Alternate Assessment: Making Sure All Student Progress Is Measured

By: Rethink Ed

blog featured image backup2
Share with your community
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

BY PATRICIA WRIGHT, PHD, MPH

Educators use assessment to ensure their instruction is effective and that students are learning. With No Child Left Behind, high stakes testing became more prominent in public education. High stakes testing has primarily assessed math and literacy for students moving through the K-12 experience and attempting to achieve a high school diploma. For students with significant cognitive disabilities, this type of high stakes testing would not be appropriate. However, all students are capable of learning and all students deserve to be assessed. For students with significant cognitive disabilities, a maximum of 1% of the total school population, an Alternate Assessment must be made available.

The Alternate Assessment is described in federal law and is a mechanism to ensure that students with significant disabilities are included in educational accountability. The Alternate Assessment should measure student progress and be designed to align with college and career readiness standards that all students are working towards. These standards may be modified for students with significant cognitive disabilities but the assumption is that they, like all students enrolled in school, should be working towards a high-quality life. The Alternate Assessment design and delivery is a decision made by each state. States choose a variety of methods for assessment including portfolio, teacher observation, checklists, ongoing measurement of learning and traditional computer-based tools. The goal is to gain an authentic assessment of the unique learning progress of each student.

Children with disabilities were afforded the right to attend school in the 70’s. Since then High-stakes testing has taken on an increasingly significant role in the education system. Although high-stakes testing is not without controversy, as long as students are being tested, we must ensure that ALL students are tested, including the 1% with the most significant cognitive disabilities.

Sign up for our Newsletter

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter on the latest industry updates, Rethink happenings, and resources galore. Simply follow the link to the footer and enter your email.

Learn more about Rethink

Take care of your people with RethinkCare’s evidenced-based solutions that support the well-being your entire employee base in all aspect of their lives - from personal to parenting, and professional

Build strong school communities and healthy, safe learning environments for all your students with RethinkEd’s evidence-based strategies and technology solutions across SEL, Special Ed, Behavioral & Training

Start, grow and manage your practice with Rethink’s workflow automation and evidenced-based clinical best practice tools that help you optimize outcomes and operations

Support your members and your provider networks with Rethink’s solutions that support autism care management across your network while offering unique value-added services to your members.

logo rethinkfirst white

Together We’re Powering Potential

Transforming the Behavioral Health landscape requires scalable platforms that address a broad range of mental, emotional, and wellness needs. At Rethink First we are proud to work across the continuum of care to help individuals and the people they care about live healthier, happier and more fulfilling lives.

The leading behavioral and mental health enterprise platform to support working parents, caregivers and their families.

Award-winning solutions empower districts and their educators to improve outcomes and wellness for all tiers of students and to build healthy and safe learning environments.

Fully integrated workflow automation and evidenced-based clinical tools help behavioral health organizations optimize outcomes and operations.

Patent-pending clinical solutions and member engagement services streamline autism care management processes and support outcomes for health plans, providers, and members.