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One Percent (1%) Participation Threshold


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Under ESSA, the number of students who may take the alternate assessment is limited to no more than 1.0 percent of the total number of all students in the State who are assessed in a given subject (i.e., reading/language arts, mathematics, and science). This 1.0 percent threshold is at the state level.

Only students with the most significant cognitive disabilities may participate in the alternate assessment (DLM), and no student should take the alternate assessment unless they are also participating in the alternate academic achievement standards (Wisconsin Essential Elements). 34 CFR 200.6(a)(2)(ii)(B). In Wisconsin, a student with the most significant cognitive disability is defined as:

  • typically characterized as functioning at least two and a half to three standard deviations below the mean in both adaptive behavior and cognitive functioning; and
  • performs substantially below grade level expectations on the academic content standards for the grade in which they are enrolled, even with the use of adaptations and accommodations; and
  • a student who requires extensive, direct individualized instruction and substantial supports to achieve measurable gains, across all content areas and settings.

Procedure Exceeding 1% Participation Threshold on Alternate Assessment

In late fall of 2023, LEAs will receive an email regarding notification of exceeding the 1.0% participation threshold in one or more given subjects on the alternate assessment, Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM), for the 2022-23 academic year. LEAs can find their 1% Participation Threshold Data on WISEgrants. All LEAs should view their data in WISEgrants. Accessing the Alternate Assessment Participation Rates in WISEgrants provides step-by-step instructions for viewing a district’s alternate assessment participation rates. Justifications should be submitted by mid November 2023.

If you need assistance finding the information in WISEgrants, please send an email request to For additional information regarding alternate assessment participation rates, please contact Iris Jacobson call (608) 264-9557.

District Alternate Assessment Rates

Notification will be done through WISEgrants.


Alternate Assessment Justification - WISEgrants Submission Procedures

District justification for exceeding the 1% participation threshold are publicly available by submitting a public records request form.