Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

One Percent Threshold on Alternate Assessments

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires local educational agencies (LEAs) to notify the California Department of Education (CDE) if they expect to exceed one percent of their total assessed student population taking alternate assessments and to provide the justification for surpassing that threshold. While the CDE is required to both notify the U.S. Secretary of Education and to post this information publicly, there are no formal repercussions to either the LEAs or the state. Overall, the intent of the ESSA regulations is to help address concerns about disproportionality related to potentially overidentifying students for alternate assessments.

There are many factors that can lead individualized education program (IEP) teams to identify a student to take an alternate assessment, and there are other factors that can lead to a large number of these students residing within an LEA. IEP team members should refer to the CDE guidance provided to appropriately identify students for alternate assessments. The one percent threshold calculation is based on one percent of the total number of students taking a standardized assessment in any curriculum area. If an LEA exceeds the one percent threshold, the LEA is required to notify the CDE, providing information regarding its need for doing so. The CDE, in turn, will work with those LEAs to both confirm the overall number of students taking alternate assessments and to identify the reasons for exceeding the one percent threshold. If the CDE determine the numbers cited are of concern, there is a possibility of monitoring through the Special Education Division.

2020–21 CAAs One Percent Threshold Justification Survey

These files list the LEAs that reported, before administration, that they may exceed the one percent threshold on alternate assessments for the listed administration year. Caution should be used when interpreting these self-reported results.

For information about this data collection process or the California Alternate Assessments, please contact the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress Office by phone at 916-445-8765 or by email at

Questions:   California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress | | 916-445-8765
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, October 6, 2020
Related Content
Recently Posted in Testing