Education Commission of the States • 700 Broadway, Suite 810 • Denver, CO 80203-3442 • 303.299.3600 • Fax: 303.296.8332 • www.ecs.org
Special Populations: Inclusion of English Language Learners in High School Assessments

Why does it matter? If "What gets measured, gets taught," then it is important to ensure that students who are learning English are receiving access to quality instruction and to the general curriculum.

A. This section indicates whether English language learners (ELLs) participate in state assessments in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics by:

1. Standard assessment

2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications

  • "Direct" (involving adjustments to the language of the test), "indirect" (involving adjustments to the conditions of the assessment, i.e., test schedule or test environment), or "non-ELL-responsive" (i.e., assistive technology, Braille, or other accommodations specific to the needs of students with disabilities rather than English language learners who do not have disabilities)
  • A denotes that state policy requires that an accommodation may be used only if the student has used it in regular classroom activity.

3. Alternative assessment

4. Other options

B. Summary view of data:

1. In 48 states, ELLs may be assessed using the standard English and mathematics assessments.

2. In 50 states, ELLs may take the assessment with accommodations/modifications. For a list of the specific direct and indirect accommodations allowed in each state on ELA and mathematics assessments, please see the April 2007 ECS report, "Accommodations for English Language Learners on State Assessments". 

  • 30 states require that an accommodation be used only if the student has used it in regular classroom activities.

3. In 14 states, ELLs may take an alternative assessment.

4. In 31 states, ELLs may use other options such as temporary exemptions from the assessments.

Where the only high school-level exam in a state is an exit exam, the inclusion policy for that exam is included in this section.

C. Highlights:

  • All states offer ELL students accommodations on standard assessments, with most states outlining acceptable accommodations and requiring that they be similar to those used during instruction and/or classroom testing. Common accommodations include extended or additional time, small group administration or one-on-one testing, providing test directions/clarification in the student's native language and/or simplified directions/clarification in English, and use of a word-for-word translation dictionary.
  • Illinois allows only one assessment accommodation for ELL students: Extended time.
  • Fifteen states offer alternate assessments, but only five of those do so for ELL students with disabilities.
  • More than half of all states allow an exemption or deferment from standard assessments for ELL students. Federal regulations allow states the option of exempting ELLs who have attended a U.S. school for one year or less from one administration of the state reading or English language arts assessment. Details on the exemption policy can be found here.
  • Three states - California, Hawaii and Washington - allow any student to be exempt from taking assessments if requested by the parent(s) or guardian(s) in writing.

Sources for all data points are accessible through this link.

D. Methodology: This information was collected from state statutes, rules and regulations, and state education agency Web sites, and will be updated as new policies and programs are enacted.

Last update: June 4, 2007

Research was conducted by Timothy Taylor and Michael Colasanti. Please contact Jennifer Dounay Zinth at 303.299.3689 or jdounay@ecs.org with comments or questions about this database.

How are English language learners included in high school-level exams?
Alabama 1. Standard assessment

Deferment or exemption from participation in assessments is not allowed regardless of the length of time a student has been in the United States or the level of English language proficiency of the student.

2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
ELA/Math
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations

  • Indirect Linguistic Support Accommodations
  • Alaska 1. Standard assessment

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Direct Lingustic Support Accommodations

  • Indirect Linguistic Support Accomodations


  • All ELLs must participate in state assessments; however, accommodations are allowed.
    Arizona 2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations

  • Indirect Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • 3. Alternate assessment

    Districts may exempt ELLs from the testing requirement up to three consecutive school years. For those exempt from the test, an annual alternative assessment is administered. The first year of exemption the alternative assessment may be the state's English language proficiency test. For exempted students in grade 12, following the first year of exemption the assessment must be the Arizona Student Assessment Program Essential Skills Tests in English or Spanish. Arizona has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) to maintain the 3-year exemption for ELLs beyond the 1-year exemption allowed by USDOE.
    Arkansas 1. Standard assessment

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations

  • Indirect Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • Math Only
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • 4. Other

