The participation of students with significant cognitive disabilities in accountability assessments aligned with general education standards is a heavily debated topic in the field of special education. Attempts to understand the impact of these assessments have generally been limited to correlational methods. We employed a difference-in-differences approach using select waves of the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 dataset to estimate the impact of alternate assessment policies from the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 on the employment outcomes of individuals with significant cognitive disabilities. Our hypothesis was that these policies would produce a detrimental effect. Analyses suggested that alternate assessment policies resulted in descriptively positive employment outcomes, yet estimates were highly imprecise, which yields a complicated picture requiring more research.

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