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Alternate & Alternative Assessment

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Victoria Pisciotta

on 3 June 2015

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Transcript of Alternate & Alternative Assessment

Children with Severe Cognitive Disabilities
Characteristics Within
States determine individually how the state will provide AA.
the IDEA, defines a cognitive disability (mental retardation) as "significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period, that adversely affects a child's educational performance." [34 Code of Federal Regulations §300.7(c)(6)]
Age is a big factor.
Cognitive Disability
Some students even with accommodations cannot partake in these state exams because of their disabilities. In a response to this, the state is able to make their own decision on how to administer an assessment to these students; it is not regional or universal. A state may use the state curriculum for each grade level including skills and expectations as the basis for AA.
For a child with cognitive disabilities, the skills may be below the expectations of a child in the general education classroom. For example, a child with autism may not be able to master a skill that a child in a general education can master like writing in print but he or she can hold the pencil the correct way. This skill shows progress into the direction of performing the handwriting skill.
A child with a cognitive disability have:
an IQ of 35 or below
recognizes only key people in his or her life
little or no speech- relies on gestures, facial expressions, and body language to communicate
requires life long help
June 2015
By Brittany Chappas & Jeanette Carolan
The Purpose Behind It
Alternate Assessment
Who decides the future for a child?
Determining who gets AA
New York State Alternate Assessment is commonly abbreviated as NYSAA. It is part of the New York State Testing Program where students with severe cognitive disabilities are assessed. This gives these students the ability to demonstrate how they perform and achieve in correspondence with Common Core Learning Standards in english language arts and mathematics or general education expectations.
Participation is determined by the Committee of Special Education (CSE).
The Commitee of Special Education includes:
parents of the child
general education teacher
school psychologist
school physician
special education teacher
student, if appropriate
Alternate & Alternative Assessment
Alternative Assessments
Check out this YouTube video about alternate assessments for students with AAA (augmentative-alternative communication), an area of speech-language pathology.
NYSAA is administered in the beginning of the year that child becomes 9 years old through to the beginning of the school year that child becomes 14 years old ( Grade 3-8).
Guido Mote suffered from a severe head trauma which lead to seizures and a cognitive disability. He loves to paint flowers, and birds.


Learning Disabled: 39%
Speech & Language: 22 %
Other Impairments: 9.7 %
Intellectual Disabilty: 7.6 %
Emotionally Disturbed: 6.7 %

The Big Five : 85%
Autism is medically addressed as on the spectrum because there is a great range of children with Autism from high functioning to low functioning.
How does this picture relate to special education?
The Origin & The Reason
What caused Alternate Assessments?
In 1997, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act amendments (IDEA) stated that all States were being held accountable for the learning of all students. By July of 2000, the state was expected to have an alternate assessment for children with severe cognitive disabilities and the results would be open to the public. The NCLB Act also pushed these requirements as well as adding these results to the school's/district's Adequate Yearly Progress.
The alternate assessment must have the following: explicit structure, guidelines for students who can participate, scoring criteria and procedures, and align with state standards. Assessments must also be valid and reliable.
Formatting of an AA
How is an alternate assessment designed?
Alternate Achievement Standards
Grade-level Achievement Standards
There is no set format for an alternate assessment and there are no requirements. There is much flexibility when it comes to creating alternate assessments for children.

An alternate assessment may include a portfolio that demonstrates the child's performance and skills of certain tasks. This may include: direct teacher observations and documentation, student's work of an instructional strategy, and standardized daily tasks.
The state must be able to compare the results of this type of assessment to the results of the regular assessment for the same grade level. Therefore, the students must be held to the same expectations as the regular test. This is for students who require accommodations that are not available on the general assessment to demonstrate skill and knowledge on the grade-level content and who demonstrate achievement in different formats or contexts than are provided by the general assessment.
What is the difference between AA-AAS & AA- GLAS?
An alternate assessment based on alternate achievement standards are more narrow than the content standards and focus on a different set of expectations for a
child with severe disabilities(cognitive and multiple)
. The questions may be less complex and simpler to understand but are still able to challenge the child. It defines students differently with how much they know or can do. The state must establish alternate achievement standards through a documented standards-setting process.
What is it and who can participate in AA-AAS?
Alternate Modified Achievement Standards
An assessment option for student who make progress in school but take longer to achieve grade-level proficiency within the school year covered by the IEP. They take longer to gain necessary skills to make progress on a general assessment.
Why can't the state use IEP goals as the assessment for Title 1?
1) They are individualized for each student.
2) It does not reflect the standards.
What is AA- MAS?
10 Questions Parents Should Ask About Alternate Assessments
What is the purpose of the assessment?
What topics doe the test cover?
What accommodations are available?
How should my child prepare for the assessment?
How is the assessment scored?
What is the effect of my student doing well or poorly?
What is being done to ensure that the assessment is fair for my child?
Can I preview the assessment?
Who has access to my child's scores?
How can I use the scores to help my child?
Go to http://www.naacpartners.org/resources/10_questions_for_parents.pdf

Out of all the students in special education, only 14% of students are eligible for alternate assessments.

Overton, T. (2006). Academic Assessment. Assessing learners with special needs: an applied approach
(7th ed., ). Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson/Merrill Prentice Hall.
OSA. (2014, April 17). <i>New York State Alternate Assessment
(NYSAA)::P-12:NYSED</i>. Retrieved June 24, 2014, from http://
Alternate Assessments for Students with Disabilities. (2013, January 1).
<i>Alternate Assessments for Students with Disabilities</i>. Retrieved June
24, 2014, from http://www.cehd.umn.edu/NCEO/TopicAreas/
August 1). <i></i>. Retrieved June 24, 2014, from http://www2.ed.gov/policy/
Browder, D., & Flowers, C. (n.d.). 10 Questions Parents Should Ask About
Alternate Assessments. <i></i>. Retrieved June 24, 2014, from http://
Multiple Disabilities. (2014, January 1). <i>New York State Alternate Assessment (NYSAA)</i>.
Retrieved June 24, 2014, from http://schools.nyc.gov/Offices/District75/Departments/
Olsen, K., & Moore-Lamminen, L. (n.d.). Alternate Assessment: Teacher and State
Experiences. <i>Tool Kit on Teaching and Assessing Students With Disabilities: Technical
Assistance Products</i>. Retrieved June 24, 2014, from https://
The Benefits and Administration of Alternate Assessments. (2012, January 1). <i>The
Benefits and Administration of Alternate Assessments</i>. Retrieved June 24, 2014, from
Cognitive Disability: A Challenge to Moral Philosophy at Stony Brook University. (2008,
September 1). <i>Cognitive Disability: A Challenge to Moral Philosophy at Stony Brook
University</i>. Retrieved June 24, 2014, from http://www.stonybrook.edu/sb/
What is the purpose
Alternative Assessment is used to assess students’ proficiency in performing complex tasks that are directly associated with learning outcomes.
Alternative Assessment are done in place of traditional testing.

Not only are they designed and structured differently from traditional tests, but are graded and scored differently

short answer


oral presentations


Reason behind AA
Alternative assessment also known as performance assessment gives students the opportunity to :
1) demonstrate their ability
2) perform a meaningful task
3)receive feedback by a teacher in terms of relevant or defensible criteria
Features of AA
Assessment is based on authentic tasks that demonstrate learners' ability to accomplish communication goals

Instructor and learners focus on communication, not on right and wrong answers

Learners help to set the criteria for successful completion of communication tasks

Learners have opportunities to assess themselves and their classmates

"Alternative assessments are used to determine what students can and cannot do, in contrast to what they do or do not know."

If a student is not eligible for special education services the team will consider alternative planning which includes educational intervention suggestions for the student. This planning may include a plan for accommodations in the general education classroom under section 504.
Students with disabilities who are determined to be unable to participate in statewide assessments are tested using alternative assessment to measure attainment of standards.
504 is a law that requires students who have disabilities or need
but are not eligible to receive services under IDEA must have accommodations for their disabilities or needs in the general education class.
~ They provide a means of assessing valued skills that cannot be directly assessed with traditional tests.

~They provide a more realistic setting for student performance than traditional tests.

~They focus on student performance and the quality of work performed by students.

~They can be easily aligned with established learning outcomes.

- Process can be costly in terms of time, effort, equipment, materials, facilities, or funds.

- Rating process is sometimes more subjective than traditional exams.

- They are built around topics or issues of interest to the students

- They replicate real-world communication contexts and situations

- They involve multi-stage tasks and real problems that require creative use of language rather than simple repetition

-They require learners to produce a quality product or performance

- Their evaluation criteria and standards are known to the student

- They involve interaction between instructor, peers, and self.



Authentic Assessment

Alternative Assessment. (n.d.). Alternative Assessment. Retrieved June 22, 2014, from http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/issues/methods/assment/as8lk30.htm
Using Alternative Assessments | BYU Center for Teaching and Learning. (n.d.). Using Alternative Assessments | BYU Center for Teaching and Learning. Retrieved June 23, 2014, from http://ctl.byu.edu/collections/using-alternative-assessments
 . (n.d.). Alternative Assessment. Retrieved June 24, 2014, from http://www.nclrc.org/essentials/assessing/alternative.htm
Second Language and AA
Assessment is defined as an ongoing strategy through which student learning is not only monitored, but by which students are involved in making decisions about the degree to which their performance matches their ability
New to AA
- Introduce alternative assessment gradually while continuing to use more traditional forms of assessment.

- Begin by using checklists and rubrics yourself; move to self and peer evaluation later.

- Create a supportive classroom environment in which students feel comfortable with one another.

- Explain the rationale for alternative assessment.

- Engage students in a discussion of assessment.

- Elicit their thoughts on the values and limitations of traditional forms of assessment and help them see ways that alternative assessment can enhance evaluation of what learners can do with language.

- Give students guidance on how to reflect on and evaluate their own performance and that of others (see specifics in sections on peer and self evaluation).

Useful iPad Apps:
Anything that enforces a skill while engaging the student
Common Core App
Full transcript