Individuals with Disabilities
Education Act of 2004 (IDEA) and the
Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) require that states ensure all students, including those
with significant cognitive disabilities, have access to challenging academic
standards and participate in the state’s assessment program. The U.S.
Department of Education defines alternate achievement standards as establishing
performance expectations that differ in complexity from grade-level achievement
standards. These standards must be aligned with the state’s content standards,
promote access to the general content standards, and articulate the highest
achievement levels possible for the individual student. This means teachers may
customize learning expectations for students who participate in alternate
students with disabilities, each student’s Individualized Education Program
(IEP) team determines how the student shall participate in Georgia’s student
assessment program. If a student’s IEP team determines that a student cannot
meaningfully access the Georgia Milestones Assessment System, even with maximum
appropriate accommodations, then the student must participate in the GAA 2.0.
The GAA 2.0 is designed to ensure that students with significant cognitive disabilities are provided access to the state academic
content standards and given the opportunity to demonstrate achievement of the
knowledge, concepts, and skills inherent in the standards.
assessment will provide meaningful information about classroom instruction and
help identify students’ areas of strength and improvement through standardized
tests. Unlike the original GAA, GAA 2.0 is not a portfolio-based assessment. Thus,
it will measure students’
achievement and not progress. The GAA 2.0 will be
administered to all eligible students in the following areas:
- Grades K, 3-8, and 11 will
be assessed in English language arts and mathematics.
- Grades 5, 8, and 11 will also
be assessed in science and social studies.
The GAA 2.0 will include
standardized items with multiple access points. The intent is to
reduce the teacher’s burden related to selecting or developing tasks; bring
greater standardization to the administration; improve scoring reliability; and
introduce an online task submission system.
The website will be
updated as key information and resources are received and developed.