NCEO and the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition (NTACT) hosted a webinar on state-defined alternate diplomas for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. This webinar began with a discussion of what the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) says about the state-defined alternate diploma, followed by some considerations for states that are exploring whether to offer a state-defined alternate assessment. The webinar included steps for states that decide to offer this option:
- Define the meaning of “state-defined alternate diploma”
- Examine policy adjustments that need to be made to incorporate the State-defined alternate diploma into current educational policies
- Determine the course and exit exam requirements that will align with those requirements for the regular diploma
- Revise assessment participation requirements to ensure that only those students with the most significant cognitive disabilities participate in alternate exit exams to earn a State-defined alternate diploma
- Provide professional development to promote access to the general curriculum and opportunity to learn for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities
The information presented in this webinar was based on a Brief, Considerations for Developing State Defined Alternate Diplomas for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities, which was recently published jointly by NCEO and NTACT.
The PowerPoint slides for the webinar are available at http://nceo.umn.edu/docs/Presentations/StateDefinedAltDiplomas.pdf