purpose? Are decision rules in place that enable determination of the level of English-language proficiency at which English-language learners should be expected to participate exclusively in English-language assessments?


    Is there evidence that the assessment, even with accommodations, cannot measure the knowledge or skill of particular students or groups of students before alternate assessments are administered?


    Are assessments provided in languages other than English when the numbers of students who can take such assessments is sufficiently large to warrant their use?


    Are the methods used to screen students to determine whether they need accommodations for tests reported, including the frequency of such practices?


Assessments for English-language learners should follow the same criteria used for assessments generally, which were described above. In addition, such assessments should also meet additional criteria based on the unique problems associated with testing English-language learners. The committee recommends that, in developing an assessment system for English-language learners, states and districts adhere to the following criteria:

Inclusion. The assessments should provide a means of including all students; they should be exempt only when assessments, even with accommodations, do not yield valid and reliable information about students' knowledge and skills. The state or district should provide accommodations for those who can participate in the regular assessment.

Appropriateness. States and districts need to ensure that accommodations meet the needs of students, and that tests administered under different conditions represent accurate measures of students' knowledge and skills.

Documentation. States and districts should develop and document policies regarding the basis for assigning accommodations to students and for reporting the results of students who have taken tests with accommodations.


The following examples show the practices of a district and a state that have clear policies for including English-language learners in assessments. Both use measures of English-language proficiency to determine whether students can take part in the regular assessment or use a native-language test or an accommodation. Both disaggregate test results to show performance of English-

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