Inclusion Guidelines

Publications were identified using the methods below. Researchers searched four databases, as well as both Google and Google Scholar, using the keywords below, and hand-searched a number of journals back to 1995. Researchers also scanned the Web sites of research centers and consortia for relevant publications.

Publications should reflect one of the following:

  1. Investigation of AA-AAS validity, alignment, administration, and use. 
  2. Teachers', parents', and administrators' knowledge or perceptions of AA-AAS, as well as descriptive studies on AA-AAS administration and use.
  3. Standards-based content-alignment and academic instruction for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
  4. Policy and reform related to standards-based instruction and assessment for students with significant cognitive disabilities, including articles on NCLB/ESEA and IDEA as they pertain to students with significant cognitive disabilities.



TimelineArticles published after 1995
Databases and Search Engines
  1. Review of four research databases: ERIC, Digital Dissertations, Education Full Text, and PsychInfo
  2. Google and Google scholar
Search Terms
  1. alternate assessments
  2. alternate achievement standards
  3. assessment (severe or significant) disabilities
  4. (NCLB or ESEA) (severe or significant) disabilities
  5. assessment 1%
  6. AA-AAS assessment
  7. accountability assessment (severe or significant) disabilities
  8. standards reform (severe or significant) disabilities
  9. large-scale assessment (severe or significant) disabilities
  10. content alignment (severe or significant) disabilities
  11. growth models (severe or significant) disabilities
  12. standards instruction (severe or significant) disabilities
  1. NAAC (
  2. NCEO (
  3. CAST (
  4. Center for Assessment (
  5. UNC-C General Curriculum Projects (
  6. New England Compact (
  7. Pacific Assessment Consortium (
  8. Institute on Disability / UCED (
  9. Vanderbilt/Peabody Learning Sciences Institute (
Hand-searched Journals
  1. Journal of Special Education
  2. Exceptional Children
  3. Remedial and Special Education
  4. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities
  5. Assessment for Effective Intervention
  6. Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities
  7. Educational Measurement Issues and Practice


Excluded documents:

  1. State technical manuals, administration manuals, or inclusion guidelines.
  2. Publications with only a tangential focus on alternate assessments or students with significant cognitive disabilities.
  3. Technical assistance documents with a limited audience.
  4. Publications on non-standards-based instruction.