Special Education in Plain Language


Individualized Education Program (IEP)

Statewide assessments

What The Law Says
  1. A statement of any individual appropriate accommodations that are necessary to measure the academic achievement and functional performance of the child on statewide or local educational agency-wide assessments.
  2. If the individualized education program team determines that a child will take an alternate assessment on a particular statewide or local educational agency-wide assessment of pupil achievement, a statement of why the child cannot participate in the regular assessment and why the particular alternate assessment selected is appropriate for the child.  115.787(2)(e)

What The Law Means

Most children with disabilities will participate in state and district-wide tests.  The IEP says what changes might be needed in how the test is given.  It also explains what help the child will have for state tests or school district tests.


Most children with disabilities will take the state and district-wide tests, with or without accommodations.  For the few children who cannot take the regular tests, the IEP team must explain why and provide for a different test.

What Needs To Be Done

The IEP team will decide what kind of help the child may need for state and school district tests.


The IEP team decides if the child cannot take the statewide tests.  The team uses the Wisconsin Alternate Assessment Participation Checklist to decide if an alternate assessment is needed in each area of curriculum.


For the few children who cannot take district-wide tests, a different test is given.

What Parents Need to Know or Do

Parents, as part of the IEP team, help decide what help their child may need to take the district or statewide tests.


A few children will take different tests called alternate assessments. Parents help decide when alternate tests are necessary.  Alternate assessments might not be written tests.


DPI has guidelines for alternate assessments.  The school may also have guidelines for alternate assessments.  Ask to see them.