EXCLUSIVE: ESSA and Special Education: Part 5

Diane Ravitch's blog

This is the fifth installment in a series of exchanges about the Every Student Succeeds Act. I asked the questions, and David P. Cleary, chief of staff to Senator Lamar Alexander, answered them.

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My question:

How does the law affect the testing of students with disabilities? I have heard that there is a limit of 1% of students who may be given alternative assessments due to their disabilities, but far more than 1% of students have IEPs. What does the law say?

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The response:

The law allows students with the most significant cognitive disabilities to take alternate assessments aligned with alternate academic achievement standards.

The new law includes a cap on the total number of students that can take an alternate assessment aligned with alternate achievement standards. The cap is set at one percent of all students in the state, which equates to roughly 10 percent of students…

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