    As of November 2006, Arkansas has halted the use of its alternate assessment for ELLs, due to objections by the U.S. Department of Education. Districts, however, may exempt ELLs with less than one year in a U.S. school from taking the literacy benchmark test or the high school literacy test. ELLs must still take the appropriate mathematics test.
    California 1. Standard assessment

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Direct linguistic Support Accommodations
  • Indirect Linguistic Support Accommodations
  • Non-ELL-Responsive Accommodations


  • Math Only
  • Direct linguistic Support Accommodations


  • 4. Other

    A parent or guardian may submit a written request to excuse child from any or all parts of an assessment. School districts may provide certain testing variations if regularly used in the classroom.
    Colorado 1. Standard assessment

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations
  • Indirect Linguistic Support Accommodations
  • Non-ELL-Responsive Accommodations


  • Math Only
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations
  • Non-ELL-Responsive Accommodations


  • Accommodations must have been used during other assessments at the district, school, or classroom level for at least three months prior to the test.

    4. Other

    Test may be deferred if the student is unable to comprehend material on the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) even though accommodations have been applied.
    Connecticut 1. Standard assessment

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations
  • Indirect Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • Math Only
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • 4. Other

    Any limited English proficient student enrolled in school for 10 months or less, or enrolled in school for more than 10 school months and less than 20 school months who scores below the level established by the Connecticut State Board of Education on the linguistic portion of the designated English mastery standard assessment administered in the month prior to the administration of the state-wide mastery examination may be exempted from taking assessment tests. However, limited English proficient students must take the mathematics assessment test, with accommodations if necessary.
    Delaware 1. Standard assessment

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations
  • Indirect Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • Math Only
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • 3. Alternate assessment

    ELL students who also have disabilities may participate in an alternate assessment for ELL students (if available) in place of the standard reading and writing assessment if required criteria are met.

    4. Other

    If specified criteria are met, ELL students may not be required to take the reading and writing assessment, and may also be exempted from the science and social studies assessments in grade 11. All ELL students in grades 2-10 are to participate in the mathematics assessment.
    District of Columbia 1. Standard assessment

    All ELLs participate in assessments with or without accommodations.

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations
  • Indirect Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • Math Only
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations
  • Florida 1. Standard assessment

    No categorical exemption.

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations
  • Indirect Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • 4. Other

    An exemption from participation in an assessment may only be made by specific action of an ELL committee, and only for a student whose date of classification as an ELL falls within one year prior to the assessment date. The ELL committee shall exempt an ELL student from participation in an assessment if it determines that the student's participation would have an unsound instructional effect on the student.
    Georgia 1. Standard assessment

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations
  • Indirect Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • 4. Other

    ELL students enrolling for the first time in a U.S. school may receive a one-time deferment from content area assessments, other than mathematics, if their proficiency in English indicates that testing is not in the best educational interest of the student.
    Hawaii 2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations
  • Indirect Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • 4. Other

    Parents may submit a request that their child be exempted from the Hawaii State Assessment (HSA).
    Idaho 1. Standard assessment

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations>
  • Indirect Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • Math Only
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • Accommodations for district and statewide assessments are considered allowable, valid, and scorable if they are used during instruction and/or classroom testing and are listed on the student’s Educational Learning Plan (ELP).

    3. Alternate assessment

    ELL students who are enrolled in their first year of school in the U.S. are eligible to take an English Proficiency test approved by the Idaho State Board of Education in lieu of the standard reading/language usage achievement test, but will still be required to take the standard math achievement test with accommodations or adaptations as determined by the language proficiency score and ELP. An ELL student may also participate in the Idaho Alternate Assessments (IAA) if eligible for special education and has a current IEP that is reviewed annually. The district Limited English Proficient (LEP) team in conjunction with the IEP team must find that the student’s demonstrated cognitive ability and adaptive behavior prevents completion of the general academic curriculum even with program modifications; the student’s course of study is primarily functional-skill and living-skill oriented (typically not measured by state or district assessments); and the student is unable to acquire, maintain, or generalize skills (in multiple settings) and demonstrate performance of those skills without intensive frequent individualized instruction.
    Illinois 1. Standard assessment

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Indirect Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • Absent a disability, the only standard assessment accommodation available to ELLs is extended time.

