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All District of Columbia students participate in statewide assessment in one of three ways: general assessment, general assessment with accommodations, or alternate assessment based on alternate achievement standards. The DC CAS-ALT is a portfolio assessment given to those students who have significant cognitive disabilities that prevent them from participating in the general assessment (DC CAS) even with accommodations and/or modifications.
Up to 1% of District of Columbia students in grades tested may show academic proficiency through administration of an alternate assessment based on alternate achievement standards. The DC CAS-ALT is designed for those students with such significant cognitive impairments that they are unable, even with the best instruction and appropriate accommodations, to participate in the large-scale, statewide assessment. Alternate assessments based on alternate achievement standards are built upon measurable targeted skills that are linked to the DC OSSE content standards in reading/ELA,mathematics and science. However, they represent student performance at a lower level of breadth, depth and complexity than found in the general statewide assessment.At this time, neither writing nor science scores are included in the state’s AYP, but they are reported to the United States Department of Education for accountability and included in schools’ annual report cards.
For more information about the DC CAS-ALT, please see: