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All District of Columbia students participate in District-wide assessments in one of three ways:
- The general assessment
- The general assessment with accommodations
- The alternate assessment based on alternate achievement standards (AA-AAS)
Alternate assessments based on alternate achievement standards (AA-AAS) is intended for students who have significant cognitive disabilities that prevent them from participating in the general assessment, even if provided with accommodations and/or modifications.
AA-AAS are built upon measurable targeted skills that are linked to DC-adopted learning standards in ELA, Mathematics, and Science. However, they represent student performance at a lower level of breadth, depth, and complexity than found in the general District-wide assessment. Up to 1% of District of Columbia students in tested grades may show academic proficiency through administration of an alternate assessment based on alternate achievement standards (AA-AAS).