proved limited-English-proficient program for fewer than two years may be exempted from the norm-referenced district testing programs and Florida Writes. Exempted students must be assessed through other means determined by school and district personnel. Students not receiving special language assistance services may not be exempted by virtue of their classification as English-language learners alone. For system accountability purposes, scores for students in the English as a second language program for less than two years are disaggregated but not used to identify critically low-performing schools.
Accommodations: Districts are required to provide accommodations for English-language learners who are currently receiving services in a program operated in accordance with an approved district plan for English-language learners, but the exact combination of accommodations to be offered to any particular student is individually determined, considering the needs of the student.
Texas: The Texas assessment of academic skills (TAAS) is used to monitor the progress of students in grades 3 to 8. Language-proficiency assessment committees at each school (a site administrator, bilingual educator, English as a second language educator, and a parent of a child currently enrolled) determine which assessment each child will take. On the basis of six criteria—literacy in English and/or Spanish; oral language proficiency in English and/or Spanish; academic program participation, language of instruction and planned language of assessments; number of years continuously enrolled in school; previous testing history; and level of academic achievement—the committee decides whether English-language learners are tested on the English TAAS, tested on the Spanish TAAS, or exempted and given an alternative assessment. The committee also makes program entry and exit decisions and monitors students' progress after special services are ended. Those entering U.S. schools in the 3rd grade or later are required to take the English TAAS after three years.
The TAAS scores, whether for the English or the Spanish TAAS, are used as base indicators in the accountability rating system. In the near future, scores on the reading proficiency test in English for students taking the Spanish TAAS or for those delayed in taking the English TAAS will be publicly reported. Schools are designated "exemplary," "recognized," "acceptable," and "low-performing" based on aggregated student scores, and rewards and sanctions are meted out on this basis.