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Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment (PASA)

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 Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). 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 significant 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 with a reduction in depth and breadth evidenced by the Alternate Eligible Content, 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.


The Bureau of Special Education announces Dynamic Learning Maps® (DLM®) Alternate Assessment System Consortium as the new PASA assessment and vendor for the 2020-21 testing cycle. 

All 2020-21 PASA training, enrollment, and test administration activities will be conducted through the PA Dynamic Learning Maps website.

Training and Important Dates

The transition to the new PASA assessment and vendor will require the participation of PASA Assessment Coordinators and teachers who administer the PASA in a series of trainings. The 2020-21 PASA Training and Important Dates Calendar provides information on the required trainings and registration details. 

Getting Ready Training

Eligibility Criteria

Students MUST meet the identified 6 criteria of eligibility (PDF), as determined by the IEP team, in order to participate in the PASA. 

PA Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN) 

The PA Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTANwebsite hosts information about the alternate assessment system in PA, communications to the field including assessment messages to PASA Assessment Coordinators, Penn Links, Significant Cognitive Disabilities newsletter, etc.  


For more information, please contact Lisa Hampe at 724-425-3000 ( or Lynda Lupp at 610-265-7321 (