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PA Alternate Content Standards
The Alternate Reading and Mathematics Standards describe what students with the most severe cognitive disabilities should know and be able to do at four grade level spans (third/fourth, fifth/sixth, seventh/eighth, and eleventh). The standards for each grade span were derived from the general education content standards for the equivalent grade that appear in the Chapter 4 Academic Standards as approved by the Pennsylvania Board of Education for all students, at the same grade levels as originally listed (the reference number to the original Chapter 4 Standard is provided in parentheses). The third/fourth grade alternate standards link to the third grade Chapter 4 standards; the eleventh grade alternate standards link to the eleventh grade Chapter 4 standards; and so on. Those Chapter 4 grade-level content standards have been reinterpreted to be appropriate learning targets for students with the most severe cognitive disabilities, and at the same time link the learning goals for these students with those of their non-disabled grade-mates.

PA Alternate Mathematics Standards
The Alternate Mathematics Standards define the skills and strategies employed by students with the most severe cognitive disabilities who have attained proficiency in numeracy skills defined very broadly; all teachers who interact with these students will assist them in learning these skills and strategies through multiple classroom situations in all the subject areas. The Alternate Mathematics Standards also provide parents and community members with information about what students with the most severe cognitive disabilities should know and be able to do as they progress through their educational program and at graduation. With a clearly defined target provided by the standards, parents, students, educators and community members become partners in learning success.

PA Alternate Content Academic Standards - Math (PDF)

PA Alternate Reading Standards
The Alternate Reading Standards address “reading” in its broadest sense. When students look at an object or touch an object and recognize what it is, or what it is for, or what it belongs with, they are “reading the object.” When students name a picture, or recognize a picture, or describe what is happening in a picture, they are “reading” the picture. When students make meaning from print or Braille, they are also “reading.” The standards define the skills and strategies employed by students with the most significant disabilities who have attained proficiency in literacy skills defined very broadly; all teachers who interact with these students will assist them in learning these skills and strategies through multiple classroom situations in all the subject areas.  The Alternate Reading Standards also provide parents and community members with information about what students with the most significant disabilities should know and be able to do as they progress through their educational program and at graduation. With a clearly defined target provided by the standards, parents, students, educators and community members become partners in learning success.

PA Alternate Content Academic Standards - Reading (PDF)

Alternate Assessment Anchors and Eligible Content
Alternate Assessment Anchors clarify the standards assessed on the PASA and can be used by educators to help prepare their students for the PASA. The Alternate Assessment Anchors do not replace the Alternate Content Standards. All teachers are still required to teach to all of the standards and use local assessments to measure student progress. The Alternate Assessment Anchors and Eligible Content documents below also reference the PSSA Standards from which the PASA Alternate Content Standards and Alternate Assessment Anchors were derived.

Mathematics Alternate Assessment Anchors and Eligible Content

Grades 3 - 4 Mathematics Assessment Anchors (PDF)

Grades 5 - 6 Mathematics Assessment Anchors (PDF)

Grades 7 - 8 Mathematics Assessment Anchors (PDF)

Grade 11 Mathematics Assessment Anchors (PDF)

Reading Alternate Assessment Anchors and Eligible Content

Grades 3 - 4 Reading Assessment Anchors (PDF)

Grades 5 - 6 Reading Assessment Anchors (PDF)

Grades 7 - 8 Reading Assessment Anchors (PDF)

Grade 11 Reading Assessment Anchors (PDF)

Science Alternate Assessment Anchors and Eligible Content

Grade 4 Science Assessment Anchors (PDF)

Grade 8 Science Assessment Anchors (PDF)

Grade 11 Science Assessment Anchors (PDF)

Check the PASA website, www.pasaassessment.org for additional PASA information, test window and scoring conference dates.


For additional information, please contact:

Christine Bunce | Special Education Advisor Department of Education
Pennsylvania Department of Education - Bureau of Special Education
333 Market Street | Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333
Phone: 717.346.9644 | Fax: 717.783.6139
cbunce@pa.gov | www.education.state.pa.us