The alternate assessment based on alternate achievement standards (AA-AAS) is an assessment of academic content used for accountability purposes. It is intended to be used with students with significant cognitive disabilities as determined by each state's eligibility criteria.
National data on who participates in AA-AAS show that most students are those with the most significant cognitive disabilities, primarily those with intellectual disabilities, autism, and multiple disabilities. This group includes students who are also English learners (ELs). ELs with disabilities who participate in an AA-AAS, may also take an English Language Proficiency (ELP) alternate assessment.
Sometimes referred to as the 1% assessment, the 1% now refers to a state-level cap of 1 percent of all tested students who may participate in this assessment. This cap is meant to avoid inappropriate inclusion of students with disabilities in an assessment based on different achievement expectations. Previously (under No Child Left Behind) the 1% meant that no more than 1% of the total population of tested students could count as proficient for accountability using an AA-AAS.
The achievement of grade-level content by students with significant cognitive disabilities is very different from their general education classroom peers, but the evidence of their work is compelling. Given the right kinds of supports, these students, including ELs with significant cognitive disabilities, are able to learn academic content with reduced complexity, breadth, and depth clearly linked to the same grade-level content as their peers. Researchers and practitioners are working side-by-side to capture the nature of the linkages to the grade-level content in both instruction and in assessment.
All students, including students who participate in the AA-AAS, should be reaching for post-secondary education and work when they leave high school. States and consortia of states have developed new AA-AAS that are aligned to college and career standards.
Quick Links to the AA-AAS Consortia: