NCEO Synthesis Reports: Measuring Academic Achievement of Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities: Building Understanding of Alternate Assessment Scoring Criteria (#50)

Part of the NCEO Synthesis Reports series.
Rachel F Quenemoen, Sandra Thompson, Martha L Thurlow


This year 2003 report, compares and contrasts the assumptions and values embedded in scoring criteria used in five states for their alternate assessments. It discusses how the selected states are addressed the challenge of defining successful outcomes for students with significant disabilities as reflected in state criteria for scoring alternate assessment responses or evidence and how these definitions of successful outcomes have been refined over time. The five states use different alternate assessment approaches, including portfolio assessment, performance assessment, IEP linked body of evidence, and traditional test formats. Findings showed a great deal of overlap across the alternate assessment approaches, as they tended to represent a continuum of approaches as opposed to discrete categories.


June 2003 
Number 50
National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO)


  • Specific life stage
    • Children
    • Adolescents and young adults
  • Educational accountability and assessment
    • Accessibility & Accommodations
    • Assessment Participation
    • Standards and Accountability
    • Alternate Assessments