Alternate ACCESS for English Language Learners
HELP
Home > Assessment Approaches > Alternate Assessment

Alternate Assessment

Alternate assessments are designed for students with disabilities who are not able to participate meaningfully in regular assessment programs, even with the use of accommodations. Specifically, alternate assessments have been used to assess the academic performance of students with significant disabilities, as well as English language learners (ELLs) (Elliott, Compton, & Roach, 2007). Under Title I of the No Child Left Behind Act (2001), alternate assessments must be aligned with states' content standards, must yield separate results in the areas of reading/language arts, mathematics and science, and must be designed and implemented in a manner that supports use of the results as an indicator of Annual Yearly Progress (AYP). There are currently three alternate assessment approaches that can be used with English language learners (ELLs) and students with disabilities: evidence collection (portfolio) assessment, performance assessment, and rating scales (Elliott & Roach, 2007). The Alternate ACCESS is comprised of two of these approaches: evidence collection-based (portfolio) assessment and performance-based assessment.