Sec. 300.160 Participation in assessments

300.160 Participation in assessments.

(a) General. A State must ensure that all children with disabilities are included in all general State and district-wide assessment programs, including assessments described under section 1111 of the ESEA, 20 U.S.C. 6311, with appropriate accommodations and alternate assessments, if necessary, as indicated in their respective IEPs.
(b) Accommodation guidelines.
(1) A State (or, in the case of a district-wide assessment, an LEA) must develop guidelines for the provision of appropriate accommodations.
(2) The State’s (or, in the case of a district-wide assessment, the LEA’s) guidelines must—
(i) Identify only those accommodations for each assessment that do not invalidate the score; and
(ii) Instruct IEP Teams to select, for each assessment, only those accommodations that do not invalidate the score.
(c) Alternate assessments.
(1) If a State has adopted alternate academic achievement standards for children with disabilities who are students with the most significant cognitive disabilities as permitted in section 1111(b)(1)(E) of the ESEA, the State (or, in the case of a district-wide assessment, an LEA) must develop and implement alternate assessments and guidelines for the participation in alternate assessments of those children with disabilities who cannot participate in regular assessments, even with accommodations, as indicated in their respective IEPs, as provided in paragraph (a) of this section.
(2) For assessing the academic progress of students with disabilities under Title I of the ESEA, the alternate assessments and guidelines in paragraph (c)(1) of this section must provide for alternate assessments that—
(i) Are aligned with the State’s challenging academic content standards and challenging student academic achievement standards;
(ii) If the State has adopted alternate academic achievement standards permitted in 34 CFR 200.1(d), measure the achievement of children with the most significant cognitive disabilities against those standards; and
(iii) Except as provided in paragraph (c)(2)(ii) of this section, a State’s alternate assessments, if any, must measure the achievement of children with disabilities against the State’s grade-level academic achievement standards, consistent with 34 CFR 200.6(a)(2)(ii)(A).
(3) Consistent with 34 CFR 200.1(e), a State may not adopt modified academic achievement standards for any students with disabilities under section 602(3) of the Act.

(d) Explanation to IEP Teams. A State (or in the case of a district-wide assessment, an LEA) must—

(1) Provide to IEP teams a clear explanation of the differences between assessments based on grade-level academic achievement standards and those based on alternate academic achievement standards, including any effects of State and local policies on a student’s education resulting from taking an alternate assessment aligned with alternate academic achievement standards, such as how participation in such assessments may delay or otherwise affect the student from completing the requirements for a regular high school diploma; and

(2) Not preclude a student with the most significant cognitive disabilities who takes an alternate assessment aligned with alternate academic achievement standards from attempting to complete the requirements for a regular high school diploma.

(e) Inform parents. A State (or in the case of a district-wide assessment, an LEA) must ensure that parents of students selected to be assessed using an alternate assessment aligned with alternate academic achievement standards under the State’s guidelines in paragraph (c)(1) of this section are informed, consistent with 34 CFR 200.2(e), that their child’s achievement will be measured based on alternate academic achievement standards, and of how participation in such assessments may delay or otherwise affect the student from completing the requirements for a regular high school diploma.
(f) Reports. An SEA (or, in the case of a district-wide assessment, an LEA) must make available to the public, and report to the public with the same frequency and in the same detail as it reports on the assessment of nondisabled children, the following:
(1) The number of children with disabilities participating in regular assessments, and the number of those children who were provided accommodations (that did not result in an invalid score) in order to participate in those assessments.
(2) The number of children with disabilities, if any, participating in alternate assessments based on grade-level academic achievement standards in school years prior to 2017-2018.
(3) The number of children with disabilities, if any, participating in alternate assessments aligned with modified academic achievement standards in school years prior to 2016-2017.
(4) The number of children with disabilities who are students with the most significant cognitive disabilities participating in alternate assessments aligned with alternate academic achievement standards.
(5) Compared with the achievement of all children, including children with disabilities, the performance results of children with disabilities on regular assessments, alternate assessments based on grade-level academic achievement standards (prior to 2017-2018), alternate assessments based on modified academic achievement standards (prior to 2016-2017), and alternate assessments aligned with alternate academic achievement standards if—
(i) The number of children participating in those assessments is sufficient to yield statistically reliable information; and
(ii)  Reporting that information will not reveal personally identifiable information about an individual student on those assessments.

(g) Universal design. An SEA (or, in the case of a district-wide assessment, an LEA) must, to the extent possible, use universal design principles in developing and administering any assessments under this section.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1412(a)(16))

[72 FR 17781, Apr. 9, 2007, as amended at 80 FR 50785, Aug. 21, 2015; 82 FR 29760, June 30, 2017]

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Last modified on August 24, 2017