The DLM project is guided by the core belief that all students should have access to challenging grade-level content. The new DLM alternate assessment system will let students with significant cognitive disabilities show what they know in ways that traditional multiple-choice tests cannot. The DLM system is designed to map a student’s learning throughout the year. The system will use items and tasks that are embedded in day-to-day instruction. In this way, testing happens as part of instruction, which both informs teaching and benefits students. An end of the year assessment will be created for states that want to include a summative test in addition to the instructionally embedded system.
There is a growing need for new innovative assessments as states move to the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS). In 2010, the Dynamic Learning Maps Alternate Assessment System Consortium (DLM) was awarded a grant by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). Through the grant, DLM will develop an exciting new kind of alternate assessment aligned to the new CCSS.