented in the student’s IEP, LEP, or 504 Plan; ND Alternate Assessment 1 for students with severe cognitive disabilities served under IDEA; ND Alternate Assessment 2 for students with persistent learning difficulties served under IDEA; or a combination of the above in different content areas]. It is unlikely that students with significant cognitive disabilities will participate in NDAA2, but there may be a rare circumstance where the IEP team deems it appropriate.

Ohio

X

Oklahoma

X

The student qualifies for the OAAP Portfolio in all subjects assessed.

Tennessee

X

Texas

X

Total

1

3

9

1 Michigan allows combination participation across the regular assessment, AA-MAS, and AA-AAS as well as across the regular assessment and AA-MAS only. Whether participation is combined across all three assessment types, or only two, depends on the type of AA-AAS considered. Michigan differentiates between three types of AA-AAS (Functional Independence, Supported Independence, and Participation). Students eligible for Functional Independence may combine participation across all three assessment types. If the student qualifies for Supported Independence or Participation they must participate in the specified AA-AAS only.

 

Table A-4. Parent Notification and Graduation Considerations Information Included in Participation Guidelines

State

Parent Notification Required

Implications for Graduation Must be Considered

Specification/Description

Arizona

X

X

Parent Notification Required: Parents must be notified that the student’s AIMS assessment will be based on Alternate Achievement Standards or on Modified Academic Achievement Standards.

Implications for Graduation Must be Considered: Are there any effects of state or local policies that would preclude completion requirements for a regular high school diploma for the child participating in either test? (Yes/No).

California

X

X

Parent Notification Required: Parents are informed that their child’s achievement will be measured based on modified achievement standards.

Implications for Graduation Must be Considered: Not precluded from attempting to complete requirements, as defined by the State, for a regular high school diploma.

Connecticut

X

X

Parent Notification Required: Since parents are part of the IEP team, they must be part of the decision making process. Additionally, they must be fully informed that their child’s progress will be measured based on modified academic achievement standards. This is met through documentation of prior written notice, as well as the IEP page that addresses statewide assessments.

Implications for Graduation Must be Considered: Students who take the CMT/CAPT (MAS) are not precluded from attempting to complete the requirements for a regular high school diploma.

Indiana

X

Implications for Graduation Must be Considered: The committee must be informed that the decision to participate in an alternate assessment does not preclude a student from attempting to complete the graduation requirements. However, demonstrating proficiency on the modified assessment alone is insufficient evidence for graduation; the student is expected to earn a high school diploma prior to exiting high school, either by eventually demonstrating proficiency on the Graduation Examination or through the appeals process.

Kansas

Louisiana

X

X

Parent Notification Required and Implications for Graduation Must be Considered: If my child is eligible for and participates in LEAP Alternate Assessment, Level 2, my initials indicate I understand the statements below.

  • Testing in LAA 2 means my child is performing below grade level. If my child continues to perform below grade level, it is highly unlikely that he or she will earn a standard high school diploma. I am aware that in order for my child to receive a standard high school diploma, my child must participate in and pass the required components of the Graduation Exit Examination (GEE) and earn the necessary 23 Carnegie units.
  • The decision for LAA 2 is an IEP team decision based on the needs of the student.
  • If my child participates in LAA 2, he or she will be eligible to receive a Certificate of Achievement. My child may earn Carnegie Units when appropriate.
  • My child is eligible to participate in the Pre-GED/Skills Option Program based on participation guidelines.

Maryland

X

X

Parent Notification Required: If the parent does not attend the meeting and sign the form, there should be documentation of parent notification and informed consent for meeting along with documentation of notification of the decisions of the IEP team.

Implications for Graduation Must be Considered: Students pursuing the Mod MSA/Mod HSA are not precluded from completing the requirements for the regular high school diploma.

Michigan

X

Implications for Graduation Must be Considered: Students who participate in MEAP-Access should not be precluded from attempting to complete the requirements for a regular high school diploma; a divergent path at a young age may have consequences later and may prevent the student from progressing on Michigan’s GLCEs as needed to meet the requirements of the Michigan Merit Curriculum and earn a general high school diploma.

North Carolina

X

Parent Notification Required: Parents of these students, as part of the IEP Team and as participants in the IEP process, are to be informed that their child’s achievement will be measured (specific subjects) based on modified academic achievement standards.

