Alternate Assessment

Looking for answers to your questions about Alternate Assessment? 

Please visit the Idaho State Department of Education website.


The Idaho State Department of Education and the State Board of Education have designed a single statewide assessment system and various federal and state statutes and regulations exist that require all students to be assessed to ensure that all students receive an appropriate public education. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1997 (IDEA-97) first mandated that every student with a disability participate in statewide and local assessments with or without accommodations or on an alternate assessment. This requirement was reinforced in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) that requires statewide assessment of all students in grades 3-8 and at least one high school grade annually in: Reading, Language Usage, and Mathematics. The ISAT and ISAT-Alt assess grades 3-10 in Mathematics, Reading and Language Usage. Beginning in 2007-2008, this requirement was extended to include Science in one elementary, one middle school, and one high school grade. Idaho selected grades 5, 7, and 10 for the assessment of Science.

All students with disabilities must be assessed on one of two assessments available in Idaho: the Idaho Standards Achievement Tests (ISAT) either with or without accommodations or the ISAT Alternate (ISAT-Alt). The ISAT-Alt is designed to assess students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. Access to the grade level content standards is provided through the extended content standards and objectives. Both the ISAT and the ISAT-Alt are used for NCLB accountability purposes, including the determination of Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). The ISAT is based on the state’s grade-level content standards and reported on grade-level achievement standards. NCLB requires states to develop and administer alternate assessments based on grade-level content standards, reported on alternate achievement standards (AA-AAS).

What's New?

Assessment Spring 2015 Training (Feb. 2015)

Assessment Spring 2015 Training (Feb. 2015) training materials now available on the Trainings page of this community.

ISAT-Alt Assessed Extended Content Objectives by Grade Band

For teachers well versed in the administration of the ISAT-Alt, a printer friendly version of the assessed ECOs complexity tables are now available to print by grade band. Please download from the AA Documents page.

The Idaho Reading Indicator Alternate (IRI-Alt)

All IRI-Alt materials are posted on this learning community under the AA Documents page. Answers to questions about what is the IRI-Alt, when is it administered, and who takes it, go to the AA FAQ page (under the DMA, DWA, IRI-Alt category).