Alternate Assessments

Posted: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 8:59am Updated: Wed, 07/06/2016 - 3:05pm

Indiana Standards Tools for Alternate Reporting (ISTAR)




The purpose of an alternate assessment is to measure student achievement in the subject areas of English/Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics for grades 3-8 and 10, Science (Grades 4, 6 and 10), Social Studies (Grades 5 and 7) based on alternate academic achievement standards. Students who perform significantly below grade-level may have personal learning goals that cannot be adequately measured with a grade-level standardized test. The Case Conference Committee determines, based on the eligibility criteria adopted by the Indiana State Board of Education and the student's individual and unique needs, whether a student with a disability will be assessed on the alternate assessment. Therefore the student's goals and objectives are generally prerequisites to grade-level academics or are highly individualized extensions to the standards.

Indiana will administer the Indiana Standards Tool for Alternate Reporting (ISTAR) to assess English/Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies. In addition, teachers may continue to monitor student progress related to functional skills utilizing ISTAR.

Indiana Standards Tools for Alternate Reporting (ISTAR)

The ISTAR test design will provide teachers and students the flexibility of incorporating assessment into ongoing instruction by utilizing three administration windows throughout the year. ISTAR Part 1 consists of a “placement” test in October. This placement test determines one of three tiers in which the student is placed. All tiers are aligned to Indiana’s Academic Standards and have different degrees of cognitive complexity. ISTAR Part 2 assesses the first half of the curriculum for students, and ISTAR Part 3 assesses the second half.


The purpose of the test blueprint is to make transparent to educators the knowledge, skills, and abilities required of students on the assessments.

Content Area Grade
English/Language Arts Grade 3 Grade 4 Grade 5 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 10
Mathematics Grade 3 Grade 4 Grade 5 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 10
Science N/A Grade 4 N/A Grade 6 N/A N/A Grade 10
Social Studies N/A N/A Grade 5 N/A Grade 7 N/A N/A

Instructional and Assessment Guidance

The purpose of these documents is to provide educators with instructional and assessment guidance.


Aligned Content Connectors

The purpose of these documents is to provide educators guidance at the content connector level regarding the assessment to assist in instruction al decisions. These documents include a key to the content priorities for each part of the ISTAR assessment.

Additional Resources


  • Coming Fall 2016


Karen Stein
Alternate Assessment and Accommodations Specialist
Office of Student Assessment
Telephone: (317) 232-9050
Toll Free: (888) 544-7837