MTAS Assessment Information

Minnesota Test of Academic Skills (MTAS) The MTAS is a performance-based assessment in reading, mathematics, and science for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities, and it is available in every grade in which the MCA is available. It is an alternate assessment based on alternate achievement standards that feature substantial reductions in the complexity of the academic content standards. MTAS test materials include Task Administration Manuals, Presentation Pages, and Response Option Cards that incorporate the use of pictures and symbols.

The Reading MTAS includes brief passages that are available in two formats and may be read aloud to students. The Mathematics and Science MTAS include object lists that provide guidance on the provision of objects for students who need this type of support. Participation in the MTAS is limited to students whose IEP team determines that the student meets the eligibility requirements for the test. Additional information can be found in Chapter 5. The same gradelevel considerations for the Science MCA apply in the determination of which high school students will take the Science MTAS.

The Science MTAS can be administered in any of the grades 9-12, depending upon when students receive instruction in the life science standards. While some students with significant cognitive disabilities may not be enrolled in a course called Life Science or Biology, they should have access to the general education curriculum, which includes instruction in life science. The IEP team determines the most appropriate year for a high school student to take the Science MTAS.

MTAS scores for each subject and student must be entered by the district online during the testing window. The entry of student MTAS scores online is how student responses are recorded and scored in order to report student results. For each student, the student's Learner Characteristics Inventory (LCI) must be completed and entered online. The LCI is a research tool developed by the National Alternate Assessment Center (NAAC). The purpose of the LCI is to better understand the learning characteristics of students participating in alternate assessments based on alternate achievement standards. It is an instrument that helps Minnesota answer validity questions and extends our knowledge of the assessment population to insure that the test is designed appropriately for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities; it also insures that the intended population is participating in the test.

Contact: Melanie M. Nelson