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PA Alternate System of Assessment

Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment
The Individuals with Disabilities Act of 2004 (IDEA) requires that States and Local Education Agencies (LEAs) ensure that all children with disabilities are included in all general state and district-wide assessment programs, including assessments used for purposes of satisfying the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB).  If necessary, a state or LEA may create an alternate assessment.  The Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment (PASA) was developed in accordance with this allowance to meet the needs of students with the most severe cognitive disabilities who are not able to participate in the general assessment even with accommodations.  The PASA is aligned with Pennsylvania's academic content standards and measures the attainment of knowledge and skills of children with significant cognitive disabilities through performance tasks.  Like the state-wide standardized test (the Pennsylvania System of Assessment or PSSA), the purpose of the PASA is to provide information to school districts and other educational service providers that will aid them in improving instruction for children.

Proposed Test Dates for PASA 2018-2020
  
Proposed PASA Testing Dates​ Weeks​ ​Easter PSSA​
2018​ ​February 19 - April 13 ​8 ​April 1 ​April 9 - May 4
2019​ ​February 18 - April 5 ​7 ​April 21 ​April 1 - May 10
2020​ ​February 17 - April 3 ​7
April 12
March 30 - April 3
April 30 - May 1
NOTE:  The 2018 test window was extended one week to April 13 because of Easter (8 weeks total).  All testing windows overlap PSSA testing at least 1 week and cover President's Day.
 
See Assessment Section IV for new revisions
 
PASA Eligibility Criteria
 
Alternate Eligible Content  
The Bureau of Special Education in collaboration with stakeholder groups including parents, special education and regular education teachers, higher education staff, administrators, PSSA committee members and outside content experts developed, reviewed and finalized alternate eligible content (Grades 3-8 and 11) utilizing the PSSA assessment anchors and eligible content as the framework as required by the United States Department of Education (USDE).  The Alternate Eligible Content process and information was reviewed by the PA State Board of Education as part of the federal requirement on November 18, 2015.  Subsequently, the State Board approved the adoption of Alternate Eligible Content for Reading and Math on November 19, 2015. The Alternate Eligible Content for Science and Writing were approved on May 11, 2017.
 

Alternate Eligible Content is:

  • Academic content appropriate for students who are eligible for PASA (Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment)
  • Aligned to grade-level PA Core Standards
  • The modification of targets relative to the PSSA Eligible Content by reducing depth and breadth
  • Varied by grade and PA Core Standard
  • NOT a one-to-one match for every PA Core Standard and/or every piece of PSSA Eligible Content
  • The highest level of achievement for students taking PASA 
  • Adjusted through essentialization to ensure appropriateness for the variety of students eligible for PASA
 
For more information, please contact Lisa Hampe at 724-425-3000 (lihampe@pa.gov) or Lynda Lupp at 610-265-7321 (llupp@pattan.net). 
 
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