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States’ Participation Guidelines for Alternate Assessments Based on Modified Academic Achievement Standards (AA-MAS) in 2010   

Synthesis Report 82

Sheryl S. Lazarus • Jennifer R. Hodgson • Lynn M. Price • Martha L. Thurlow

May 2011

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. R., Price, L. M., & Thurlow, M. L. (2011). States’ participation guidelines for alternate assessments based on modified academic achievement standards (AA-MAS) in 2010 (Synthesis Report 82). Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota, National Center on Educational Outcomes.


Table of Contents


Executive Summary

Federal legislation requires that all students participate in state accountability systems. Most students with disabilities participate in the regular assessment, with or without accommodations. Students with more significant cognitive disabilities participate in the Alternate Assessment based on Alternate Achievement Standards (AA-AAS). A few states also have an Alternate Assessment Based on Grade-level Achievement Standards (AA-GLAS) for students with disabilities who need testing formats or procedures that are not included in the regular assessment and are not addressed with the use of accommodations. In April 2007, federal regulations offered states the flexibility to develop an Alternate Assessment based on Modified Academic Achievement Standards (AA-MAS). States are not required to provide this assessment option.

Since 2007, the National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO) has annually compiled, analyzed, and summarized states’ participation guidelines for the AA-MAS. The purpose of this report is to update the information gathered from previous reports. As of November 2010, 17 states—California, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia—had publicly available participation guidelines for an assessment the state considered to be an AA-MAS. As of February 2011, four states—Kansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, and 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.

The current study suggests that states are continuing to develop or update participation guidelines for the AA-MAS. All states included text-based description of guidelines; some states included flow charts or decision trees, as well as checklists. Other documents were also found, including glossaries and student case scenarios. Over half of the states in the current study required parent notification and implications for high school graduation be included as part of the decision-making process.

All states required that the student have a current IEP and that the student not be progressing at the rate expected for grade-level proficiency within the school year covered by the IEP. Over two-thirds of states included the following criteria: learning grade-level content, previous performance on multiple measures, IEP includes goals based on grade-level content standards, receives specialized/individualized instruction, and previous performance on state assessment.


Overview

All students, including students with disabilities, participate in statewide assessments. Annual testing ensures that schools, districts, and states are held accountable for students’ educational achievement. Most students participate in the regular state assessment with or without accommodations. A few students with the most significant cognitive disabilities take an Alternate Assessment based on Alternate Achievement standards (AA-AAS). A few states also have an Alternate Assessment Based on Grade-level Achievement Standards (AA-GLAS) for students with disabilities who need testing formats or procedures that are not included in the regular assessment and are not addressed with the use of accommodations. In April 2007, federal regulations offered states the flexibility to offer another assessment option—an Alternate Assessment based on Modified Academic Achievement Standards (AA-MAS). States may count up to two percent of students participating in an AA-MAS for annual yearly progress (AYP). States are not required to offer this assessment option.

According to the regulations, students eligible for an AA-MAS must have an Individualized Educational Program (IEP). In addition, the IEP must be standards-based and include annual goals based on grade-level academic content standards. Students who take the AA-MAS must have access to grade-level curriculum. IEP teams are required to gather objective and valid evidence from multiple sources (e.g., previous state assessments, formative assessments, classroom assessments, etc.) to demonstrate the student will not achieve grade-level proficiency in the particular content area because of his or her disability. Moreover, IEP teams must demonstrate that, even if the student is provided with appropriate instruction designed for the student’s individual needs, he or she is unlikely to achieve grade-level proficiency within the year covered by the student’s IEP (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, AA-GLAS, 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 February 2011, only four states—Kansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, and 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 fourth time the National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO) has tracked states’ participation guidelines for the AA-MAS. Each time NCEO has analyzed the guidelines (Lazarus, Hodgson, & Thurlow, 2010; Lazarus, Rogers, Cormier, & Thurlow, 2008; Lazarus, Thurlow, Christensen, & Cormier, 2007) there have been considerable changes. Please refer to the NCEO web site at http://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 for the AA-MAS identified states that had an assessment they considered to be an AA-MAS and provided each states’ participation guidelines (Lazarus et al., 2010). As of 2010 the federal regulations offering states the option to develop an AA-MAS have now been in place for more than three years. In 2007 when we first tracked participation guidelines for an AA-MAS, only a few states had publicly available guidelines. In each of the following two years more states had either developed or were in the process of developing an AA-MAS and had publicly available guidelines. Continuing the trend, we hypothesized that there would be more states that had either developed or were in the process of developing an AA-MAS, and that there was a need to update the report in 2010.

Similar to the previous report (Lazarus et al., 2010), the specific questions that we sought to answer in this study were:

  1. As of November 2010, 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 used in the 2009 update (Lazarus et al., 2010). Information concerning states’ participation guidelines for the AA-MAS was gathered from state Web sites in September through November of 2010. NCEO compiled and analyzed the data. Profiles were developed for each state to document the data collected based upon the participation criteria information found. 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.

Through collecting information from state Web sites, we found that some states provided training materials on participation guidelines. Nine states had posted additional training materials. Some of the training materials included electronic “PDF” manuals or PowerPoint presentations. One state (Pennsylvania) posted a video accompaniment to the state’s participation guidelines.

We analyzed the participation guidelines for Reading/ELA and Mathematics. In most states the guidelines were inclusive of all content area tests within the states’ AA-MAS. A few states, however, developed guidelines for another content area (e.g., Science). We did not analyze states’ participation guidelines for additional content areas.

Participation criteria are included in this report when they are mentioned in the policies of at least three states. If the criterion was not common to at least three states, it was included in the “other” category. In 2010, we included three new guidelines by name: “receives or has received research-based interventions,” “receives high-quality instruction,” and “not determined administratively.” One criterion identified by name in previous reports, “performance multiple years behind grade-level expectations,” was moved to the other category in the current report because too few states (i.e., less than three) included this criterion in their 2010 participation guidelines.

Figures summarizing the results of this analysis are presented in the Results section of this report. Comparisons were also made between findings in the current update and the 2009 report (Lazarus et al., 2010). 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’ 2010 participation guidelines documents.


Results

As of November 2010, 17 states—California, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia—had publicly available participation guidelines for an assessment the state considered to be an AA-MAS. The 2009 report (Lazarus et al., 2010) found 14 states—Arizona, California, Connecticut, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas—with publicly available participation guidelines for an AA-MAS. Four additional states had guidelines in 2010 (Georgia, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania). Additionally, several states included in the previous report revised their participation guidelines for 2010, and one state included in the previous report (Arizona) no longer had publicly available guidelines. Table 1 provides the state, the name of the state’s AA-MAS, as well as the content area and grade.

Table 1. AA-MAS Name, Content Area, and Grade Described by State

State Assessment Name Content Areas/Grades
California California Modified Assessment (CMA) Math (3-7); ELA (3-11); Writing (4 and 7); Science (5, 8); Algebra I; Geometry; Life Science (10)
Connecticut Connecticut Mastery Test Modified Assessment System (CMT MAS) and Connecticut Academic Performance Test Modified Assessment System (CAPT MAS) Math and Reading (3-8, 101)
Georgia Georgia Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests – Modified (CRCT-M) Math (3-8); Reading (3-8); English Language Arts (3-8)
Indiana Indiana Modified Achievement Standards Test (IMAST) Math (3-8); ELA (3-8); Science (4, 6); Social Studies (5, 7)
Kansas2 Kansas Assessment of Modified Measures (KAMM) Math and Reading (3-8, HS); Science (4, 7)
Louisiana Louisiana Educational Assessment Program (LEAP) Alternate Assessment, Level 2 Math and ELA (4-8, 10-11); Science (4, 8, 11); Social Studies (4, 8, 11)
Maryland Maryland Modified High School Assessment (Mod-HSA); Maryland Modified School Assessment (Mod-MSA) Math and Reading (3-8); Algebra, Biology, English, and Government (HS)
Michigan Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) Access Math and Reading (3-8); Writing (4, 7)
Minnesota Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) Modified Math (5-8, 11); Reading (5-8, 10)
North Carolina3 NCEXTEND2 Alternate Assessment Math (3-8, HS); Reading (3-8, HS); Science (5, 8, HS)
North Dakota North Dakota Alternate Assessment 2 (NDAA2) Math (3-8, 11); Reading/Language Arts (3-8, 11); Science (4, 8, 11)
Ohio Ohio’s Alternate Assessment based on Modified Achievement Standards (AA-MAS) Math (5-8, 10); Reading (5-8, 10)
Oklahoma Oklahoma Modified Alternate Assessment Program (OMAAP) Math (3-8); Reading (3-8); Science (5, 8); End-of-Instruction Tests; Algebra I, Biology I, English II, and U.S. History (HS)
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania System of School Assessment-Modified (PSSA-M) Math (4-8, 11); Reading (4-8, 11); Science (8, 11)
Tennessee Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) Modified Academic Achievement Standards (MAAS) Math (3-8); Reading/Language Arts (3-8); Science (3-8); Social Studies (3-8)
Texas Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills Modified (TAKS-M) Math (3-11); Reading (3-9); English Language Arts (10-11); Writing (4, 7) Science (5, 8, 10-11); Social Studies (8, 10, 11)
Virginia Virginia Modified Achievement Standards Test (VMAST) Math (3-8, Algebra 1); Reading (3-8)

1 The high school CAPT MAS is available as a live test for identified grade 10 students and as a retest for individual students in grade 11 and 12.
2 In addition to tests for accountability, Kansas offers KAMM Opportunity to Learn (OTL) assessments for grades 9-12 in Math, Reading, and Science. The OTL assessments are designed to give students the opportunity to learn the content standards prior to participation. This assessment option “provides Kansas High Schools with flexibility in determining when to assess students” (p. 66; see 2009-2010 Kansas Assessment Examiner’s Manual).
3 In 2010 North Carolina discontinued the NCEXTEND2 OCS for Occupational English I, Occupational Mathematics I, and Life Skills Science I and II.

 

Format

The participation guidelines of all 17 states included text-based description of the guidelines. The guidelines of seven states also included a flow chart or decision tree, and seven states included a checklist in addition to text (see Figure 1).

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

Figure 1 Bar Chart

Five states offered other formats for participation guidelines. Two states provided a glossary to define terms within the text-based participation guidelines. Two states provided cases studies or student scenarios to help determine which assessment option is appropriate for a student. For example, Texas provided a table for student scenarios that gave a student description and assessment decision or rationale. The student description included information about the student’s grade-level, special education status, skill level, instruction types, classroom accommodations, and other relevant information. The assessment decision or rationale offered a description of what assessment option was best for the student case. One state offered an electronic version of the flow chart with interactive comments, which could be accessed by selecting the flow chart for more information.

See Tables A-1 and A-2 in Appendix A for additional information on participation guidelines formats. Also, see Appendix B for a list of relevant documents states posted on their Web sites. Some states posted more documents than others related to student participation decisions for the AA-MAS. Four states posted one document containing participation guidelines and seven states posted three or more documents containing participation guidelines. A few states included participation guidelines within their yearly manual for state testing. For example, both North Dakota and Texas offered participation guidelines in separate documents as well as in their state manuals. Appendix C contains a compilation of states’ 2010 guidelines.

Changes Since 2009

Similar to the previous report (Lazarus et al., 2010), all states in the current analysis used text-based descriptions of criteria in their participation guidelines. Seven states of the seventeen states (41%) in 2010 had flow charts or decision trees which is a small decrease compared to seven out of fourteen states (50%) in 2009. Seven of the seventeen states (41%) had checklists in 2010 as compared to six states out of fourteen (43%) in 2009. The use of case studies or scenarios to help determine the best assessment option increased to two states from one in 2009. For the first time, one state had an interactive format for its flow chart in 2010.

 

Combination Participation

Most of the states in the current report allowed combination participation, which means students may take different assessments across content areas (see Figure 2). For example, a student may participate in the regular assessment for Mathematics, but participate in the AA-MAS for English Language Arts. Only one state did not offer specifications for combination participation within its participation guidelines. Two states allowed combination participation with no specifications for how the assessments may be combined. Three states allowed combination participation across the regular assessment, AA-MAS, and AA-AAS.

A majority (12 states) allowed combination participation across only the regular assessment and AA-MAS. These states often specified that a student must take the regular assessment for a content area unless he or she qualifies for the AA-MAS. For example, Georgia specified that “if the answer to any of the criteria is “ ‘NO,’ the student is not eligible to participate in the CRCT-M in that content area and must participate in the general CRCT.” Pennsylvania indicated that “IEP teams might decide that a student take the PSSA-M Math test and the PSSA-M Science test with or without accommodations but the student will take the standard PSSA Reading test (with or without accommodations).” Table A-3 in Appendix A provides additional information on combination participation.

Figure 2. Combination Participation.

Figure 2 Bar Chart

Changes Since 2009

More states in 2010 only allowed combination participation across the AA-MAS and regular assessment than in 2009. Twelve states in 2010 (71%) allowed this type of combination participation compared to nine states in 2009 (64%). Three states allowed participation across the regular assessment, AA-MAS, and AA-AAS in both 2010 and 2009. States allowing combination participation without further specification increased in 2010 to two states 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 parents, as members of the child’s IEP team, must be informed of their child’s participation in an AA-MAS and that their child’s achievement will be measured based on modified academic achievement standards.

Figure 3. Parent Notification and Graduation Considerations Information

Figure 3 Bar Chart

The participation guidelines of 12 states required implications for high school graduation to be considered prior to participation. As indicated in Table A-4 in Appendix A, seven of the twelve states specified that participation in an AA-MAS would not preclude students from attempting to complete requirements for a regular high school diploma.

Many of the guidelines differed across states. For example, as indicated in Appendix Table A-4, Virginia stated an “eligibility decision may not result primarily from the belief that the student does not need this assessment to be promoted to the next grade or to graduate with a diploma.” Louisiana required parents or guardians to initial that they understood four statements regarding graduation implications. Each statement could be understood from the perspective of the parent or child. For example:

I am aware that testing in LAA 2 means my child (I) is (am) having significant academic difficulties in Reading, language arts and/or Mathematics. It is an IEP team decision, based on the needs of my child (my needs), for my child (me) to participate in LAA 2.

Pennsylvania shared its graduation implications in terms of “no consequences with respect to high school graduation.” Minnesota included different information regarding graduation and stated:

If a student meets or exceeds the standards on the MCA or MCA-Modified, then the student has met the state graduation requirement for the subject. Unlike the MCA, the MCA-Modified has no GRAD items embedded in it. Students who are not proficient on the high school Reading or Mathematics MCA-Modified can take the GRAD retest. If a student with an IEP does not fulfill the Reading or Mathematics graduation requirement by being proficient on the MCA-Modified or by achieving a scale score of 50 on the GRAD retest, the IEP team can establish an individual passing score. The IEP team can set the individual passing score on the initial administration of the MCA-Modified or on a GRAD retest.

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

Changes Since 2009

In 2010, a smaller percentage of states documented the need for parent notification prior to participation in an AA-MAS. Nine out of seventeen states (53%) in 2010 required notification, while nine of the fourteen states (64%) required notification in 2009. A greater percentage of states required consideration of graduation implications in 2010 than in 2009. In 2010, 12 out of 17 (71%) states required graduate implications to be considered while 8 of 14 states (57%) required implications to be considered in 2009. Overall, this showed an increasing trend of states that required graduation implications each year since 2008.

 

Participation Criteria

Participation criteria for an AA-MAS varied across states. Some participation criteria were common to all states while other criteria were mentioned in only a few state participation guidelines (see Figure 4). Details on the criteria of the specific states are provided in Tables A-5 and A-6 in Appendix A.

Figure 4. AA-MAS Participation Criteria

Figure 4 Bar Chart

Has IEP. All states (n = 17) required that students have a current IEP to participate in the AA-MAS. Students must be eligible for and receiving special education services prior to participation. For example, Minnesota and Ohio both begin their flow charts by asking, “Does the student have an IEP?”

Not Progressing at Rate Expected to Reach Grade-level Proficiency Within School Year Covered by IEP. All of the states (n = 17) in the current report indicated that even with the provision of appropriate instruction designed for the student’s needs, the student is not likely to achieve grade-level proficiency within the year covered by his or her IEP. For example, North Dakota’s guidelines said, “Does the student have persistent learning difficulties that prohibited him/her from making grade-level achievement in one year?”

