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KnowledgeBases > Annual Assessments of English Language Learners Under NCLB

The No Child Left Behind Act, requires a statewide academic assessment and an assessment of English language proficiency for English language learner students.

State Academic Assessments

States must include all ELL students in the state assessment system from the time the student enrolls in school without exception. During the first year a student is enrolled in a U.S. school, the reading/language arts content assessment will be optional. Students will take the mathematics assessment with appropriate accommodations. However, States may, but would not be required to, include results from the mathematics and, if given, the reading/language arts content assessments in Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) calculations. States may use appropriate linguistic accommodations and/or use an assessment in the studentís native language that is aligned to the State content and achievement standards. After three years attendance of a school in the United States (except for those residing in Puerto Rico), the student's assessment in reading/language arts must be given in English. However, if the LEA determines that native language versions of academic assessments would yield more accurate and reliable information on what a student knows and can do, the LEA may assess a student in reading/language arts in the appropriate language other than English. This determination is to be made on a case by case basis and may not exceed a period of two years.
Accommodations may include:
  • native-language assessments
  • extra time
  • small group administration
  • flexible scheduling
  • simplified instructions
  • allowing the use of dictionaries
  • providing audio-taped instructions in the native language
  • allowing students to respond in either their native language or English using audiotape
  • providing additional clarifying information at the end of the test booklet or throughout the test (e.g., synonyms for unclear or idiomatic words and phrases).
See ELL Accommodations for State Standardized Tests for information specific to each state.

English Language Proficiency Assessment

Districts must annually assess the English language proficiency (ELP) of ELL students in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. States are not required to use a common statewide assessment of English language proficiency. However, many states have done so." In the table below provides links to information about the ELP assessments in each state. Where it was not possible to link directly to information regarding the ELP assessment, we have linked as closely as possible.
Standards and Assessments Non-Regulatory Guidance. U.S. Department of Education. March 10, 2003.
Fact Sheet: NCLB Provisions Ensure Flexibility and Accountability for Limited English Proficient Students, U.S. Department of Education

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