Johnny Key

Commissioner of Education

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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 Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), signed by the President on December 10, 2015, shall be assessed in one of two ways:
1. ACT Aspire with accommodations for grades 3-10.
2. Students with significant disabilities, for whom the ACT Aspire assessment is not appropriate, shall participate in the following assessments: 
  • Multi-State Alternate Assessment-Alternate Achievement Standards for grades 3-8 and 11 for math and ELA, if they meet the eligibility criteria, and 
  • Arkansas Alternate Portfolio Assessment (AAPA) in science for grades 5, 7 and 10.
The content standards are the same for all students in Arkansas. The difference for students with significant cognitive disabilities is the manner in which they are assessed. The results of the MSAA-AAS and the Alternate Portfolios should demonstrate progress toward meeting the Arkansas standards. Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities were previously assessed with the 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. Information for the NCSC can be found by clicking on the NCSC I-con below. The information needed for the MSAA and the AAPA can also be found by clicking the appropriate I-con below.


Effective Date: September 1, 2014 

Revised Date: August 8, 2016


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

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