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1.0 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 1.0 percent of their total assessed student population taking alternate assessments and to provide the justification for surpassing that threshold. The CDE requires all LEAs to report the percentage of students taking alternate assessments, regardless of whether the LEA exceeded the 1.0 Percent Threshold or not. 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 LEAs for exceeding the threshold. Overall, the intent of the ESSA regulations is to help address concerns about disproportionality related to potentially overidentifying students for alternate assessments. The State undergoes increased monitoring and oversight as a consequence for exceeding the threshold.

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 1.0 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 1.0 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 1.0 percent threshold. If the CDE determine the numbers cited are of concern, there is a possibility of monitoring through the Special Education Division.

2022–23 CAAs 1.0 Percent Threshold Justification Survey External link opens in new window or tab.

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 Office | | 916-445-8765
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, October 12, 2022
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