Learning Grade-Level Content. Most states (n = 16) required that eligible students must have access to grade-level instruction. For example, Virginia specified that students participating in the Virginia AA-MAS are expected to learn grade-level content but may need more time and a
variety of instructional and assessment supports. Pennsylvania required evidence documenting an opportunity to learn grade-level academic content (i.e., attendance data, grade-level standards-aligned IEP goals, instructional accommodations and/or modifications, or intensive research-based interventions).

Previous Performance on Multiple Measures. Most states (n = 16) required that a student’s performance on multiple, valid measures over a period of time be taken into consideration. Typical measures used in state guidelines were district-wide assessments, state assessments, formative assessments, and classroom assessments or progress monitoring. Some states were less specific than other states. For example, Indiana’s guidelines said that evidence about a disability preventing a student from achieving proficiency is measured by “previous ISTEP+ attempts or through other assessments that validly document grade-level academic achievement.”

IEP Includes Goals Based on Grade-Level Content Standards. Almost 90% of the states in the current report (n = 15) indicated that student’s IEP goals must be based on grade-level content standards. For example, North Carolina’s guidelines specified that “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.” Moreover, some states specified that a student must have a standards-based IEP. For example, Tennessee’s guidelines said:

The IEP must document annual goals that address the skills specified in the content standards for the grade in which the student is enrolled. These are also known as standards-based IEPs, in which the IEP goals are aligned to the state content standards; the IEP reflects curriculum and daily instruction that focuses on standards-based goals in the content area(s) in which the MAAS will be taken.

Receives Specialized/Individualized Instruction. More than three-quarters of the states (n = 13) stipulated that eligible students must receive specialized or individualized classroom instruction. Some states specified that individualized instruction must include special education and related services to meet a student’s needs. For example, Connecticut’s guidelines said:

The IEP team must be reasonably certain that while the student may make significant progress and is 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.

Other states were more specific. Kansas’s guidelines said, “the student needs significant changes in the complexity and scope of the general standards to show progress in the curriculum.” Kansas also required intensive specially designed instruction, intensive individualized supports, and extensive instruction.

Previous Performance on State Assessment. More than two-thirds of the states (n = 12) included information about previous student performance on the state assessment within the state participation guidelines. Furthermore, many states identified the level at which students should test on the regular assessment before they were considered eligible for the AA-MAS. A few states identified students who had taken the alternate assessment who may be eligible based upon a specific performance level. For example, California’s guidelines said:

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.

Not Based on Disability Category Label. Almost two-thirds of the states (n = 11) indicated that eligibility for the AA-MAS must not be dependent on disability category label. For example, Georgia’s guidelines specified that “the decision to participate in the CRCT-M is not based on a specific eligibility or combination of disabilities (i.e., deafness/blindness, visual, auditory, and/or motor disabilities), but rather the student’s inability to appropriately demonstrate their knowledge of the Georgia Performance Standards.”

Not Due to Excessive Absences, Social, Cultural, Language, Economic, or Environmental Factors. Almost two-thirds of the states (n = 11) 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 11 states provided factors not affecting eligibility that approximated, but were not identical to, the above factors. For example, Georgia’s guidelines required that the decision to participate in an AA-MAS may not be based on “excessive or extended absences” or “language, cultural, or economic differences.” Other states included additional details about what could not be used to determine student’s eligibility for an AA-MAS. Virginia indicated that “VMAST eligibility decision may not result primarily from any specific categorical label (e.g., disability, ethnicity, gender, social, cultural, economic status, ESL),” or “excessive or extended absence.”

Receives Accommodations During Classroom Instruction. Over half of the states (n = 9) required that students receive accommodations during classroom instruction. For example, Louisiana’s guidelines said, “The student requires supports to access the general education curriculum and may require accommodations during classroom instruction and tests.” Some states also provided examples of appropriate accommodations used across instructional and assessment settings. For example, Virginia included “instructional strategies and resources, frequent and structured prompting and cueing, and assistive technology” in its participation guidelines.

Not Receiving Instruction Based on Extended or Alternate Standards or Not Eligible to Take AA-AAS. Eight states indicated that students must not receive instruction based on extended or alternate standards to participate in an AA-MAS. For example, Michigan’s guidelines said, “The student has IEP goals based on grade-level content standards, not extended standards, for the grade in which the student is enrolled.” Kansas’ guidelines indicated that the “student is not eligible for the alternate assessment in the content area being considered.” A few states included both aspects of the criterion. Pennsylvania’s guidelines said “students considered for the PSSA-M do not have significant cognitive disabilities and should not be held to alternate achievement standards.”

Does Not Have a Significant Cognitive Disability. Eight states stipulated that eligible students may not have a significant cognitive disability. Often states included this guideline as an item on their flow chart or checklist (i.e., Does the student have a significant cognitive disability?). If the answer to the question was “yes,” the student was not eligible to take the AA-MAS.

Cannot Demonstrate Knowledge on Regular Assessment even with Provision of Accommodations. About 40% of the states in the current report (n = 7) said that students must be unable to demonstrate knowledge on the regular assessment even with appropriate accommodations. For example, Ohio’s guidelines said, “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.”

Not Based on Placement Setting. Six states specified that eligibility to participate in the state AA-MAS could not be based on placement setting. Texas’ guidelines said that the decision to administer the TAKS-M is not based solely on placement setting, but is determined by the Admission, Review and Dismissal committee (ARD). Oklahoma’s guidelines said, “it shall not be based on the location of service delivery.”

Receives or Has Received Research-based Interventions. Some states (n = 5) specified that for a student to participate in the AA-MAS, he or she must have received or is currently receiving research-based interventions. For example, Maryland’s guidelines indicated that a list must be made to record what specific research-based Reading or Mathematics interventions are used that are individualized for the student.

Not Determined Administratively. Four states indicated that eligibility to participate in the AA-MAS should not be determined administratively. For example, Georgia’s guidelines specified that “the decision to participate in the CRCT-M is NOT based on an administrative decision made outside of the IEP team’s discussion of these participation criteria.”

Receives High-Quality Instruction. A few states (n = 3) specified the need for a student to receive high-quality instruction. Two of the states specified that instruction must be given by high-quality teachers. For example, Michigan’s guidelines stated, “instruction must be provided by a highly qualified teacher” and “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.”

Changes Since 2009

States’ AA-MAS participation criteria have changed since the previous update in 2009 (Lazarus et al., 2010). In 2010 more states were including many of the participation criteria tracked in previous reports (see Table A-5 in Appendix A). Other substantive changes in participation criteria included:

  • 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” continued to increase substantially to 17 of 17 states (100%) in 2010, from 11 of 14 states (79%) in 2009.
  • The number of states using the criterion, “learning grade-level content” increased to 16 of 17 (94%) states in 2010 from 11 of 14 states (79%) in 2009.
  • The number of states using the criterion of previous performance on multiple measures increased to 16 of 17 states (94%) in 2010 from 12 of 14 states (85%) in 2009.
  • States including the criterion, “IEP includes goals based on grade-level content standards” increased to 15 of 17 states (88%) in 2010 from 9 of 14 states (64%) in 2009.
  • The number of states including the criterion, “receives specialized/individualized instruction,” increased to 13 of 17 states (76%) in 2010 from 7 of 14 states (50%) in 2009.
  • States including “previous performance on state assessment” as a criterion increased to 12 of 17 states (71%) in 2010 from 6 of 14 states (41%) in 2009.
  • The number of states requiring the criterion “cannot demonstrate knowledge on regular assessment even with provision of accommodations” decreased to 7 of 17 states (41%) in 2010 from 8 of 14 states (57%) in 2009.

Discussion

Seventeen states had publicly available participation guidelines for an assessment they considered to be an AA-MAS in November 2010, although as of February 2011, only four states had successfully completed the U.S. Department of Education’s peer review process.

