Assessments for Students with Disabilities

All students are expected to participate in state assessments. Students with disabilities who are served in their school districts under an Individualized Education Program (IEP) as required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments of 2004 (IDEA) and No Child Left Behind of 2001 (NCLB) shall be assessed in one of two ways:
1. They participate, with accommodations that adhere to testing guidelines and the student’s IEP, in the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and Arkansas Comprehensive Testing, Assessment and Accountability Program (ACTAAP) Augmented Benchmark Exam for science. Required assessments include:
  • PARCC Mathematics Assessment for grades 3-8, 
  • PARCC English Language Arts/Literacy (ELA/Literacy) grades 3-10 (11th grade at district discretion),
  • PARCC Algebra I or Geometry End-of-Course (EOC) prior to graduation*,
  • ACTAAP Augmented Benchmark Exam in science for grades 5 and 7, and  
  • ACTAAP EOC Biology. 
2. Students with significant disabilities, for whom the PARCC and ACTAAP assessments are not appropriate, shall participate in the following assessments: 
  • National Center and State Collaborative Alternate Assessment on Alternate Achievement Standards (NCSC (AA-AAS)) for grades 3-8 and 11, if they meet the eligibility criteria, and 
  • Arkansas Alternate Portfolio Assessment in science for grades 5, 7, and 10

The standards are the same for all students in Arkansas. The difference for students with significant disabilities is the manner in which they are assessed. The results of the NCSC (AA-AAS) and the Alternate Portfolios should demonstrate progress toward meeting the Arkansas standards.


National Center and State Collaborative (NCSC)

Alternate Assessment on Alternate Achievement Standards (AA-AAS)

The AA-AAS measures student performance in math and ELA, both reading and writing, for grades 3-8 and 11.These assessments are linked to grade-level content but have different expectations for achievement. The AA-AAS is an online test that assesses approximately 30 items for each subject. Most of the assessment items ask the student to select the correct response (e.g. multiple choice), while other items require a constructed response (e.g. short answer, picture symbols). Students will receive allowable accommodations on the assessment as outlined in their IEP.

Arkansas Alternate Portfolio Assessments

The Arkansas Alternate Portfolio Assessments for Science (grades 5, 7, and 10) are designed to evaluate the performance of students with disabilities for whom the ACTAAP Augmented Benchmark Examination for Science (grades 5 and 7) and the End-of-Course Examination for Biology are not appropriate. 
The Arkansas Alternate Portfolio Assessment allows for a collection of student work as evidence of student performance on tasks aligned to the Arkansas Science Frameworks for grades 5, 7, and 10.


Each portfolio should consist of:
Grades 5 and 7 Science – two entries for each of the three strands in science
Grade 10 Science – one entry for each content standard in science
*Students with an IEP that allows for mathematics credit to be earned through Special Education Mathematics (972300) must enroll in either Resource Math with Algebra I Assessment (972310) or Resource Math with Geometry Assessment (972320) and assess under the corresponding PARCC assessment by graduation. 
Effective Date: September 1, 2014
Revised Date: September 19, 2014

For more information, please contact:

Hope Allen, Director of Student Assessment
Arkansas Department of Education
Division of Learning Services
Four Capitol Mall, Room 305-B
Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone: 501-682-4558

Alphabetical List of Topics

Common Core