Special Education

Justification for School Districts Exceeding the 1.0 Percent on Students Participating in the New York State Alternate Assessment

Participation Rates by District

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) places a state-level cap on the total number of students with significant cognitive disabilities who are assessed with an alternate assessment to 1.0 percent of the total number of students in the state who are assessed in the subject. States may not prohibit a local educational agency (LEA) from assessing more than 1.0 percent of its assessed students with an alternate assessment. However, states must require LEAs that assess more than 1.0 percent of their assessed students in any subject with an alternate assessment to submit information to the state justifying the need to exceed the 1.0 percent threshold.

You are receiving this communication to inform you that all LEAs (i.e., public school districts, Charter Schools and Special Act School Districts) must review their 2017-2018 NYSAA participation data posted above to determine if they exceed the 1.0 percent cap in English language arts, mathematics, and/or science for students participating in the NYSAA. The final data column on the right (titled PCT tested) is the LEAs NYSAA participation rate. Those LEAs exceeding the 1.0 percent cap on participation in the NYSAA are indicated in red. LEAs exceeding the 1.0 percent cap on participation in the NYSAA in one or more subject areas must complete the online Justification for Exceeding 1.0 Percent Cap form no later than June 30, 2019.  

In accordance with ESSA, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) will review and make publicly available all justifications received. LEAs submitting a justification are subject to further review and oversight by NYSED.

LEAs are reminded of their ongoing obligation to ensure that committees on special education are utilizing NYS’s Eligibility and Participation Criteria-NYSAA and reviewing and determining annually a student’s eligibility to participate in the NYSAA so that students are appropriately assessed.

Additional information is available in the Policy brief Eligibility Criteria for Participation in the New York State Alternate Assessment.  Questions regarding the Justification for Exceeding the 1.0 Percent Cap form may be directed to the OSE Policy Unit at 518-473-2878 or speced@nysed.gov. Questions regarding the NYSAA participation data may be directed to Office of Information and Reporting Services at 518-474-7965.


Last Updated: June 3, 2019