    3. Alternate assessment

    All students must take the Prairie State Achievement Examination (PSAE) as a condition of receiving a regular high school diploma, unless a student is exempt due to his/her lack of English language proficiency and is eligible to take the Illinois Measure of Annual Growth in English (IMAGE) assessments in reading and mathematics instead. ELLs enrolled in their first year at a U.S. school, however, may also be exempt from the IMAGE reading test.
    Indiana 2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Indirect Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • Generally, an accommodation is acceptable if an ELL student uses the accommodation in testing situations that occur throughout the student’s educational program. Schools may not exempt students from the standard assessment or the exit exam based on their level of English language proficiency. Additionally, as of November 2006, Indiana has halted the use of its alternate assessment for ELLs, due to objections from the U.S. Department of Education.
    Iowa 1. Standard assessment

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations
  • Indirect Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • A team comprised of appropriate individuals who are involved in the education and assessment of ELL students (for example, an administrator, the classroom teacher, the ESL teacher) should participate in determining which ELL students receive accommodations and which accommodations they should receive.

    3. Alternate assessment

    ELLs who also have Individual Education Plans (IEPs) can take the Iowa Alternate Assessment if specified in their plan.

    4. Other

    ELLs in their first year of enrollment in U.S. schools may be excused from participation in one administration of the districtwide reading assessment, but will still be required to take the districtwide math assessment.
    Kansas 1. Standard assessment

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Indirect Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • ELA Only
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • Math Only
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • 4. Other

    ELL students who have been in the U.S. for less than one calendar year from the date that the assessment testing window opens do not have to take the general reading assessment; however, all ELLs must take the mathematics assessment.
    Kentucky 1. Standard assessment

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations
  • Indirect Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • 4. Other

    ELLs in their first year in a U.S. school are not required to participate in state assessments, except for the math assessment.
    Louisiana 1. Standard assessment

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations
  • Indirect Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • Math only
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • All ELLs must be tested; however, accommodations are permitted provided they are used in the students’ classroom instruction and assessment. Allowable accommodations are: Extended time/adjusted time; Individual/small group administration; test read aloud; provision of a no-definition English/native language word-to-word dictionary, and; test administered by ESL teacher or individual providing language services.
    Maine 1. Standard assessment

    All ELLs must participate in state assessments. No exemptions allowed.

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations
  • Indirect Linguistic Support Accommodations
  • Non-ELL-Responsive Accommodations


  • Math Only
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • A team of at least one of the student’s teachers, the building principal, related services personnel, the parent(s)/guardian(s) and, whenever possible, the student considers accommodations. Accommodations should be consistent with accommodations already being employed in the student’s instructional program. Any accommodations recommended for a student are noted in a statement in the student's cumulative folder.

    3. Alternate assessment

    The very few students who will require an alternate assessment (Personalized Alternate Assessment Portfolio - PAAP) are the students for whom accommodations would be so significant that they would compromise the validity of the assessment(s).
    Maryland 1. Standard assessment

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations
  • Indirect Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • Accommodations must be selected on the basis of the individual student’s needs and must be used consistently for instruction and assessment. Assessment accommodations must be documented in a student's English Language Learner (ELL) plan.

    4. Other

    ELLs who are in their first year of enrollment in a U.S. school may substitute the state's English proficiency test for the state reading assessment; however, they must still take the state mathematics assessment.
    Massachusetts 1. Standard assessment

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • ELLs may use an approved bilingual word-to-word dictionary on any Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) test. This is the only available accommodation for ELLs, unless the student has a disability.

    3. Alternate assessment

    ELL students with disabilities may be eligible to take the alternate assessment. The IEP or 504 team must determine how the student will participate in testing and must document this information in the student’s IEP or 504 plan.

    4. Other

    ELLs in their first year of enrollment in a U.S. school may be exempt from taking the English Language Arts and Reading tests and the History and Social Science question tryouts (including U.S. History); however, they must still take the Math and the Science & Technology/Engineering content area assessments.
    Michigan 1. Standard assessment

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Indirect Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • ELLs may be given accommodations that are customarily used during normal classroom activities and assessment.

    4. Other

    An ELL who has attended school in the U.S. (not including Puerto Rico) for less than ten months may be exempt from taking the English language arts portion of the state assessment once, but not the mathematics, science, and social studies portions of the assessment.
    Minnesota 1. Standard assessment

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Direct Linguistic Suport Accommodations
  • Indirect Linguistic Suport Accommodations


  • Math Only
  • Direct Linguistic Suport Accommodations


  • A school district may translate the mathematics assessment into a language other than English for an ELL student; however, language accommodations and language translations to basic requirements tests shall not be applied to the reading assessment.

    4. Other

    An ELL student may be temporarily exempted from participation if enrolled for fewer than three years in a school in which the primary language of instruction is English. This temporary exemption must be reviewed annually. Additionally, per an agreement with the U.S. Department of Education, the state will no longer use its English language proficiency test as an alternate to the state reading assessment for ELLs to calculate adequate yearly progress.
    Mississippi 1. Standard assessment

    All ELLs must participate in state assessments. No exemptions allowed.

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations
  • Indirect Linguistic Support Accommodations
  • Missouri 1. Standard assessment

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Indirect Linguistic Support Accommodations

  • Math Only
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • 4. Other

    ELLs who have been in the U.S. for less than one calendar year at the time assessments are given may be exempt from taking the communication arts assessments, but will still be required to take the mathematics assessments.
    Montana 1. Standard assessment

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations
  • Indirect Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • Math Only
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • A team of educators that has the authority to identify a student as an ELL may specify certain accommodation(s).

    3. Alternate assessment

    When the team of educators determines that an accommodation for an ELL student who has had fewer than three years of instruction in English would still not allow for adequate measurement of the student’s progress toward the content standards, the team may waive using the approved state-level assessments by providing alternate assessments that are appropriate to determine the student’s progress toward the content standards.
    Nebraska 1. Standard assessment

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations
  • Indirect Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • Math Only
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • 3. Alternate assessment

    Students who are designated as non-English speakers only and who are in their first three years in a Nebraska school may be assessed using an alternate method. Students designated as being limited-English do not have this option. No ELLs are exempt from assessments.
    Nevada 1. Standard assessment

    All ELL students (including those new to the U.S. within the prior year), regardless of their English language proficiency level, must participate in the state content tests in reading, mathematics, science, and writing.

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations
  • Indirect Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • Math Only
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations
  • Indirect Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • ELLs who have achieved “Proficient” (a combined score of 240 or greater) on the English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA), which they must take, are ineligible for accommodations.
    New Hampshire 1. Standard assessment

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations
  • Indirect Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • Math Only
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • 4. Other

    ELLs who have been in U.S. schools for less than 10 months at the time of testing are exempt from participating in the reading portion of the grade 10 assessment, but must participate in the mathematics portion.
    New Jersey 1. Standard assessment

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations
  • Indirect Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • All ELLs must participate and may be allowed one or more accommodations. Accommodations may include additional time, translation of the test directions only into the student’s native language, and use of a bilingual translation dictionary.
    New Mexico 1. Standard assessment

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Direct Linguistic Support Acommodations
  • Indirect Linguistic Support Acommodations


  • Math Only
  • Direct Linguistic Support Acommodations


  • A school team considers the appropriateness of using one or more test accommodations for an individual ELL student on a case-by-case basis. No blanket decisions for accommodations for groups of ELLs are allowed. Accommodations provided should be familiar to the student from his/her school experience. Allowable accommodations include taking a Spanish-language version of competency tests (only available alternate language option). Each school district must ensure that any student who has attended school in the U.S. for three or more consecutive school years, though, is assessed using tests written in English. If the district determines on a case-by-case basis that academic assessments in a language other than English would yield more accurate and reliable information, the student may be tested with approval from the New Mexico Public Education Department (PED) in another language for a period not to exceed 2 additional consecutive years.

