Department of Defense Education Activity

Special Education: Accountability

System-wide Assessments

In DoDEA, ALL students in grades 3-11 are assessed annually regardless of any identified disabilities. Most students participate in the general education assessment programs without accommodations; however, if accommodations are provided in the general education setting, the same accommodations are provided during testing.

Alternate Assessment

The Alternate Assessment is a component of the DoDEA assessment program that ensures ALL students with disabilities participate in system-wide testing. 1 The Alternate Assessment measures the performance of students who are unable to participate in the system-wide assessment even when accommodations are provided. The Alternate Assessment permits students with significant disabilities to demonstrate their knowledge of academic standards and proficiency toward mastery of daily living skills. Because the Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals do not serve as the total curriculum for a student and the attainment of IEP goals and objectives cannot be easily aggregated for accountability purposes, an alternate system for measuring performance is necessary.

The Alternate Assessment is administered to all qualifying students in grades 3-11 during a six week period coinciding with the spring administration of the Terra Nova. The Alternate Assessment measures the same content areas as the Terra Nova but may assess additional content, such as functional skills. The alternate assessment is designed to:

  • Measure student performance;
  • Analyze individual student data to make appropriate instructional decisions;
  • Establish accountability for student performance at the school, district, area and headquarter levels; and
  • Generate student results that can be aggregated for inclusion in DoDEA accountability reports.

The Alternate Assessment results are included as part of the system-wide accountability report published by the DoDEA Assessment and Accountability Branch. Student proficiency on the Alternate Assessment is reported in the same format as other system-wide assessments. This gives DoDEA uniformity in reporting student performance for the entire student population.

1 DoDEA Regulation 2000.6, System-wide Assessment Program, March 2001

Contact Information:

DoDEA Special Education Coordinator
4800 Mark Center Drive
Alexandria VA 22350-1400