Inclusion Resource: Taking the Alternate Assessment Does Not Mean an Education in a Separate Setting

If you have been told, or have concerns, that your child cannot be educated in the general education classroom because he or she takes an alternate assessment a brief published by the TIES Center, which is co-authored by Ricki Sabia, NDSC Senior Education Policy Advisor and TIES Center parent liaison, and Dr. Martha Thurlow, Director of the National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO) and Ties Center Advisor, may be a useful resource to you.  The brief can be downloaded by clicking on the link on the bottom right side of the TIES Center home page

The brief, entitled “Taking the Alternate Assessment Does Not Mean an Education in a Separate Setting,” describes students who take an alternate assessment—called students with the most significant cognitive disabilities by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and explains the language in both the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) that supports inclusion for students who take alternate assessments. The brief also provides tips and resources on many topics such as how to communicate with your child’s teachers about your high expectations for your child.

The TIES Center is a National Technical Assistance Center on Inclusive Practices and Policies.  Its mission is to improve the quality of instruction for students with significant cognitive disabilities in inclusive environments through intensive, targeted and universal technical assistance to support states and districts to implement IDEA. The TIES Center has identified five goals to support its outcomes:

  1. Develop professional learning communities in partner state and local education agencies.
  2. Develop coaching models for implementation of resources, inclusive practices, and communicative competence.
  3. Improve the efficiency and effectiveness of existing resources.
  4. Support parents to become partners in the practice of inclusion for students with significant cognitive disabilities.

Support systems change within the leadership of state and local education agencies for the implementation of inclusive practices.