Key findings from NCEO’s analysis of 2010 AA-MAS participation guidelines included:

  • Seventeen states had publicly available participation guidelines in 2010. This was an increase of three states from 2009 (i.e., four new states had guidelines this year—and one state dropped plans to develop an AA-MAS).
  • All 17 states had text-based descriptions of participation guidelines. Some states included flow charts or check lists in addition to written description. One state posted an interactive flowchart, which was not identified in the previous report (Lazarus et al., 2010).
  • More than half of the states allowed combination participation across the regular assessment and AA-MAS. Fewer states allowed combination participation without specification, or allowed combination participation across all three assessments (AA-AAS, AA-MAS, regular assessment).
  • All states required that the student have a current IEP, and that the student must not be progressing at the rate expected to reach grade-level proficiency within the school year.
  • Over two-thirds of states included the following criteria: learning grade-level content, previous performance on multiple measures, IEP includes goals based on grade-level content standards, receives specialized/individualized instruction, and previous performance on state assessment.
  • States were also more likely to require IEP teams to consider a student’s previous performance on state assessments. Seventy one percent of the states included this criterion in 2010, while less than half of all states (41%) included it in 2009. Another criterion, “receives specialized/individualized instruction,” increased to 76% in 2010 from 50% in 2009.

This year states were more likely to provide other formats for participation guidelines. For example, more states provided case studies to help IEP teams make appropriate decisions about student eligibility for this assessment option. New also this year was the inclusion of glossaries, which defined key terms within participation guidelines of several states. However, the proportion of states providing flow charts (41%) and check lists (41%) was similar to the previous report (50% and 43%, respectively; Lazarus et al., 2010).

Although we did not include the training materials as a data source in our analyses, in the process of compiling data we found numerous training materials related to AA-MAS on state Web sites. A few states’ training materials even included videos. Videos and other training materials may help IEP team members better understand and use AA-MAS participation guidelines. However, we noticed that information about the participation guidelines in the training materials differed from what was in the actual guidelines in several states. In developing training materials, states need to ensure that the information presented is consistent with state policy.

According to the federal regulations, students who participate in a AA-MAS may not be prevented from attempting to complete the requirements for a regular high school diploma (U.S. Department of Education, 2007). In 2010 more states required IEP teams to consider implications for graduation in determining eligibility. The percentage of states requiring this consideration increased to 71% in 2010 from 57% in 2009. Because more states are requiring IEP teams to consider implications for graduation, states’ guidelines may be more consistent with the federal guidelines than in the past.

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. However, the number of states that have successfully completed the federal peer review process has increased since the publication of the previous update (Lazarus et al., 2010). In 2009-2010, only Texas had completed the process, whereas Kansas, Louisiana, North Carolina and Texas had successfully completed the process by February 2011. It is likely that states’ AA-MAS participation guidelines will continue to change as states make decisions regarding AA-MAS.

We contacted all states—including states that we believed did not have an AA-MAS—during the verification process, to help ensure the compiled data were accurate and that we had not missed any states. Through the process of verification of data with states, we learned that some states had no plans to develop an AA-MAS either now or in the future. One state indicated that test development had been postponed due to cost issues, as well as unexpected results from a preliminary focus group study with students which indicated that from the students’ perspective modified items did not make a difference for them because they had not been exposed to that type of problem during instruction.

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 to best proceed. 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.

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.

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 from http://www2.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister/finrule/2007-2/040907a.pdf


Appendix A

Participation Guidelines Characteristics by State  

Table A-1. Format of Participation Guidelines for AA-MAS, November 2010

State

Criteria

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

Flow chart/decision tree

Check list

Other

California*

X

X

Connecticut*

X

X

X

X

Georgia

X

X

Indiana

X

Kansas

X

X

Louisiana

X

X

Maryland

X

X

Michigan*

X

X

X

Minnesota*

X

X

X

North Carolina

X

North Dakota

X

X

X

Ohio

X

X

Oklahoma

X

X

Pennsylvania

X

X

Tennessee

X

X

Texas*

X

X

Virginia

X

Number of States

17

7

7

5

*See Table A-2 for additional information.

 

Table A-2. Other Formats for Participation Guidelines

State

Description

California

A glossary is given that provides definitions of terms within the text-based participation guidelines.

Connecticut

The electronic version of the flow chart includes interactive comments that can be clicked on for information about the criteria for many of the flowchart boxes.

Michigan

Provides five student case studies to help determine which assessment is appropriate for a student.

Minnesota

A glossary is given that provides definitions of terms within the text-based and flowchart participation guidelines.

Texas

The ARD Committee Decision-Making Process for the Texas Assessment Program: Revised Reference Manual for the 2010-2011 Testing Year provides student scenarios to help determine which assessment is appropriate for a student.

 

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

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

Students may be assessed with the CMT MAS or CAPT MAS in Reading and/or Mathematics.

Georgia

X

If the answer to any of the criteria is "NO," the student is not eligible to participate in the CRCT-M in that content area and must participate in the general CRCT. All students must participate in the general CRCT in Science and Social Studies.

Indiana

Kansas

X

Eligibility must be determined for each content area separately.

Louisiana

X

A student is eligible to take parts of LAA 2 assessment and the regular assessment (LEAPS or GEE). The content areas for which the student will be taking LAA 2 must be identified on the student’s IEP. If a student is in grade 5, 6, 7, or 9 and is participating in LAA 2, the student is only required to take ELA and Math. The content areas in which the student will be taking the LAA 2 must be identified on the student’s IEP. The student must take all content areas assigned for grades 4 and 8 and the content areas assigned to the specific grade for grades 9-11. If the student scored Approaching Basic or higher in a content area, the IEP team may decide that student can take parts of both LAA 2 and the regular assessment (LEAP or GEE).

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).

Minnesota

 

X

The participation decision should be made separately for Mathematics, Reading and Science; eligibility for the Reading and Mathematics MCA-Modified is determined for each subject separately.

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 (these must be allowable accommodations); the ND Alternate Assessment 1 (NDAA 1) for students with severe cognitive disabilities served under IDEA; the ND Alternate Assessment 2 (NDAA 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

Eligibility for participation in the AA-MAS is determined on a subject-by-subject basis by the IEP teams.

Oklahoma

X

This form is intended to assist Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams in determining whether a student should participate in the OCCT, with or without accommodations, or in an alternate assessment based on modified achievement of the standards (OMAAP) with or without accommodations, a combination of OCCT and OMAAP with or without accommodations, or an alternate assessment based on alternate achievement of the standards (OAAP) Portfolio; the student qualifies for the OAAP Portfolio in all subjects assessed.

Pennsylvania

X

Unlike assignment to the Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment (PASA), which requires students to take the PASA version of all subject area tests, assignment to the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment-Modified (PSSA-M) is subject specific. For example, IEP teams might decide that a student takes the PSSA-M Math test and the PSSA-M Science test with or without accommodations but the student will take the standard PSSA Reading test (with or without accommodations).

Tennessee

X

Texas

X

Admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committees may decide that a student’s knowledge and skills in one or more subject areas can best be assessed with TAKS–M if the student meets all of the following participation criteria; for students assessed with TAKS, TAKS (Accommodated), or TAKS–M, decisions about Reading, Mathematics, Writing, ELA, Science, and Social Studies must be considered separately. However, a student who meets the participation requirements for TAKS–Alt will take TAKS–Alt for all subjects assessed at the student’s enrolled grade; a significant cognitive disability is pervasive across all subjects; therefore, if TAKS–Alt is determined to be the appropriate assessment, the student will take TAKS–Alt for all subjects required for the student’s enrolled grade. In some rare instances a student with a significant cognitive disability may access the grade-level curriculum through modifications for some subjects and through prerequisite skills linked to the grade-level TAKS for other subjects. When this occurs, the ARD committee must determine which assessment is best for this student overall, since a student cannot be assessed with TAKS–M in some subjects and TAKS–Alt in other subjects.

Virginia

X

Eligibility for VMAST must be determined separately for Reading and Mathematics.

Total

2

3

12

1Michigan 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

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/guardians are a 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 achievement standards and must be informed of any additional considerations or consequences related to this assessment. Documentation of prior written notice, as well as the IEP page that addresses statewide assessments, support these requirements.

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.

Georgia

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.

Kansas

Louisiana

X

X

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

• I am aware that testing in LAA 2 means my child (I) is (am) having significant academic difficulties in Reading, language arts and/or Mathematics. It is an IEP team decision, based on the needs of my child (my needs), for my child (me) to participate in LAA 2.

• I am aware that my child (I) can participate in LAA 2 in one or more content areas and at the same time participate in the regular statewide assessment (LEAP or GEE) for the remaining content areas required at my child’s (my) enrolled grade.

• I am aware that if my child participates in LAA 2 and meets graduation requirements, which include (1) earning required Carnegie units, (2) passing the required components of LAA 2 (ELA, Math, and either Science or Social Studies) or passing by use of the LAA 2 waiver, and (3) meeting attendance requirements, my child will be eligible for a high school diploma. If my child does not meet the graduation requirements, however, my child may be eligible to exit high school with a Certificate of Achievement.

• My child is eligible to participate in the Pre-GED/Skills Option Program based on eligibility criteria.

Maryland

X

X

Parent Notification Required: If the parent does not attend the meeting and sign this form, attach documentation of parent notification and informed consent for the meeting along with notification of the decisions of the IEP team that were provided to the parent, if submitting this form as part of a Mod-MSA appeal.

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.

Minnesota

X

Implications for Graduation Must be Considered: The high school MCA and MCA-Modified serve as the accountability test for Title I ESEA and the graduation test for students. If a student meets or exceeds the standards on the MCA or MCA-Modified, then the student has met the state graduation requirement for the subject. Unlike the MCA, the MCA-Modified has no GRAD items embedded in it. Students who are not proficient on the high school Reading or Mathematics MCA-Modified can take the GRAD retest. If a student with an IEP does not fulfill the Reading or Mathematics graduation requirement by being proficient on the MCA-Modified or by achieving a scale score of 50 on the GRAD retest, the IEP team can establish an individual passing score. The IEP team can set the individual passing score on the initial administration of the MCA-Modified or on a GRAD retest.

North
Carolina

X

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.

Implications for Graduation Must be Considered: The decision to place a student in an assessment based on modified achievement standards must not preclude a student from earning a regular high school diploma.

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

Pennsylvania

X

X

Parent Notification Required: The LEA and parent discuss the eligibility information for participation in the PSSA-M located in the document: Guidelines For IEP Teams: Assigning Students With IEPS To State Tests (ASIST); document the decision that the student will participate in the PSSA-M on the assessment page (Section IV of the IEP) for the appropriate subject area(s).

Implications for Graduation Must be Considered: There are no consequences for the student taking an alternate assessment: no consequences with respect to test score/performance level related to taking the test with allowable accommodations, no consequences with respect to high school graduation, no consequences with respect to eligibility for post-secondary education, no consequences with respect to grade promotion/retention, no consequences with respect to rewards for proficient or advanced performance on an alternate as opposed to the regular assessment.

Tennessee

X

X

Parent Notification Required: Participation in the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program-Modified Academic Achievement Standards (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 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

X

Implications for Graduation Must be Considered: Students who take at least one TAKS–M subject-area test in grade 11 graduate under the Minimum high school program according to TAC §89.1070(c); according to federal regulations regarding graduating high school students, students who take TAKS–M are not held to the same graduation requirements as students who take TAKS.

Virginia

X

Implications for Graduation Must be Considered: The VMAST eligibility may not result primarily from: belief that the student does not need this assessment to be promoted to the next grade or to graduate with a diploma.

Total

9

12

 

Table A-5. AA-MAS Participation Criteria

Criteria

C
a
l
i
f
o
r
n
i
a

C
o
n
n
e
c
t
i
c
u
t

G
e
o
r
g
i
a

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

M
i
n
n
e
s
o
t
a

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

P
e
n
n
s
y
l
v
a
n
i
a

T
e
n
n
e
s
s
e
e

T
e
x
a
s

V
i
r
g
i
n
i
a

No. of States

Has IEP

X

X

X

X*

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

17

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*

X*

X

 

X

 

X*

X

X*

17

Learning grade-level content

X

X*

X*

X*

X*

X*

X

X*

X*

X*

X

X*

X*

X*

X

X*

16

Previous performance on multiple measures

X

X*

X*

X*

X*

X*

X*

X*

X*

X*

X*

X*

X*

X*

X*

X

16

IEP includes goals based on grade-level content standards

X

X*

X*

X*

X*

X*

X

X*

X

X*

X*

X*

X*

X*

X

15

Receives specialized/ individualized instruction

X*

X

X*

X

X*

X*

X*

X*

X*

X*

 

X*

X

X*

13

Previous performance on state assessment

X*

X

X*

X

X*

X*

X

X*

X

X*

X

X

12

Not based on disability category label

X*

X*

X*

X

X

X*

X

 

X

 

 

X*

X

X

11

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

X*

X*

X*

X*

X*

X*

X*

X*

X*

X*

X*

11

 

Table A-6. Specifications and Descriptions of Participation Criteria

State

Specifications and Descriptions

California

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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 and is receiving appropriate instruction, including special education and related services that are specifically designed to address the student’s individual needs, he or 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.

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 how he or she scored on district-, school-, or grade-level assessments.

IEP includes goals based on grade-level content standards: Students must have standards-based IEP goals in the subject in which they will be taking the MAS; the IEP reflects curriculum and daily instruction that focuses on standards-based goals in the areas of math and/or language arts. The IEP must document goals that address the skills specified in the content standards for the grade in which the student is enrolled. These are also known as standards-based IEPs, in which the IEP goals are aligned to the state content standards; the IEP reflects how the student’s progress in achieving standards-based goals is to be documented and monitored.

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.

Not due to excessive absences, social, cultural, language, economic, or environmental factors: The IEP team must be reasonably certain that the student’s difficulty with regular curriculum demands is primarily due to his or her disability and not due to excessive absences unrelated to the disability, or to social, cultural, environmental or economic 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).

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).

Cannot demonstrate knowledge on regular assessment even with provision of accommodations: The IEP team should first consider the student’s participation in the standard CMT/CAPT with appropriate accommodations. This expectation should include a thorough exploration into the variety of accommodations available, including assistive technology. When the IEP team is reasonably certain that all appropriate accommodations have been provided and the student is not likely to achieve grade-level proficiency, then the CMT/CAPT MAS may be considered.

Other: Student receives classroom modifications; student’s disability causes substantial academic difficulties; students who are not on an IEP are not eligible for the MAS, such as those only on a 504 plan or English language learners (ELL) who do not receive special education services; the disability category alone does not make a student eligible to take the CMT/CAPT (MAS).

Georgia

Learning grade-level content: For each content area under consideration, the student has access to and instruction in the GPS for the grade in which the student is enrolled.

Previous performance on multiple measures: The determination of the student’s progress has been based on multiple measurements (i.e., benchmarks, unit assessments, progress monitoring, etc.) that are valid for the content area under consideration and that have been collected over a period of time.

IEP includes goals based on grade-level content standards: The student’s IEP includes goals that: (1) are related to the content area under consideration, (2) support access to the grade-level content standards, and (3) are designed to promote the student’s progress in the content area GPS.

Receives specialized/individualized instruction: 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.

Previous performance on state assessment: The student’s disability has precluded the student from achieving grade-level proficiency, as demonstrated by the student’s performance on the previous year’s state-mandated test (i.e., CRCT) in the content area under consideration or another state’s assessment, if appropriate; for each content area under consideration, in the previous year the student did not meet the standard for the state-mandated test (CRCT or was not proficient on another state’s assessment) OR reached extending progress on the GAA OR did not achieve the advanced performance level on the Georgia CRCT-M (Not applicable for the 2010-2011 school year).

Not based on disability category label: The decision to participate in the CRCT-M is NOT based on a specific eligibility or combination of disabilities (i.e., deafness/blindness, visual, auditory, and/or motor disabilities), but rather the student’s inability to appropriately demonstrate their knowledge of the Georgia Performance Standards.

Not due to excessive absences, social, cultural, language, economic, or environmental factors: The decision to participate in the CRCT-M is NOT based on excessive or extended absences, language, cultural, or economic differences.

Not determined administratively: The decision to participate in the CRCT-M is NOT based on an administrative decision made outside of the IEP team’s discussion of these participation criteria.

Other: The decision to participate in the CRCT-M is NOT based on the amount of time the student has received special education services.

Indiana

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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 student’s individual needs, the student is not likely to achieve grade-level proficiency within the same time frame as other students.

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.

IEP includes goals based on grade-level content standards: Therefore the goals listed in the student’s case conference committee report include content standards for the grade in which the student is enrolled.

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: Therefore the goals listed in the student’s case conference committee report include content standards for the grade in which the student is enrolled; 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

 

Learning grade-level content: What should teachers be instructing students taking the KAMM? Teachers should teach grade-level indicators.

IEP includes goals based on grade-level content standards: For any content area assessed using the KAMM, the student’s IEP must include goals based on grade-level content standards.

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.

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 or has received research-based interventions: Despite the provision of research-based interventions, the student is not progressing at the rate expected for grade-level.

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; consistently requires instruction in pre-requisite skills to the grade-level indicators being assessed; student classroom achievement and performance is significantly below grade-level peers; is the student multiple years behind grade-level expectations? (yes/no).

Louisiana

Learning grade-level content: The students must have access to a curriculum based on grade-level content standards and must be assessed with a measure that also is based on grade-level content standards.

Previous performance on multiple measures: IEP team members must use multiple sources of information to guide decision-making for statewide assessment purposes. The IEP team must review evidence that includes current IEP goals and/or objectives as well as results from statewide assessments (LEAP, iLEAP, GEE, LAA 2 and LAA 1); and recent results from other tests to document significant academic difficulties; class performance records; and/or growth rates compared to grade-level national or local norms, including proficiency levels from prior years.

IEP includes goals based on grade-level content standards: The student has an IEP with goals based on academic content standards for the student’s enrolled grade and the student requires supports to access the general education curriculum. The student has academic goals based on the content standards/GLEs for the student’s enrolled grade. At a minimum, a student’s IEP must have goals in ELA and/or Mathematics if the student is participating in LAA 2 in either content area.

Receives specialized/individualized instruction: The student, even with direct, intensive, individualized instruction as indicated by the student’s IEP, is unable to demonstrate competence of grade-level skill within the year through the monitoring of the student’s progress in achieving those goals.

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. The student scored unsatisfactory on the regular assessment in English language arts and/or Mathematics the previous year or previously participated in LAA 1 or LAA 2.  

Not due to excessive absences, social, cultural, language, economic, or environmental factors: The decision to include the student in LAA 2 is not solely based on the following: the student’s placement; excessive or extended absences; disruptive behavior; English language proficiency; the student’s Reading level; the student’s disability according to Bulletin 1508; social, cultural, and/or economic differences; anticipated impact on school performance scores; administrative decision; the expectation that the student will not perform well on the regular assessment (LEAP/iLEAP/GEE).

Receives accommodations during classroom instruction: The student requires supports to access the general education curriculum and may require accommodations during classroom instruction and tests.

Not determined administratively: The placement of a student in LAA 2 shall not be an administrative decision to bypass the high stakes testing policy.

Other: There must be documentation on the IEP that the student has significant academic difficulties, at least in English Language Arts, Reading, and/or Mathematics based on class performance records and local and state assessments.

Maryland

Previous performance on multiple measures: The student must demonstrate that he or 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 or 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.

Receives or has received research-based interventions: List the specific research-based Reading interventions that are individualized for the student; list the specific research-based Mathematics interventions that are individualized for the student. List the specific Reading and/or Mathematics research-based interventions that are individualized to the student, which have been used in Science instruction to support the student’s progress in the general curriculum.

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: The student’s progress or lack of progress must be determined using multiple objectives and valid measures of the student’s academic achievement over time. 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).

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. In Michigan, these standards are articulated in the GLCEs. 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.

Receives specialized/individualized instruction: In determining if the MEAP-Access assessment 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.

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.

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.

Receives high-quality instruction: 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.

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; 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.

Minnesota

Not progressing at rate expected to reach grade-level proficiency within school year covered by IEP: Has the IEP team documented its expectation that the student will not achieve grade-level proficiency within the year covered by the IEP? (Yes/No).

Learning grade-level content: The IEP team must ensure that the student has access to the general education curriculum, which means the student has opportunities to actively engage in learning the content and skills of the general education curriculum; does the student have access to instruction on grade-level standards? (Yes/No); instruction must be adjusted to include grade-level content before student may participate in the MCA-Modified; until this condition is met; student participates in the general education assessment, with or without accommodations, or the MTAS.

Previous performance on multiple measures: Objective and valid data from multiple measures should be collected over time to confirm that the student is not likely to achieve proficiency on grade-level content standards within the year. Examples of objective and valid measures include state assessments, district-wide assessments, curriculum-based measures, and other repeated measures of progress over time.

Receives specialized/individualized instruction: The IEP Team determines that the student is highly unlikely to achieve proficiency on the grade-level content standards within the year the test is administered, even with specially designed instruction.

Previous performance on state assessment: The student demonstrates persistent low performance as defined by performance at the lowest achievement level on the MCA (Does Not Meet the Standards) for the past 2 years; or the student meets or exceeds the standards on the MTAS and the IEP team determines that the student is most appropriately assessed with the MCA-Modified.

Not due to excessive absences, social, cultural, language, economic, or environmental factors: The careful use of this document will help IEP teams ensure that participation decisions are not made based on the following factors: language, social, cultural, or economic differences.

Receives accommodations during classroom instruction: Appropriate accommodations, such as assistive technology, are provided as needed on evaluations of classroom performance, and the student’s accommodation needs are carefully considered before the IEP team makes a determination that the student is not likely to achieve proficiency on grade-level content standards.

Not receiving instruction based on extended or alternate standards or not eligible to take AA-AAS: Does the student meet the participation criteria for the MTAS? (Yes/No).

Cannot demonstrate knowledge on regular assessment even with provision of accommodations: If the IEP team establishes that the MCA is not an appropriate measure of the student’s knowledge and skills on grade-level content standards, even when the student is provided allowable and appropriate accommodations, the IEP team may consider the administration of the MCA-Modified or the MTAS.

Other: IEP teams must first consider student participation in the MCA, with or without accommodations, before considering student participation in an alternate assessment; glossary of frequently used terminology; accommodations; access; adequate yearly progress; appropriate instruction; assistive technology; curriculum-based measures; disability category; explicit and intensive instruction; extended standards; extensive supports; general education curriculum; grade-level content standards; multiple environments; persistently low performance; proficiency; placement; significantly below age expectations; specialized curriculum; standards-based IEP; validity.

North Carolina

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Learning grade-level content: It is the expectation that all students who participate in NCEXTEND2 EOGs are receiving instruction in the grade-level North Carolina Standard Course of Study (SCS) for the subject(s) in which the students are being assessed.

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 the expectation that more than one objective measure would be used to assist in the evaluation of a student’s assessment placement).

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: 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; students eligible to take assessments based on modified academic achievement standards may be in any of the 13 disability categories listed in the IDEA. The decision to assess a student based on modified achievement standards must be reviewed annually as part of the IEP process.

North Dakota

 

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

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.

IEP includes goals based on grade-level content standards: IEP goals (based on grade-level content standards) are required, objectives are recommended; it is required 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: Does the student require extensive, frequent and individualized instruction in multiple settings in order to maintain or generalize skills? (Yes/No).

Receives accommodations during classroom instruction: Does the student require accommodations in order to successfully access the general education curriculum and/or daily assessments? (Yes/No).

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

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

Ohio

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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; 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.

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.

IEP includes goals based on grade-level content standards: IEP team must develop annual goals based on academic content standards for student’s enrolled grade (Standards-based IEP); a standards-based IEP is required before student may participate in the AA-MAS; until this condition is met, student participates in the general assessment, with or without accommodations.

Previous performance on state assessment: Students must be persistently low performing as defined by the following: the lowest performance level for the past 2 years on the statewide general education achievement tests.

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.

Other: Evaluations of classroom performance must first exhaust all appropriate accommodations to determine the student cannot achieve proficiency on the grade-level standards; 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 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.

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.

Receives or has received research-based interventions: The student received evidence-based response to intervention and continues to progress below grade-level achievement based on classroom assessments or other valid measures.

Receives high-quality instruction: The IEP team is reasonably certain that the student, even if he or 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.

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; scoring satisfactory on the previous year’s OMAAP does not preclude a student from participating in the OMAAP for the current year. When OCCT scores from previous years are not available (e.g., Grade 3), the IEP team may substitute scores equivalent to unsatisfactory from local assessments to identify students.

Pennsylvania

 

 

 

Learning grade-level content: All students should have the opportunity to learn grade-level academic content. Evidence for opportunity to learn includes: attendance data (the student must have been present for instruction); grade-level standards-aligned IEP goals; instructional accommodations and/or modifications; or intensive research-based interventions.

Previous performance on multiple measures: Students considered for the PSSA-M have established patterns of significantly low performance on multiple valid measures that indicates that even if significant growth occurs, achievement of grade-level proficiency is unlikely.

