The legislature authorized alternative assessment methods to provide students with ways other than the state assessments to meet performance standards in reading, writing, mathematics, and science (RCW 28A.655.065).
The legislature asked the State Board of Education (SBE) to review and approve the guidelines, protocols, scoring criteria, and other information developed by the superintendent of public instruction regarding the collection of work samples that would become a collection of evidence that the student could compile to demonstrate that he or she has met the standards.
The legislature also asked the SBE to recommend additional alternative assessments. The SBE recommended that Advanced Placement tests and college admission tests (SAT and ACT) be considered alternative assessments.
Currently, there are three alternative assessment methods. These have become known as Certificate of Academic Achievement options:
- GPA Comparison
- Collection of Evidence
- Advanced Placement and College Admission test scores
The SBE approves the cut scores that students must attain on the collection of evidence and standardized tests (RCW 28A.305.130). The legislature sets the grade point average needed for the GPA comparison.