North Dakota

X

Parent Notification Required: It is very important to keep parents informed. The Students with Disabilities and the North Dakota State Assessments parent brochure should be handed out to parents and educators at every student’s annual IEP meeting; the IEP team decides [how a student with disabilities is involved in state assessments]; discussion about state assessments must take place with the parent(s) present.

Ohio

X

Parent Notification Required: IEP teams including parents shall consider general education assessment participation, with or without accommodations for students, before considering participation in the AA-MAS.

Oklahoma

Tennessee

X

X

Parent Notification Required: Participation in the TCAP-MAAS must be an IEP team decision. Since parents are part of the team, they must be part of the decision making process. Additionally, they must be fully informed that their child’s progress will be measured based on modified academic achievement standards.

Implications for Graduation Must be Considered: Students who take the TCAP-MAAS are not precluded from attempting to complete the requirements for a regular high school diploma.

Texas

Total

9

8

 

Table A-5. AA-MAS Participation Criteria

Criteria

A
r
i
z
o
n
a

C
a
l
i
f
o
r
n
i
a

C
o
n
n
e
c
t
i
c
u
t

I
n
d
i
a
n
a

K
a
n
s
a
s

L
o
u
i
s
i
a
n
a

M
a
r
y
l
a
n
d

M
i
c
h
i
g
a
n

N
o
r
t
h

C
a r
o
l
i
n
a

N
o
r
t
h

D
a k
o
t
a

O
h
i
o

O
k
l
a
h
o
m
a

T
e
n
n
e
s
s
e
e

T
e
x
a
s

No. of States

Has IEP

X

X

X

X*

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

14

Learning grade- level content

X*

X

X*

X*

X

X*

X

X

X*

X*

X

11

Previous performance on multiple measures

X*

X

X*

X*

X*

X*

X*

X*

X*

X*

X*

X*

12

Cannot demonstrate knowledge on regular assessment even with provision of accommodations

X*

X*

X*

X

X*

X*

X*

X

8

Not based on disability category label

X*

X*

X

X

X*

X

X*

X

8

Not progressing at rate expected to reach grade level proficiency within school year covered by IEP

X

X*

X*

X

X

X*

X*

X*

X*

X

X

11

IEP includes goals based on grade-level content standards

X

X

X*

X

X*

X*

X*

X*

X

9

Receives accommodations during classroom instruction

X

X*

X*

X

X*

X*

6

Receives specialized/ individualized instruction

X*

X

X

X*

X*

X*

X*

7

Not due to excessive absences, social, cultural, language, economic, or environmental factors

X*

X*

X*

X*

X*

X*

X*

7

Not receiving instruction based on extended or alternate standards or not eligible to take AA-AAS

X

X

X

X

X*

X

X*

7

Previous performance on state assessment

X*

X*

X

X*

X*

X

6

Not based on placement setting

X

X

X

X

X

X

6

Does not have a significant cognitive disability

X

X

X

X

4

Performance multiple years behind grade level expectations

X

X*

X*

3

Other Criteria (See Table A-6 for Specifications)

X*

X*

X*

X*

X*

X*

X*

X*

X*

X*

X*

X*

X*

X*

14

*See Table A-6 for additional information about these criteria.

 

Table A-6. Specifications and Descriptions of Participation Criteria

State

Specifications and Descriptions

Arizona

Learning grade-level content: The student has access to high-quality instruction based on grade-level Academic Content Standards and the student’s IEP goals and objective focus on enrolled grade-level Academic Content Standards.

Previous performance on multiple measures: Based on all available predictive data, the IEP team has determined that this student most likely will not be able to demonstrate proficiency of the grade level Academic Content Standards through further administration of AIMS, but may be able to with enhanced accessibility. Use a minimum of 2 additional data sources listed and attach: district assessments or other comparable measurement; performance on other assessments that can validly document academic achievement (DIBELS, Reading First); Response to Intervention documentation; measurable progress on academic standards IEP goals.

Cannot demonstrate knowledge on regular assessment even with provision of accommodations: The student has not met proficiency on AIMS (grades 3-8 and 10) TerraNova or Stanford 10 (grades 2 and 9), or another state’s assessment for the last three years, with or without standard accommodations.

Previous performance on state assessment: The student has not met proficiency on AIMS (grades 3-8 and 10), TerraNova (grades 2 and 9), or another state’s assessment for the last three years, with or without standard accommodations. (AIMS EA may begin at the fourth grade with 2 years of state testing history).

Other: The student is exposed to high quality instruction focusing on grade-level Academic Content Standards.

