Pennsylvania System of School Assessment
The Pennsylvania state assessment system is composed of assessments and the reporting associated with the results of those assessments. The assessment system includes the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA), the Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment (PASA), the Pennsylvania Accountability System (PAS), the Pennsylvania Value-Added Assessment System (PVAAS), the Keystone Exams (end-of-course), Classroom Diagnostic Tools (CDT) and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment
The Individuals with Disabilities Act of 2004 (IDEA) requires that States and Local Education Agencies (LEAs) ensure that all children with disabilities are included in all general state and district-wide assessment programs, including assessments used for purposes of satisfying the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). If necessary, a state or LEA may create an alternate assessment. The Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment (PASA) was developed in accordance with this allowance to meet the needs of students with the most severe cognitive disabilities who are not able to participate in the general assessment even with accommodations. The PASA is aligned with Pennsylvania's academic content standards and measures the attainment of knowledge and skills of children with significant cognitive disabilities through performance tasks. Like the state-wide standardized test (the Pennsylvania System of Assessment or PSSA), the purpose of the PASA is to provide information to school districts and other educational service providers that will aid them in improving instruction for children.