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The 1 Percent Threshold on Alternate Assessments

The update to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) regulations established a 1 percent threshold, statewide, on the number of students taking alternate assessments. The regulations require local educational agencies (LEAs) to notify the California Department of Education (CDE) if they believe that they will exceed 1 percent of its 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 District or the State at this time. Overall, the intent of the regulations is to help address concerns about disproportionality related to potentially over identifying 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 1 percent threshold calculation is based on 1 percent of the total number of students taking a standardized assessment in any curriculum area. If an LEA exceeds the 1 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 percent threshold. If the CDE feels the numbers cited are of concern, there is a possibility of monitoring through the Special Education Division.

The CDE will annually collect, publicize, and archive the information for reporting purposes. The results will be made available on the CAASPP Public Reporting Web site External link opens in new window or tab..

For information about this 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 e-mail at

Questions:   California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress | | 916-445-8765
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, January 31, 2018
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