California

 

Not based on disability category label: The decision to participate in the CMA is not based solely on the student’s disability (i.e., deafness/blindness, visual, auditory and/or motor disabilities) but rather the student’s inability to appropriately demonstrate his or her knowledge on the California content standards through the CST.

Receives specialized/individualized instruction: The student has received special education and related services to support access to and progress in the general curriculum in which the student is enrolled.

Not due to excessive absences, social, cultural, language, economic, or environmental factors: The decision to participate in the CMA is not based on excessive or extended absences; the decision to participate in the CMA is not based on language, culture, or economic differences.

Previous performance on state assessment: The student shall have taken the California Standards Test (CST) in a previous year and scored Below Basic or Far Below Basic in the subject area being assessed by the CMA and may have taken the CST with modifications. Previous participation in the California Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA) shall not preclude a student from participation in the CMA. The student shall have taken the CAPA Level 2-5 in two previous years and received a performance level of either Proficient or Advanced.

Other: The decision to participate is not based on the amount of time the student is receiving special education services; the student will not receive a proficient score on the CST (even with provision of accommodations) based on evidence from multiple, valid, and objective measures of student progress (or lack of progress).

Connecticut

Learning grade level content: The student’s IEP includes goals that are based on the academic content standards for the grade in which the student is enrolled and he or she is receiving instruction in grade level content. (Math: Yes/No). (Reading: Yes/No).

Previous performance on multiple measures: The IEP team must look at data from multiple, valid measures of the student’s progress over time. Such examples may include, but are not limited to, how a student scored on statewide assessments in the past, as well as district, school, or grade level assessments.

Cannot demonstrate knowledge on regular assessment even with provision of accommodations: The IEP team should consider whether or not the student may participate in the standard CMT/CAPT with appropriate accommodations, including assistive technology, and has exhausted these options.

Not based on disability category label: Eligible students may have a disability in any disability category: autism, deaf-blindness, emotional disturbance, hearing impairment, specific learning disability, intellectual disability, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairment, speech and language impairment, traumatic brain injury, visual impairment, or other health impairment. Typically, but not always, you may find students in the following categories to be eligible: intellectual disability, autism, traumatic brain injury, or multiple disabilities.

Not progressing at rate expected to reach grade level proficiency within school year covered by IEP: The IEP team must be reasonably certain that while the student may make significant progress, despite receiving appropriate instruction including special education and related services that are specifically designed to address the student’s individual needs, he/she is not likely to achieve grade level proficiency in the year covered by the IEP; student’s disability precluded him/her from achieving grade-level proficiency at the same rate as his/her non-disabled peers.

IEP includes goals based on grade-level content standards: The IEP reflects curriculum and daily instruction that focuses on standards based goals in the areas of math, language arts, and/or science, particularly for the area in which the CMT/CAPT (MAS) will be taken. The IEP must reflect access to the grade level curriculum. This is particularly true for students placed in private special education schools/facilities, residential, hospital or homebound placements.

Receives accommodations during classroom instruction: Appropriate accommodations have been provided in the classroom and for state/district assessments or evidence is provided that the student would not make proficiency on the CMT or CAPT even with the provision of accommodations. (Math: Yes/No). (Reading: Yes/No).

Not due to excessive absences, social, cultural, language, economic, or environmental factors: The student’s inability to reach proficiency is not due to excessive absences unrelated to his or her disability, or to social, cultural, environmental, or economic factors. (Math: Yes/No). (Reading: Yes/No).

Other: Student receives classroom modifications; students placed in special education schools/facilities, residential hospital or homebound placements are eligible to take the CMT/CAPT (MAS) based on the decision of the IEP team, if the student’s IEP includes goals based on Connecticut’s academic standards, also known as standards-based IEP.

Indiana

Has IEP: The student receives special education services due to the presence of a disability.

Learning grade level content: The student is able to meaningfully access curriculum for the grade in which the student is enrolled.

Previous performance on multiple measures: There must be evidence that the disability has prevented the student from achieving proficiency as measured by previous ISTEP+ attempts or through other assessments that validly document grade-level academic achievement.

Not progressing at rate expected to reach grade level proficiency within school year covered by IEP: The student’s case conference committee agrees that, even with appropriate instruction and services designed to meet the students’ individual needs, the student is not likely to achieve grade-level proficiency within the same time frame as other students.

Not due to excessive absences, social, cultural, language, economic, or environmental factors: The CCC’s determination that the student will be assessed on modified achievement standards cannot be based on factors such as: excessive or extensive absences; social, cultural, or economic differences.

