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

Part of the NCEO Policy Directions series.
Vitaliy Shyyan, Sheryl Lazarus, Martha L Thurlow, Laurene L Christensen


A report exploring how federal policy initiatives such as the flexibility waivers for accountability are requiring that states transition away from the use of an alternate assessment based on modified achievement standards (AA-MAS). It is expected that those students who had participated in that assessment will instead participate in the state's general assessment (or a Race-to-the-Top consortium assessment if the state belongs to one). It is important that this transition be successful. Much has been learned through the development of the AA-MAS and its implementation. These lessons learned form the basis for ensuring the successful transition from the AA-MAS to the general assessment. Indeed, the lessons learned from the AA-MAS provide important information for all states as they strive to ensure that their general assessments are appropriate for a broad range of students. This Policy Directions offers suggestions for strategies to move the students currently participating in the AA-MAS to the general assessment.


February 2014 
National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO)


  • Educational accountability and assessment
    • Assessment Participation
    • Students with Disabilities
    • Alternate Assessments