    3. Alternate assessment

    Students who have limited English skills as determined by the local education agency's language assessment instrument may be exempted provided all such exemptions are reported to the New Mexico Public Education Department (PED). The educational achievement of all students in grade 9 who have been exempted from the statewide testing program for limited English language skills must be assessed with a standardized test in a language appropriate for each student. If an appropriate test does not exist for a particular language, then educational achievement must be assessed by each student's teacher(s). Determination of mastery may involve the following: classroom, school, or district tests; student class work; and systematic teacher observations.
    New York 1. Standard assessment

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations
  • Indirect Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • Math Only
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • 4. Other

    All high school-level assessments are Regents subject exams/competency tests (exit exams).
    North Carolina 1. Standard assessment

    All ELLs must participate in state assessments through standard test administration, standard test administration with accommodations/modification, or alternate assessment. No exemptions are allowed.

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations
  • Indirect Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • The accommodation must be documented and reflect routine use during instruction and similar classroom assessments that measure the same construct. However, once an ELL achieves a proficiency level of "Superior" on all four subtests of the state English language proficiency tests, the student is no longer eligible to receive accommodations on state-mandated tests.

    3. Alternate assessment

    ELL students that have been assessed on the state-identified English language proficiency tests as below Intermediate High in reading may participate in the state-designated alternate assessment for up to 24 months in U.S. schools. The state-designated alternate assessment may be used in the areas of reading and mathematics at grades 3–8 and 10, writing at grades 4, 7, and 10, and in high school courses in which an end-of-course test is administered. Limited English proficient students who have been assessed on the state-identified English language proficiency tests (state board of education policy HSP-A-011) as below Superior in writing may participate in the state-designated alternate assessment in writing at grades 4, 7, and 10 for up to two years (24 months) in U.S. schools.
    North Dakota 1. Standard assessment

    All ELLs participate in state assessments with or without accommodations. No exemptions allowed.

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • There are only two accommodations available to ELLs: Simplified test directions and reading aloud test text to the student, which may not be done in a simplified manner and must be verbatim.
    Ohio

    1. Standard Assessment

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math

  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • 4. Other

    All high school-level assessments are exit exams.

    Oklahoma 1. Standard Assessment

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations
  • Indirect Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • Math Only
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • 4. Other

    All high school-level assessments are the End-of-Instruction (EOI) tests (exit exams).
    Oregon 1. Standard assessment

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations
  • Indirect Linguistic Support Accommodations
  • Non-ELL-Responsive Accommodations


  • Math Only
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • Students who are not proficient in English may be tested in their native language in reading or English language arts for up to 5 years. Eligible students are those who: (1) Have been educated in the U.S. for three or fewer consecutive years, and; (2) have not yet reached a sufficient level of English language proficiency such that being tested in English would produce a valid and reliable score. After three years, a district may determine on a case-by-case basis that a student has not yet reached a level of English language proficiency sufficient to yield valid and reliable information on what such a student knows and can do on the English version of the reading or English language arts tests. At that time, the student may continue to respond in their native language for up to an additional 2 years. Other ELL accommodations are also available.

    4. Other

    ELLs in their first year of enrollment in U.S. schools are not required to participate in the state's reading and writing assessments, but must take the state's English language proficiency assessment. ELLs in their first year of enrollment in U.S. schools are also required to participate in the state's mathematics assessments.
    Pennsylvania 1. Standard assessment

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations
  • Indirect Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • Math Only
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • ELL should have experience using the accommodation(s) prior to the assessment.

    4. Other

    ELL students in their first year of enrollment in U.S. schools may be excused from taking the reading and writing assessments, but must participate in the mathematics assessment, with accommodations as appropriate.
    Rhode Island 1. Standard assessment

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Direct Linguistic Supprt Accommodations
  • Indirect Linguistic Supprt Accommodations


  • Math
  • Direct Linguistic Supprt Accommodations


  • A school team decides accommodation(s) for ELLs. Accommodations should be based on individual student needs and be consistent with accommodations used during regular classroom instruction.

    4. Other

    ELLs that are new to the country and enrolled in a U.S. school for one year or less may be exempt from taking the English language arts assessment, but still must take the mathematics assessment.
    South Carolina 1. Standard assessment

    All ELLs must participate with or without accommodations.