IEP includes goals based on grade-level content standards: All students considered for the PSSA-M must have a grade-level standards-aligned IEP that clearly documents that the student requires significant instructional accommodations and/or modifications to successfully access grade-level content; potential evidence in applicable subject area: standards-aligned IEP goals.

Receives specialized/individualized instruction: Students eligible to take the PSSA-M should demonstrate a disability that precludes grade-level proficiency despite intensive intervention/instruction; specially designed instruction (SDI) documentation.

Not receiving instruction based on extended or alternate standards or not eligible to take AA-AAS: Ineligible for the PASA; students considered for the PSSA-M do not have significant cognitive disabilities and should not be held to alternate achievement standards.

Receives or has received research-based interventions: Students considered for the PSSA-M have persistent academic difficulties despite having received intensive research-based interventions.

Other: Recommendations for assessment assignment occur yearly. The decision about which statewide accountability assessment the student will take rests solely with the IEP team. Students with disabilities must participate in the statewide accountability assessment but assignment to the assessment may change from year to year, based on the student’s past performance and IEP team decisions; there are consequences for the school or district when IEP teams assign students to an alternate assessment; academic achievement and progress of all students should be closely monitored.

Tennessee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 specifically designed to address the student’s individual needs, including special education and related services, he or she is not likely to achieve grade-level proficiency in the year covered by the IEP; 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.

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 the annual goals based on grade-level academic standards.

IEP includes goals based on grade-level content: The IEP must document annual goals that address the skills specified in the content standards for the grade in which the student is enrolled. These are also known as standards-based IEPs, in which the IEP goals are aligned to the state content standards; the IEP reflects curriculum and daily instruction that focuses on standards-based goals in the content area(s) in which the MAAS will be taken.

Not based on disability category label: Eligible students may have a disability in any of the Federal disability categories. Note: the category Functionally Delayed is a State category, but a student cannot be excluded from participation in this assessment based on category of disability.

Not due to excessive absences, social, cultural, language, economic, or environmental factors: The decision for TCAP MAAS participation is not based on a student’s disability category, racial or economic background, excessive or extended absences, or Limited English proficiency.

Not receiving instruction based on extended or alternate standards or not eligible to take AA-AAS: Student’s Instruction and IEP goals are aligned with Alternate Curriculum Standards. (Yes/No); if student does not qualify for 1% Alternate Assessment, then IEP team should align instruction and IEP goals to on-grade-level curriculum standards; the student is not eligible for TCAP-Alt PA.

Not determined administratively: The decision for TCAP MAAS participation is based on the needs of the student and is not based upon anticipated impact on system and/or school performance scores.

Other: Functionally Delayed is not an IDEA recognized disability. A student whose primary disability is Functionally Delayed participates in TCAP MAAS, his/her scores will be considered non-proficient and he or she will be considered a non-participant for AYP purposes; the IEP team should consider whether or not the student may participate in the standard assessment with appropriate accommodations, and that these options have been exhausted.

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: The student needs extensive modifications and accommodations to classroom instruction, assignments, and assessments to access and demonstrate progress in the grade-level Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). 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.

Virginia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not progressing at rate expected to reach grade-level proficiency within school year covered by IEP: Despite provision of research-based interventions, the student is not progressing at the rate expected for grade-level.

Learning grade-level content: Students participating in the Virginia Modified Achievement Standards Test (VMAST) are expected to learn grade-level content; however, they may require additional time and a variety of instructional and assessment supports.

Receives specialized/individualized instruction: Requires intensive differentiated instruction; requires intensive individualized supports; requires increased frequency and duration of instruction and practice, and differentiated classroom assessments.

Not due to excessive absences, social, cultural, language, economic, or environmental factors: The VMAST eligibility decision may not result primarily from: any specific categorical label (e.g., disability, ethnicity, gender, social, cultural, economic status, ESL); excessive or extended absence.

Other: Student’s ability precludes him or her from achieving and progressing commensurate with grade-level expectations; student’s daily instructional and assessment modifications are clearly documented; classroom assessment: does the student need modified classroom assessments in order to demonstrate knowledge of grade-level content? Requires differentiated classroom assessments, accommodations alone do not allow student to fully demonstrate knowledge; consistently requires remedial instruction to access grade-level content; given appropriate supports and tools the student can access and demonstrate mastery of grade-level content against achievement expectations that are less difficult than required for proficiency on the standards of learning (SOL). The VMAST eligibility decision may not result primarily from: belief that the student may fail the test, belief that the experience will be too stressful for the student, student behavior that prohibits testing in a group, and students not mastering all of the curricula covered on the grades 3 through 8 SOL assessments.


Appendix B

State Documents Used in Analysis

Table B.1: State Documents Used in Analysis of States’ Criteria for Participation in an Alternate Assessment based on Modified Academic Achievement Standards.

California

California Department of Education (March, 2009). CMA Participation Criteria and Definition of Terms. Retrieved on November 2, 2010 from http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/sr/participcriteria.asp.

California Department of Education. (August, 2009). CMA Participation Criteria for Science. Retrieved on November 2, 2010 from http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/sr/participcrisci.asp.

Connecticut

Connecticut State Department of Education. (January, 2009). CMT/CAPT (Modified Assessment System—MAS) PPT Eligibility Worksheet. Retrieved on November 2, 2010 from
http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/lib/sde/PDF/DEPS/Special/MAS_eligibility_worksheet.pdf

Connecticut State Department of Education. (September, 2010). Connecticut Mastery Test Modified Assessment System (CMT MAS) & Connecticut Academic Performance Test Modified Assessment System (CAPT MAS (Pages 1-3, 7). Retrieved on November 2, 2010 from http://www.csde.state.ct.us/public/cedar/assessment/mas/resources/Connecticut’s%20CMT-CAPT%20MAS%20
IEP%20Team%20Guidance%20FINAL.pdf

Connecticut State Department of Education. (September, 2010). Connecticut Alternate Assessment- CMT/CAPT (Modified Assessment System—MAS) & Skills Checklist Participation for Students with Disabilities: IEP Team Decision Flowchart. Retrieved on November 2, 2010 from http://www.csde.state.ct.us/public/cedar/assessment/mas/resources/Connecticut’s%20CMT-CAPT%20MAS%20
IEP%20Team%20Guidance%20FINAL.pdf

Georgia

Georgia Department of Education. (September, 2010). Participation Guidelines for the CRCT-M. Retrieved on November 8, 2010 from http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/DMGetDocument.aspx/Georgia%20CRCTM%20Eligibility_FINAL.pdf?p=6CC6799F8C1371F6FCA0BE8C325C7082BE215DADA65A68D9CD8B56405FF92AC9&Type=D

Indiana

Indiana Department of Education. (April, 2010). Criteria for Determining Participation in the Indiana Achievement Standards Test (IMAST) in lieu of the General Education Assessment. Retrieved on November 2, 2010 from http://www.doe.in.gov/assessment/docs/IMAST_Criteria.pdf.

Kansas

Kansas State Department of Education. (July, 2009). Questions about the 2009-2010 Kansas Assessment of Modified Measures (KAMM). Retrieved on November 2, 2010 from http://www.ksde.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=mXWLVpjvFI%3d&tabid=2371&mid=8892

Kansas State Department of Education. (July, 2009). Statewide Assessments Participation for Students with Disabilities: IEP Team Decision Flowchart. Retrieved on November 2, 2010 from
http://www.ksde.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=iDZhGjaQDVI%3d&tabid=2371&mid=8885.

Kansas State Department of Education. (July, 2009). KAMM Eligibility Criteria. Retrieved on November 2, 2010 from
http://www.ksde.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=iDZhGjaQDVI%3d&tabid=2371&mid=8885.