Other: The CCC’s determination that the student will be assessed on modified achievement standards cannot be based on factors such as: the mere identification of a disability; concern for AYP calculations.

Kansas

Cannot demonstrate knowledge on regular assessment even with provision of accommodations: Accommodations alone [on classroom assessments] do not allow the student to fully demonstrate knowledge.

Receives specialized/ individualized instruction: Intensive individualized instruction; the student needs significant changes in the complexity and scope of the general standards to show progress in the curriculum; requires intensive specially designed instruction, intensive individually designed supports, and extensive instruction.

Not due to excessive absences, social, cultural, language, economic, or environmental factors: The decision to determine a student’s eligibility to participate in the KAMM may not result primarily from: excessive or extended absence, any specific categorical label, or social, cultural, or economic differences.

Other: Student needs supports to significantly reduce the complexity or breadth of assessment items; requires differentiated content for classroom assessment; needs to show what they know differently; accommodations alone do not allow the student to fully demonstrate knowledge; consistently requires instruction in pre-requisite skills to the grade level indicators being assessed; despite the provision of research based interventions, the student is not progressing at the rate expected for grade level; student classroom achievement and performance is significantly below grade level peers.

Louisiana

Receives accommodations during classroom instruction: The Local Education Agency (LEA) is required to provide the student with accommodations and modifications to ensure the student progresses towards meeting his or her IEP goals and objectives related to the general education curriculum.

Previous performance on state assessment: The student scored at the Unsatisfactory level in English language arts and/or mathematics on the previous year’s LEAP/iLEAP/GEE or participated in LAA 1 or LAA 2.

Performance multiple years behind grade level expectations: The student’s IEP reflects a functioning grade level in English language arts (including reading) and/or mathematics at least three (3) grade levels below the actual grade level in which he or she is enrolled.

Other: The student’s instructional program is predominately academic in nature, and may include application of academic content across environments to ensure generalization of skills; the decision to test the student in LAA 2 is not determined administratively.

Maryland

Previous performance on multiple measures: The student must demonstrate that he/she cannot attain proficiency on the actual grade level MSA (each of the subjects of the HSA series; end of course assessments) even with the provision of accommodations based on documented multiple valid and objective measures of student progress (or lack of progress). Examples include the end-of-course assessments, State assessments, district-wide assessments, data gathered from classroom assessments, and other formative assessments that can validate documented academic achievement in response to appropriate instruction. There must be enough time to document the progress (or lack of progress) in response to appropriate instruction.

Receives specialized/ individualized instruction: The student has had consecutive years of individualized intensive academic instruction intervention in the relevant content area(s) consistent with his/her IEP, and although progress toward grade-level standards (course level for Mod-HSAs) was made, he/she is not making progress at grade level (or course level for Mod-HSAs).

Previous performance on state assessment: For Mod-HSA, IEP Decision-making Process Eligibility Tool asks for documentation of MSA and HSA performance.

Other: The student requires and receives modified academic achievement standards aligned with the Maryland Academic Content Standards for the student’s grade-level during assessments and instruction. In addition, specific accommodations implemented in these instructional and assessment settings may include: test items are less complex, fewer and shorter reading passages, shorter or less difficult questions, and test items with fewer answer choices; the instructional performance in the relevant content area(s) is identified on the IEP [as measured by documented valid and objective measures of the student’s performance over time on a State’s general assessment and other assessments to include end-of-course assessments, State assessments, district-wide assessments, data gathered from classroom assessments or other formative assessments] is substantially below grade level; the student has been provided with supplementary aids and services that are necessary for the student to advance towards attaining his/her annual goals, to be involved and make progress in the general curriculum.

Michigan

Learning grade- level content: The student must have access to and instruction in grade-level content for the grade in which the student is enrolled.

Previous performance on multiple measures: There is no set length of time during which the data must be gathered, but there must be enough time to document the progress (or lack of progress) in response to appropriate instruction. Measures, such as the following, may be used: end-of-course assessments, district-wide assessments, classroom assessments, formative assessments, standardized achievement testing, State assessments (MEAP or MI-Access alone would not be sufficient documentation to show progress or lack of progress).

Not based on disability category label: The IEP team must not base their decision to participate in the MEAP-Access assessments solely on the student’s special education category.