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations
  • Indirect Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • Math Only
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • Accommodations and modifications must be consistent with those used routinely in classroom instruction and assessment throughout the school year. Alternate language formats are not offered as an available accommodation.
    South Dakota 1. Standard assessment

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations
  • Indirect Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • 4. Other

    ELLs in their first year of enrollment in a U.S. school are not required to take the reading assessment if they participate in the state's English language proficiency assessment. All ELLs, however, must take the mathematics assessment.
    Tennessee 1. Standard assessment

    There are no exemptions of ELL students from any state assessments. Additionally, the state has stopped using assessments with a portfolio component for ELLs, due to objections of the assessments by the U.S. Department of Education.

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations
  • Indirect Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • Math Only
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • All ELL accommodations used must be appropriate for the individual student and documented as a classroom accommodation that has been used consistently during the school year. If an accommodation has not been used in the student’s program to the extent that the student is proficient with the accommodation, the accommodation may not be used.
    Texas 1. Standard assessment

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations
  • Indirect Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • Math Only
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • Accommodation decisions are made on an individual basis and based on whether the student routinely receives the accommodation in classroom instruction and testing.

    4. Other

    ELLs in their first school year in the U.S. may be exempt from the state reading test. However, per an agreement with the U.S. Department of Education, the state will no longer use its English language proficiency test to calculate adequate yearly progress in reading for ELLs. ELLs with disabilities may also be exempt from standardized tests and participate in alternate assessments.
    Utah 1. Standard assessment

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • Math Only
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • 4. Other

    ELL students who have been in the U.S. for less than three years may be exempt from some assessments, depending on date of enrollment and number of years in U.S. schools.
    Vermont 1. Standard assessment

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations
  • Indirect Linguistic Support Accommodations
  • Non-ELL-Responsive Accommodations


  • Math Only
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • Accommodation decisions are made by the school team responsible for planning the student’s academic program and should include parent participation. Any accommodations must be consistent with those used during the student’s regular classroom instruction, including test taking.

    3. Alternate assessment

    ELL students may also qualify for alternate assessment within the statewide system.

    4. Other

    ELLs enrolled in school in the U.S. for less than one year may be exempt from state standardized assessments. However, all ELLs must be administered a test of English language proficiency annually in grades K-12.
    Virginia 1. Standard assessment

    No exemptions allowed from high school assessments.

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations
  • Indirect Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • Math Only
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • Translations of assessments into a language other than English are not permitted as an accommodation.

    3. Alternate assessment

    The U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) denied the state use of its English language proficiency test to measure adequate yearly progress (AYP) for ELLs in reading. Virginia has submitted a request to USDOE to use an alternate portfolio assessment for ELLs. The state is currently using the assessment for level 1 and 2 ELLs (beginning ELLs).

    4. Other

    ELLs in their first year at a U.S. school may receive a one-time exemption from the state reading assessment.
    Washington 1. Standard assessment

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations
  • Indirect Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • Math Only
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • 4. Other

    ELL students who are enrolled in their first year at a U.S. public school are not required to take the reading, writing, and science assessments; however, they must still take the mathematics assessment. Additionally, parents may request in writing to exempt their child from state assessments. The request for exemption will not avoid any consequence for not testing, such as failure to graduate.
    West Virginia 1. Standard assessment

    All ELLs must participate in state assessments with or without accommodations, or in the alternate assessment if the student has disabilities.

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations
  • Indirect Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • Math Only
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • 3. Alternate assessment

    ELLs with a disability may qualify for the alternate assessment if specified criteria are met.
    Wisconsin 1. Standard assessment

    ELLs may not be exempted from assessments by a school based on their language proficiency status. However, under state law, a student's parent or guardian may request that the student be excused from taking an assessment.

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations
  • Indirect Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • Math Only
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • 4. Other

    As of November 2006, Wicsconsin has halted the use of its alternate assessment for ELLs, due to objections of the assessment by the U.S. Department of Education.
    Wyoming 1. Standard assessment

    2. Assessment with accommodations/modifications
    ELA/Math
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations
  • Indirect Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • Math Only
  • Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations


  • ELLs may be provided with certain assessment accommodations for three consecutive school years beginning with the first academic year in which the student is enrolled in a school district in the state.

    4. Other

    ELLs who are in their first year in the U.S. may be exempt from the state reading assessment by taking the Wyoming English Language Learner Assessment (WELLA) instead. However, first-year ELLs are not exempt from the writing, mathematics and science assessments.


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