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ERIC Number: EJ1013247
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Mar
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1525-1810
Leading the Transition from the Alternate Assessment Based on Modified Achievement Standards to the General Assessment
Lazarus, Sheryl S.; Rieke, Rebekah
Journal of Special Education Leadership, v26 n1 p25-30 Mar 2013
Schools are facing many changes in the ways that teaching, learning, and assessment take place. Most states are moving from individual state standards to the new Common Core State Standards, which will be fewer, higher, and more rigorous than most current state standards. As the next generation of assessments used for accountability are rolled out, many students will be transitioned to new assessments. One of the greatest challenges will be for those students with disabilities who are currently participating in an alternate assessment based on modified achievement standards (AA-MAS) who will need to be transitioned to the regular assessment. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) require that all students, including students with disabilities, participate in state assessments. Most students with disabilities participate in the regular test, with or without accommodations; a few students with the most significant cognitive disabilities participate in an alternate assessment based on alternate achievement standards (AA-AAS). In 2007, federal regulations allowed states to offer another option: the AA-MAS. States could count up to 2% of students proficient using the AA-MAS. States were not required to offer an AA-MAS. Students eligible for the AA-MAS were required to have an individualized education program (IEP) and could be from any disability category. The students were required to have access to grade-level content but be considered unlikely to reach grade level proficiency within the time period covered by their IEPs (U.S. Department of Education, 2007). Four years after the implementation of the 2007 AA-MAS regulation, 17 states had developed an assessment they considered to be an AA-MAS (Price, Hodgson, Lazarus, & Thurlow, 2011). Now, federal policies are changing in regard to this assessment option, and some states are phasing it out. This can present a challenge for special education leaders because almost all students who currently participate in this assessment option will need to be transitioned to the regular test, with or without accommodations. This paper provides an overview of six things that can ease the transition: (1) looking at the data; (2) ensuring that students are in the appropriate assessment; (3) using IEPs with measurable goals; (4) ensuring that students have access to grade-level content; (5) considering students' access needs, and (6) providing professional development for teachers. (Contains 4 figures.)
Council of Administrators of Special Education. Fort Valley State University, 1005 State University Drive, Fort Valley, GA 31030. Tel: 478-825-7667; Fax: 478-825-7811; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Elementary and Secondary Education Act; Individuals with Disabilities Education Act