IEP includes goals based on grade-level content standards: The IEP must include goals that are based on Michigan’s grade-level content standards for the grade in which the student is enrolled

Not due to excessive absences, social, cultural, language, economic, or environmental factors: The IEP team must not base their decision to participate in the MEAP-Access assessments solely on the student’s ethnicity or economic background; a student’s lack of progress cannot be solely due to excessive absences.

Not receiving instruction based on extended or alternate standards or not eligible to take AA-AAS: The student has IEP goals based on grade-level content standards, not extended standards, for the grade in which the student is enrolled.

Other: Students with a Section 504 plan are not eligible for alternate assessments; the IEP goals should be attainable within the year covered by the IEP; building blocks to attain the grade-level goals can start where the student is currently functioning; short-term goals and objectives may incorporate below grade-level GLCEs needed as prerequisites in order to attain the grade-level goal; instruction must be provided by a highly qualified teacher; instruction may be provided by a general education or a special education teacher as long as the teacher is highly qualified in the academic subject being taught; there must be objective evidence demonstrating that the student’s disability has precluded the student from achieving the grade-level standards at the same level of rigor as the student’s peers; participation in state assessment decisions must be determined annually by the IEP team.

North Carolina

Previous performance on multiple measures: The student’s disability has precluded the student from achieving grade-level proficiency, as demonstrated by objective evidence (e.g., results from standardized state tests, IQ tests, achievement tests, aptitude tests, and psychological evaluations). It is expected that more than one objective measure would be used to assist in the evaluation of a student’s assessment placement; students whose IEP teams feel that NCEXTEND2 is the appropriate assessment for the spring end-of grade testing should participate in the general administration of the Pretest-Grade 3.

Not progressing at rate expected to reach grade level proficiency within school year covered by IEP: The student’s progress in response to high-quality instruction is such that the student is not likely to achieve grade-level proficiency within the school year covered by the IEP.

IEP includes goals based on grade-level content standards: The student’s IEP must include goals that are based on grade-level content standards and provide for monitoring of student’s progress in achieving those goals.

Other: Participation guidelines for the NCEXTEND2 OCS [Occupational Mathematics I, Occupation English I (reading), Life Skills Science I and II, and the OCS writing assessment at grade 10], indicate that the student’s IEP goals are based on course content standards and provide for monitoring of student’s progress in achieving those goals; and for the NCEXTEND2 in writing, the student is assigned to grade 10 according to the student information management system (e.g., SIMS/NC WISE) and is following the Occupational Course of Study (OCS); the student does not have a current 504 plan; the student, if identified as limited English Proficient (LEP), must also have a current IEP; the nature of the student’s disability may require assessments that are different in design.

North Dakota

Previous performance on multiple measures: Other data that supports the need for "modified achievement standards" such as performance on achievement tests, classroom tests, and other pertinent information.

Cannot demonstrate knowledge on regular assessment even with provision of accommodations: The student’s curriculum is so individualized that the NDSA (even with accommodations) will not reflect what the student is being taught.

Not progressing at rate expected to reach grade level proficiency within school year covered by IEP: Has persistent learning difficulties prohibiting him/her from making grade-level achievement in one year.

IEP includes goals based on grade-level content standards: It is recommended that students that participate in the NDAA2 have standards based IEP’s (at the appropriate grade level) that allow the student to work on academic standards prior to assessment. This is particularly important in the subjects of math, reading, language arts, and science at the grade levels assessed.

Receives specialized/ individualized instruction: The student’s curriculum is so individualized that the NDSA (even with accommodations) will not reflect what the student is being taught.

Other: The student participates in the general education curriculum with ongoing supports and services from special education.

Ohio

 

Learning grade level content: Students have access to grade level instruction but may demonstrate the following: inadequate mastery of necessary pre-requisite skills, a need for individualized pace, more intensity, or different instructional strategies.

Previous performance on multiple measures: Before student may participate in AA-MAS, multiple valid measures of student’s progress over time must document that student will not achieve grade-level proficiency; until this condition is met, student participates in the general education assessment with or without accommodations.

Cannot demonstrate knowledge on regular assessment even with provision of accommodations: IEP teams shall clearly establish that, even with allowable and appropriate accommodations on the general assessment, students cannot demonstrate their achievement on the full range of the academic content standards; students may still be eligible for the AA-MAS even if they demonstrate some proficiency on grade-level content using instructional accommodations and/or modifications.

