NCEO Synthesis Reports: Science Alternate Assessments based on Alternate Achievement Standards (AA-AAS) During School Year 2014-2015 (#99)


A report that analyzes the characteristics of states' science alternate assessments based on alternate achievement standards (AA-AAS) in 2014-2015. Federal law requires that all students, including students with disabilities, participate in state assessments used for accountability purposes. It also requires states to assess students in several content areas, including science. Most students with disabilities take the general science assessment with or without accommodations, but a few students with the most significant cognitive disabilities participate in AA-AAS. Although federal regulations do allow states to define the complexity, depth, and breadth of the AA-AAS, the apparent lack of consistency in the domains assessed suggests that some students with significant cognitive disabilities may not be getting access to the same rigorous grade-appropriate content.


November 2015 
Number 99
National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO)


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