Assessing English Learners Under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as Amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), includes new provisions that are designed to support ELs’ participation in statewide testing. To facilitate testing of ELs and to support their testing participation, ESSA includes stipulations for states to administer content assessments in languages other than English. ESSA also requires states to make efforts to develop state content assessments in languages that are “present to a significant extent” in their student population. As with federally required state content assessments, any assessment developed in a language other than English must meet federal requirements for technical quality and peer review.

This resource provides an overview of the different state content and language assessment requirements for states to consider and is designed to be shared with state department of education staff and can be used as part of training materials for district and school staff who assess English learners.