Not progressing at rate expected to reach grade level proficiency within school year covered by IEP: The IEP team must determine that the student will not meet proficiency on the grade level academic content standards within the year the test is administered even with intensive interventions. Documentation of multiple valid and reliable measures substantiates this decision and should be available for state review as requested. Curriculum-based measurement could be one example of measurement results collected consistently and over time.

IEP includes goals based on grade-level content standards: Instruction must be adjusted to include grade-level content before student may participate in the AA-MAS; until this condition is met, student participates in the general education assessment, with or without accommodations.

Other: Student may demonstrate top performance on the state-wide AA-AAS to meet eligibility requirements for the AA-MAS in a specific content area. IEP must also determine that the student can adequately demonstrate achievement on the AA-MAS and should participate in the AA-MAS; students must demonstrate one or more of the following characteristics during instruction and/or testing: lack of focused attention; lack of sustained attention; presence of processing/generalizing problems, including planning; and/or poor working (short term) memory.

Oklahoma

Previous performance on multiple measures: The decision to administer an alternate assessment (OMAAP or OAAP Portfolio) must be an IEP team decision using multiple measures as objective evidence including: previous performance on state assessments; other assessments that document academic achievement; and student’s progress, to date, in response to appropriate instruction.

Not progressing at rate expected to reach grade level proficiency within school year covered by IEP: The IEP team is reasonably certain that the student, even if he/she is receiving access to grade level curriculum, taught by highly qualified teachers and makes significant progress, will not achieve grade-level proficiency within the year covered by the IEP.

Receives accommodations during classroom instruction: Students with disabilities are required to be provided with accommodations and modifications to ensure progress toward meeting his/her IEP goals and short-term objectives and/or benchmarks related to the general education curriculum.

Not due to excessive absences, social, cultural, language, economic, or environmental factors: The student’s difficulty with regular curriculum demands is primarily due to his/her disability and not due to excessive absences unrelated to the disability, or social, cultural, environmental, or economic factors.

Other: The decision to administer an alternate assessment (OMAAP or OAAP Portfolio) shall not be based on the amount of time the student receives in special education, or the fact that the academic achievement of the student is significantly below his/her same age peers; the student’s disability results in substantial academic difficulties; the student’s IEP reflects curriculum and daily instruction that focus on modified achievement of the standards or alternate achievement of the standards; the student received evidence-based response to intervention and continues to progress below grade level achievement based on classroom assessments or other valid measures.

Tennessee

Learning grade-level content: The IEP must reflect access to grade level curriculum.

Previous performance on multiple measures: There should be evidence that the student’s disability currently prevents reaching grade level proficiency. This means that the IEP team must look at data from multiple, valid measures of the student’s progress over time which includes objective evidence of the effect of the disability on grade-level proficiency, progress to date in response to appropriate instruction, and progress toward meeting annual goals based on grade-level academic standards; using objective evidence, based on multiple measures, and collected over a period of time, IEP teams must determine annually which component of Tennessee’s assessment program is appropriate for each student.

Cannot demonstrate knowledge on regular assessment even with provision of accommodations: Accommodations alone do not allow the student to fully demonstrate knowledge; documented accommodations have been insufficient.

Not based on disability category label: The decision to determine a student’s eligibility to participate in the alternate assessment may not result primarily from: any specific categorical label.

Receives specialized/ individualized instruction: Student requires intensive specially designed instruction, significant individualized supports, and altered instructional methods.

Not due to excessive absences, social, cultural, language, economic, or environmental factors: The decision to determine a student’s eligibility to participate in the alternate assessment may not result primarily from: excessive or extended absence; social, cultural, or economic difference.

Not receiving instruction based on extended or alternate standards or not eligible to take AA-AAS: The student’s instruction and IEP goals and objectives are not based primarily on the Alternate Standards, benchmarks and indicators. The student is not eligible for the 1% alternate assessment in the content area being considered. (Eligibility must be determined for each content area separately.)

Performance multiple years behind grade level expectations: Consistently requires instruction in pre-requisite skills to the grade level indicators being assessed; despite the provision of research-based interventions, the student is not progressing at the rate expected for grade level; student classroom achievement and performance is significantly below grade level peers.

Other: The student’s learning objectives and expected outcomes in the academic area under consideration require substantial adjustment to the general curriculum of that area; the student needs significant changes in the complexity and scope of the general standards to show progress in the curriculum; requires differentiated content for classroom assessment; needs to demonstrate in a different manner what they know.

Texas

Previous performance on multiple measures: Multiple valid measures of evidence may include, but are not limited to, state-developed assessments, informal and formal classroom assessments, norm-referenced tests, and criterion-referenced tests.

Receives accommodations during classroom instruction: Every student should have an IEP that reflects access to the grade-level TEKS, including documentation of the modifications and accommodations that the student needs during classroom instruction and assessment. Modifications are practices and procedures that change the nature of the task or target skill while accommodations are intended to reduce or even eliminate the effects of a student’s disability but do not reduce learning expectations.

Other: Meets some but not all of the participation criteria of TAKS-Alternate (TAKS-Alt); an example of a student who meets some but not all of the participation criteria of TAKS-Alt may include but is not limited to the following: a student may require supports to access the general curriculum and/or require direct, intensive, individualized instruction over a period of time to ensure that he or she learns and retains grade-level skills; requires an alternate form of TAKS which is more closely aligned with instructional modifications in order to demonstrate knowledge of the grade-level TEKS; the student routinely receives modifications to the grade-level curriculum that more closely resemble those offered on TAKS-M; this may include, but is not limited to, reduced number of items and answer choices or simpler vocabulary and sentence structure; the decision to administer the TAKS-M is not determined administratively, but rather by ARD committee.


Appendix B: State Documents Used in Analysis

State Documents Used in Analysis of States’ Criteria for Participation in an Alternate Assessment Based on Modified Academic Achievement Standards

Arizona

Arizona Department of Education - Alternate Assessment Eligibility Determination
Arizona Department of Education - Eligibility Decision Flow Chart for AIMS
http://www.ade.state.az.us/ess/SpecialProjects/aims-a/AIMSEligibilityFlowChart.pdf

California

California Department of Education - CMA Participation Criteria and Definition of Terms
http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/sr/participcriteria.asp
California Department of EducationCMA Participation Criteria for Science
http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/sr/participcrisci.asp

Connecticut

Connecticut State Department of Education - Connecticut’s CMT/CAPT based on Modified Achievement Standards (MAS) Participation for Students with Disabilities IEP Team Guidance - Preliminary
http://www.csde.state.ct.us/public/cedar/assessment/mas/resources/EligCrit.pdf
Connecticut State Department of Education - CMT/CAPT (Modified Assessment System—MAS) PPT Eligibility Worksheet
http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/lib/sde/PDF/DEPS/Special/MAS_eligibility_worksheet.pdf

Indiana

Indiana Department of Education - Criteria for Determining Participation in the Alternate Assessment Based on Modified Academic Achievement Standards in lieu of the General Education Assessment
http://www.doe.in.gov/exceptional/speced/docs/Assessment_Update_January_2009_AAMAAS_Criteria.pdf

Kansas

Kansas State Department of Education -Statewide Assessments Participation for Students with Disabilities - IEP Team Decision Flowchart
http://www.ksde.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=iDZhGjaQDVI%3d&tabid=2371&mid=8885
Kansas State Department of Education -KAMM Eligibility Criteria
http://www.ksde.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=iDZhGjaQDVI%3d&tabid=2371&mid=8885
Kansas State Department of Education - Eligibility Criteria for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities to Participate in the Kansas Alternate Assessment
http://www.ksde.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=iDZhGjaQDVI%3d&tabid=2371&mid=8885

Louisiana

Louisiana Department of Education - LEAP Alternate Assessment, Level 2 (LAA 2) Participation Criteria for Grades 4 - 11
http://doe.louisiana.gov/lde/uploads/7992.pdf

Maryland

Maryland State Department of Education - Criteria for Identifying Students with Disabilities for Participation in a Mod-MSA
http://www.marylandpublicschools.org/NR/rdonlyres/DB0483F2-76AC-40BA-A702-E1CF92BE3B1D/17109/CriteriaforIdentifyingStudentswithDisabilitiesforP.pdf
Maryland State Department of Education - Criteria for Identifying Students with Disabilities for Participation in a Mod-HSA
http://www.marylandpublicschools.org/NR/rdonlyres/DB0483F2-76AC-40BA-A702-E1CF92BE3B1D/17110/CriteriaforIdentifyingStudentswithDisabilitiesforP.pdf
Maryland State Department of Education - Mod-MSA: Appendix A: IEP Decision-Making Process Eligibility Tool
http://www.marylandpublicschools.org/NR/rdonlyres/DB0483F2-76AC-40BA-A702-E1CF92BE3B1D/17114/ModMSAAppendixAIEPTeamDecisionMakingProcessEligibi.pdf
Maryland State Department of Education - Mod-HSA: Appendix B: IEP Team Decision-Making Process Eligibility Tool
http://www.marylandpublicschools.org/NR/rdonlyres/DB0483F2-76AC-40BA-A702-E1CF92BE3B1D/17116/ModHSAAppendixBIEPTeamDecisionMakingProcessEligibi.pdf