Kansas State Department of Education. (August, 2010). Questions and Answers: Kansas Assessment of Modified Measures (KAMM): Eligibility Criteria and Standard-based Individualized Education Program (IEP) Goals. Retrieved on November 2, 2010 from
http://www.ksde.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=iDZhGjaQDVI%3d&tabid=2371&mid=8885

Louisiana

Louisiana Department of Education. (November, 2009). LEAP Alternate Assessment, Level 2 (LAA 2) Participation Criteria: Guidance for the Participation Requirements for LAA2. Retrieved on November 2, 2010 from http://doe.louisiana.gov/lde/uploads/7992.pdf

Louisiana Department of Education. (November, 2009). LEAP Alternate Assessment, Level 2 (LAA 2) Participation Criteria for Grades 4-11. Retrieved on November 2, 2010 from http://doe.louisiana.gov/lde/uploads/7992.pdf

Maryland

Maryland State Department of Education. (June, 2008). Criteria for Identifying Students with Disabilities for Participation in a Mod-MSA. Retrieved on November 2, 2010 from http://www.marylandpublicschools.org/NR/rdonlyres/DB0483F276AC40BAA702E1CF92BE3B1D/17109/CriteriaforIdentifyingStudentswithDisabilitiesforP.pdf

Maryland State Department of Education. (June, 2008). Mod-MSA: Appendix A: IEP Decision-Making Process Eligibility Tool. Retrieved on November 2, 2010 from
http://www.marylandpublicschools.org/NR/rdonlyres/DB0483F276AC40BAA702E1CF92BE3B1D/17114/
ModMSAAppendixAIEPTeamDecisionMakingProcessEligibi.pdf

Maryland State Department of Education. (June, 2008). Criteria for Identifying Students with Disabilities for Participation in a Mod-HAS. Retrieved on November 2, 2010 from http://www.marylandpublicschools.org/NR/rdonlyres/DB0483F276A40BAA702E1CF92BE3B1D/17110/
CriteriaforIdentifyingStudentswithDisabilitiesforP.pdf

Maryland State Department of Education. (June, 2008). Mod-HSA: Appendix B: IEP Team Decision-Making Process Eligibility Tool. Retrieved on November 2, 2010 from http://www.marylandpublicschools.org/NR/rdonlyres/DB0483F276AC40BAA702E1CF92BE3B1D/17116/
ModHSAAppendixBIEPTeamDecisionMakingProcessEligibi.pdfan>

Michigan

Michigan Department of Education. (March, 2009). MEAP-Access Eligibility Criteria and Guidelines for Participation. Retrieved on November 2, 2010 from http://michigan.gov/documents/mde/MEAP-Access_Eligiblity_Criteria_and_ Guide-lines_030209_273134_7.pdf

Minnesota

Minnesota Department of Education. (October, 2010). Alternate Assessment Eligibility Requirements. Retrieved on November 2, 2010 from http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/Accountability_Programs/Assessment_and_Testing/Assessments/Alternate/index.html

Minnesota Department of Education. (October, 2010). FAQs About the New MCAs for 2011: Mathematics MCA-III and Reading and Mathematics MCA-Modified. Retrieved on November 2, 2010 from http://education.state.mn.us/mdeprod/groups/Assessment/documents/FAQ/018793.pdf

North Carolina

North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. (July, 2007). North Carolina Testing Program: North Carolina Alternate Assessment System NCEXTEND2 EOG Eligibility Criteria. Retrieved on November 2, 2010 from http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/accountability/policyoperations/ncextend2eligibilitycriteria.pdf.pdf

North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. (July, 2010). North Carolina Testing Program Assessment Options Grades 3-8. Retrieved on November 2, 2010 from http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/accountability/1011assessoptions38.pdf

North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. (July, 2010). North Carolina Testing Program Assessment Options Grades 9-12. Retrieved on November 2, 2010 from http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/accountability/1011assessoptions912.pdf

North Dakota1

North Dakota Department of Public Instruction. (August, 2010). North Dakota Alternate Assessment 2 2010-11 Test Directions Manual (Pages 1-11). Retrieved on November 2, 2010 from http://www.dpi.state.nd.us/speced/resource/alternate/NDAA2_Test_Directions_Manual.pdf

North Dakota Department of Public Instruction. (October, 2009). Assessment Flowchart for IEP Team Decisions. Retrieved November 2, 2010 from
http://www.dpi.state.nd.us/speced/resource/alternate/IEPflowchart.pdf

North Dakota Department of Public Instruction. (September, 2010). NDAA1 and NDAA2 Side-by-Side Comparison. Retrieved November 2, 2010 from

http://www.dpi.state.nd.us/speced/resource/alternate/side_by_side.pdf

Ohio

Ohio Department of Education. (January, 2009). Eligibility Guidelines Assessment Based on Modified Achievement Standards (AA-MAS). Retrieved November 2, 2010 from http://www.ode.state.oh.us/GD/DocumentManagement/DocumentDownload.aspx?DocumentID=62031

Ohio Department of Education. (October, 2008). Eligibility Guidelines for Modified Assessment Based on Modified Achievement Standards. Retrieved November 2, 2010 from http://www.ode.state.oh.us/GD/DocumentManagement/DocumentDownload.aspx?DocumentID=62033

Oklahoma

Oklahoma State Department of Education. (September, 2008). Criteria Checklist for Assessing Students with Disabilities on State Assessments. Retrieved on November 2, 2010 from http://www.sde.state.ok.us/AcctAssess/pdf/OMAAP/Criteria_Check.pdf

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Department of Education. (June, 2010). Guidelines for IEP Teams: Assigning Students with IEPs to State Tests (ASIST). Retrieved on November 2, 2010 from http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/special_education/
7465/assessment/607491

Pennsylvania Department of Education. (June, 2010). Guidelines for IEP Teams: IEP Revision Process for Students Taking the PSSA-M. Retrieved November 2, 2010 from http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/special_education/7465/assessment/607491

Pennsylvania Department of Education. (n.d.). 2011 PSSA-M Eligibility Criteria [Webinar]. Retrieved on November 1, 2010 from http://www.pattan.net/file/cc/20’10/pssa_m_2011.asx

Tennessee

Tennessee Department of Education. (August, 2010). Eligibility Guidelines for Participation in TCAP MAAS. Retrieved on November 2, 2010 from
http://www.state.tn.us/education/assessment/doc/MAAS_Eligibility_Criteria.pdf

Tennessee Department of Education. (July, 2010). Statewide Assessments Participation for Students with Disabilities IEP Team Decision Flowchart. Retrieved on November 2, 2010 from http://www.state.tn.us/education/assessment/doc/MAAS_flowchart.pdf

Tennessee Department of Education. (March, 2009). Tennessee’s Statewide Assessment based on Modified Academic Achievement Standards - TCAP-MAAS: Parent and School Initial Guidance. Retrieved on November 2, 2010 from
http://state.tn.us/education/assessment/doc/MAAS_initial_guid_explan.pdf

Texas2

Texas Education Agency. (September, 2010). ARD Committee Decision-Making Process for the Texas Assessment Program: Revised Reference Manual for the 2010-2011 Testing Year (Pages i-ii, 10-23, and 28-32). Retrieved on November 2, 2010 from http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/student.assessment/resources/ard/ard_manual.pdf

Texas Education Agency. (September, 2009). Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills-Modified (TAKS-M): Participation Requirements for TAKS-M. Retrieved on November 2, 2010 from http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/student.assessment/resources/taksm/participationreq.pdf

Texas Education Agency. (September, 2009). Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills-Modified (TAKS-M): Descriptors for the Participation Requirements for TAKS-M. Retrieved on November 2, 2010 from
http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/student.assessment/resources/taksm/participationreq_descriptors.pdf2

Texas Education Agency. (September, 2009). Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills-Alternate (TAKS-ALT): Participation Requirements for TAKS-ALT. Retrieved on November 2, 2010 from
http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/student.assessment/special-ed/taksalt/PartReq.pdf

Virginia

Virginia Department of Education. (March, 2010). Virginia Modified Achievement Test (VMAST) Participation Criteria. Retrieved on November 2, 2010 from
http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/alternative_assessments/vmast_va_mod_achievement_stds_test/vmast_participation_criteria.pdf

1 The Assessment Flowchart for IEP Team Decisions and NDAA1 and NDAA2 Side-by-Side Comparison are separate documents but are also included in the North Dakota Alternate Assessment 2 2010-11 Test Directions Manual. 2 The Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills-Modified (TAKS-M): Participation Requirements for TAKS-M, Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills-Modified (TAKS-M): Descriptors for the Participation Requirements for TAKS-M, and Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills-Alternate (TAKS-ALT): Participation Requirements for TAKS-ALT are all separate documents but are also included in the ARD Committee Decision-Making Process for the Texas Assessment Program.


Appendix C

Compilation of States’ Participation Guidelines

Please refer to the PDF version of this document for Appendix C.

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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.