The Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment (PASA)

The Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment (PASA) is a statewide alternate assessment designed for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.  Specifically, it is intended for those who are unable to participate meaningfully in the Pennsylvania State Assessment System (PSSA) even with accommodations.  By administering the PASA to student with severe disabilities, schools are able to have all students participate in a statewide accountability system. 

The PASA is a series of individually administered image-based multiple choice tests given each spring to students by their teacher or another assessor who knows the student well.  Test administration can be adapted so that even students with the most severe disabilities can participate in the assessment and receive a score.

Currently, the allowable number of students who are permitted to be assessed using PASA is 1% of total students assessed.  At this time, the Individual Education Program (IEP) teams have reviewed the eligibility criteria for students to take the PASA.  These teams who meet to discuss individual student needs have identified 2% of our students as needing the PASA.