Michigan

Michigan Department of Education - MEAP-Access Eligibility Criteria and Guidelines for Participation
http://michigan.gov/documents/mde/MEAP-Access_Eligiblity_Criteria_and_Guidelines_030209_273134_7.pdf

North
Carolina

North Carolina Department of Public Instruction - North Carolina Testing Program (Section F: North Carolina Alternate Assessments)
http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/accountability/policyoperations/tswd/0809tswd.pdf

North Dakota

North Dakota Department of Public Instruction - Comparison of NDAA-1 and NDAA-2
http://www.dpi.state.nd.us/speced/resource/alternate/comparison.pdf
North Dakota Department of Public Instruction - Assessment Flowchart for IEP Team Decisions
http://www.dpi.state.nd.us/speced/resource/alternate/IEPflowchart.pdf
North Dakota Department of Public Instruction - Students with Disabilities and the North Dakota State Assessments: Information for Parents and Educators
http://www.dpi.state.nd.us/speced/resource/alternate/brochure.pdf

Ohio

Ohio Department of Education - Eligibility Guidelines Assessment Based on Modified Achievement Standards (AA-MAS)
http://www.ode.state.oh.us/GD/DocumentManagement/DocumentDownload.aspx?DocumentID=62031
Ohio Department of Education - Eligibility Guidelines for Modified Assessment based on Modified Achievement Standards
http://www.ode.state.oh.us/GD/DocumentManagement/DocumentDownload.aspx?DocumentID=62033

Oklahoma

Oklahoma State Department of Education - Criteria Checklist for Assessing Students with Disabilities on State Assessments
http://www.sde.state.ok.us/AcctAssess/pdf/OMAAP/Criteria_Check.pdf

Tennessee

Tennessee Department of Education - Statewide Assessments Participation for Students with Disabilities IEP Team Decision Flowchart
http://www.state.tn.us/education/assessment/doc/MAAS_flowchart.pdf
Tennessee Department of Education - TCAP-MAAS Eligibility Criteria
http://www.state.tn.us/education/assessment/doc/MAAS_flowchart.pdf
Tennessee Department of Education - Eligibility Criteria for Participation in TCAP-MAAS For Students with Disabilities
http://www.state.tn.us/education/assessment/doc/MAAS_flowchart.pdf
Tennessee Department of Education - Memorandum: Initial Guidance on the Use of the New TCAP-Modified Academic Achievement Standards Assessment (TCAP-MAAS) for Students with Disabilities Enrolled in Grades 3-8
http://state.tn.us/education/assessment/doc/MAAS_initial_guid_memo.pdf
Tennessee Department of Education - Tennessee’s Statewide Assessment Based on Modified Academic Achievement Standards - TCAP-MAAS: Parent and School Initial Guidance
http://state.tn.us/education/assessment/doc/MAAS_initial_guid_explan.pdf

Texas

Texas Education Agency - Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills-Modified (TAKS-M): Participation Requirements for TAKS–M
http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/student.assessment/resources/taksm/participationreq.pdf
Texas Texas Education Agency
- Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills–Modified (TAKS–M): Descriptors for the Participation Requirements for TAKS–M
http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/student.assessment/resources/taksm/participationreq_descriptors.pdf
Texas Education Agency - Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills-Alternate (TAKS-Alt): Participation Requirements for TAKS-Alt
http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/student.assessment/resources/taksalt/training/participation_requirements_july_2007.pdf


Appendix C: 2009 Participation Guidelines

PDF document

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NCEO is supported primarily through a Cooperative Agreement (#H326G050007) with the Research to Practice Division, Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education. Additional support for targeted projects, including those on LEP students, is provided by other federal and state agencies. Opinions expressed in this Web site do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Education or Offices within it.

© 2013 by the Regents of the University of Minnesota.
The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.

Online Privacy Statement
This page was last updated on January 03, 2013

NCEO is supported primarily through a Cooperative Agreement (#H326G050007, #H326G110002) with the Research to Practice Division, Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education. Additional support for targeted projects, including those on LEP students, is provided by other federal and state agencies. Opinions expressed in this Web site do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Education or Offices within it.