Downloadable Data Explained - GAA Assessment

The Georgia Alternate Assessment (GAA) is a key component of the Georgia Student Assessment Program. Under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), states must ensure that all students, including students with significant cognitive disabilities, have access to a general curriculum that encompasses challenging academic standards. States must also ensure that all students are assessed for their progress toward meeting academic standards. Students with significant cognitive disabilities may be assessed via an alternate assessment based on alternate achievement standards, as determined by the students’ IEP team. The US Department of Education (USED) defines an alternate achievement standard as one that “sets an expectation of performance that differs in complexity from a grade-level achievement standard." Alternate achievement standards must be aligned to state academic content standards, although they may reflect prerequisite or entry-level skills.

Beginning in the fall of 2006, a portfolio of student work samples was used to capture student learning and achievement/progress in the four content areas (English/Language Arts, mathematics, science, and social studies). The focus is on academic content and skills.

Kindergarten will develop a portfolio in English/Language Arts and mathematics; however there is no portfolio for grades 1 and 2. Grades 3-8 and 11 will develop a portfolio in English/Language Arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.

The GAA portfolio entries are scored in four discrete dimensions:

  • Fidelity to Standard assesses the degree to which the student's work addresses the grade-level standard to which it is aligned;
  • Context assesses the degree to which the student work exhibits the use of grade-appropriate materials in a purposeful and natural/real-world application;
  • Achievement/Progress assesses the increase in the student's proficiency of skill across the two collection periods; and
  • Generalization assesses the student's opportunity to apply the learned skill in other settings and with various individuals in addition to the teacher or paraprofessional across all content areas assessed.

 

In addition to rubric scores, student achievement on the GAA will be reported in terms of three performance levels.

  • Emerging Progress shows, based on evidence in the portfolio, the student is beginning to demonstrate an understanding of fundamental skills and knowledge aligned to grade-appropriate standards.
  • Established Progress shows, based on evidence in the portfolio, the student demonstrates an appropriate understanding of fundamental skills and knowledge aligned to grade-appropriate standards.
  • Extending Progress shows, based on evidence in the portfolio, the student demonstrates an increased understanding of fundamental skills and knowledge aligned to grade-appropriate standards.

 

Portfolio Collection Periods:

  • Achievement/Progress is documented in two collection periods during a school year. The first collection period will provide evidence of a student's entry-level performance (initial performance of the skill); the second collection period will provide evidence of a student's achievement/progress to date.
  • The collection period window between the first collection period and the second collection period is a minimum of three weeks to a maximum of five months.