One Percent Rule: Student Participation in Alternate Assessment

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) established a one percent threshold, statewide, on the number of students taking alternate assessments.

Under ESSA, state participation of students on the alternate assessment may not exceed 1% of the tested students on all assessments within each subject area (English language arts, mathematics, and science). States exceeding the 1% cap may submit a request for a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education; however, states must also develop a plan to work with districts to meet the 1% cap.  

The tabs below contain information for districts on understanding the 1% cap and what is required of both RIDE and each district exceeding the 1% threshold.

RI Waiver and Plan and Timeline

Below is an updated Plan and Timeline that addresses Rhode Island's continued implementation of the new alternate assessment eligibility criteria and the timeline for introducing an LEA monitoring process. Additional information on the One Percent Rule can be found using the tabs on this page.

Understand ESSA and the One Percent Rule

Participation of students on the alternate assessments may not exceed 1% of all students tested on all assessments in each content area. States exceeding 1% may submit a waiver to the US Department of Education to test more than 1%, however states must also develop a plan to work with LEAs to meet the 1% threshold. As part of this process, LEAs exceeding 1% participation in DLM in any content area must submit an Assurances Form through the CRP process.

Presentations and Guidance

Training for Educators

  • For information on training on the new eligibility criteria, please see the DLM web page.

LEA Assessment Rate Data

States are required to calculate the percentage of students who were assessed using the alternate assessments (DLM), by LEA, for each tested content area and grade level.

2022-23 Alternate Assessment Rate Data Tables (posted December 2023)


  • The formula for the calculations includes only tested students in the tested grades for each content area. For example: only students who were tested in grades 3 - 8 and 11 for RICAS math, SAT math, and DLM math were used to calculate whether or not an LEA was over or under 1.0% of students taking DLM.
  • Students assessed in outplacement schools were included in all LEA and state calculations.
  • No student scores were used in the calculations.
  • To find out which students are included in your LEA's calculations, use the testing rosters for each assessment: DLM, RICAS, NGSA, and SAT. Student rosters are available through the Rhode Island Assessment Data Portal (

LEA Assurances

All assurances are included in the CRP. If an LEA exceeded 1% of students being assessed using the Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) alternate assessments in English language arts, mathematics, and/or science, then the LEA already agreed to those assurances as outlined in the CRP. LEAs exceeding the 1% threshold are also required to provide justifications on why they need to exceed the 1% threshold. To view an LEA's responses to the assurances, please email with your request.

Ensuring Families are Informed

Part of the ESSA and 1% requirement is for every LEA to ensure that families of students with disabilities who take alternate assessments be clearly informed of the following:

  • Their child’s academic progress towards achievement of the content standards in English language arts, mathematics, and science will be measured using the Essential Elements.
  • They understand the graduation options, including graduation options, for their child. 
  • They have been informed of any other implications, including any effects of local policies on the student’s education, resulting from taking an alternate assessment.
  • Copies of this form, the rubrics, and the test participation documentation form have been provided to the family with their copy of the IEP. Please see the eligibility guidance document for the rubrics, test participation documentation and the IEP Team Documentation form.

While these IEP team assurances have been included as part of the process for determining eligibility for the alternate assessments for many years, it is important that the Participation Criteria for Alternate Assessments Form, be signed each year by a member of the IEP Team to confirm that the necessary discussions with the families happened.