Alternate Assessments Based on Modified Achievement Standards (AA-MAS)

The alternate assessment based on modified achievement standards (AA-MAS) was an assessment that some states used to evaluate the performance of a small group of students with disabilities whose progress in response to appropriate instruction made it unlikely that they would achieve grade-level proficiency within the school year covered by the Individualized Education Program (IEP).

This assessment option is no longer allowed. Final regulations that formally ended the use of the AA-MAS were issued in the Federal Register on August 21, 2015. The reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in December 2015 confirmed that an AA-MAS could not be used as a Title I assessment, nor could it be used for Title I accountability.

Information about the AA-MAS, as well as resources for states that are transitioning away from this assessment, are available at: Successfully Transitioning Away from the 2% Assessment

For additional information about the AA-MAS see Policy History 

Related Publications

NCEO APR Snapshot Briefs: 2011-2012 APR Snapshot #7: State Assessment Participation and Performance of Students Receiving Special Education Services (#7)

Formats: Online

Successfully Transitioning Away from the 2% Assessment: Frequently Asked Questions

Formats: PDF

NCEO Brief: Considerations for Consortia as States Transition Away from AA-MAS (#7)

Formats: Online , PDF

NCEO Policy Directions: Successfully Transitioning from the AA-MAS to the General Assessment (#22)

Formats: Online , PDF

NCEO Synthesis Reports: Results of a Cognitive Interview Study of Immediate Feedback and Revision Opportunities for Students with Disabilities in Large Scale Assessments (#92)

Formats: Online , PDF

NCEO APR Snapshot Briefs: 2010-2011 APR Snapshot #4: State Assessment Participation and Performance of Students Receiving Special Education Services (#4)

Formats: Online

NCEO Synthesis Reports: States' Flexibility Plans for Phasing Out the Alternate Assessment Based on Modified Academic Achievement Standards (AA-MAS) by 2014-15 (#89)

Formats: Online , PDF

Lessons Learned in Federally Funded Projects that Can Improve the Instruction and Assessment of Low Performing Students with Disabilities

Formats: PDF

NCEO Technical Reports: Characteristics of Low Performing Special Education and Non-Special Education Students on Large-Scale Assessments (#60)

Formats: Online , PDF

NCEO APR Snapshot Briefs: 2008-2009 APR Snapshot #1: State Assessment Participation and Performance of Special Education Students (#1)

Formats: Online

NCEO Technical Reports: Tennessee Special Education Teacher Survey: Training, Large-scale Testing, and TCAP-MAAS Administration (#61)

Formats: Online , PDF

NCEO Synthesis Reports: Educating Struggling Learners: Reflections on Lessons Learned about Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment (#86)

Formats: Online , PDF

NCEO Synthesis Reports: Characteristics of States' Alternate Assessments Based on Modified Academic Achievement Standards in 2010-2011 (#85)

Formats: Online , PDF

NCEO Synthesis Reports: States' Participation Guidelines for Alternate Assessments Based on Modified Academic Achievement Standards (AA-MAS) in 2010 (#82)

Formats: Online , PDF

NCEO Technical Reports: Participation and Performance Reporting for the Alternate Assessment Based on Modified Achievement Standards (AA-MAS) (#58)

Formats: Online , PDF

NCEO Technical Reports: Public Reporting of 2007-2008 Assessment Information on Students with Disabilities: Progress on the Gap Front (#57)

Formats: Online , PDF

NCEO Synthesis Reports: Who Are the Students Who May Qualify for an Alternate Assessment Based on Modified Academic Achievement Standards (AA-MAS)? Focus Group Results (#79)

Formats: Online , PDF

NCEO Synthesis Reports: Characteristics of States' Alternate Assessments Based on Modified Academic Achievement Standards in 2009-2010 (#80)

Formats: Online , PDF

Developing and Improving Modified Achievement Level Descriptors: Rationale, Procedures, and Tools

Formats: PDF

NCEO State Surveys: 2009 Survey of States - Accomplishments and New Issues at the End of a Decade of Change

Formats: Online , PDF

What Have We Learned About Student Characteristics, Accommodations, and AA-MAS?

Formats: PDF

NCEO Synthesis Reports: States' Accommodations Policies for Alternate Assessments Based on Modified Academic Achievement Standards (AA-MAS) in 2008-2009 (#74)

Formats: Online , PDF

NCEO Synthesis Reports: States' Participation Guidelines for Alternate Assessments Based on Modified Academic Achievement Standards (AA-MAS) in 2009 (#75)

Formats: Online , PDF

NCEO Synthesis Reports: Common Misperceptions and Research-Based Recommendations for Alternate Assessment Based on Alternate Achievement Standards (#73)

Formats: Online , PDF

NCEO Synthesis Reports: Characteristics of States' Alternate Assessments Based on Modified Academic Achievement Standards in 2008 (#72)

Formats: Online , PDF

NCEO Technical Reports: Achieving Transparency in the Public Reporting of 2006-2007 Assessment Results (#53)

Formats: Online , PDF

NCEO Synthesis Reports: States' Participation Guidelines for Alternate Assessments Based on Modified Academic Achievement Standards (AA-MAS) in 2008 (#71)

Formats: Online , PDF

Thinking About the Students Who May Qualify to Participate in An Alternate Assessment Based on Modified Academic Achievement Standards (AA-MAS): A Tool for Study Groups

Formats: Online , PDF

NCEO Synthesis Reports: States' Alternate Assessments Based on Modified Achievement Standards (AA-MAS) in 2007 (#67)

Formats: Online , PDF