Participation of English Language Learners (ELLs) in State Assessments requires language proficiency assessment committees (LPACs) to make assessment decisions on an individual student basis. This is in accordance with administrative procedures established by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and in the Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 101, Subchapter AA, Commissioner’s Rules.
The role LPACs have in making assessment decisions for ELLs supports appropriate implementation of both the content area Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and the Texas English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS). In Section 74.4 of the TAC, the ELPS require all teachers of ELLs to incorporate the teaching of English in daily content area instruction and to linguistically accommodate (communicate, sequence, and scaffold) the instruction according to the English language proficiency levels of their ELLs. These requirements help ELLs learn English and engage more meaningfully in the learning of subject matter.
The ELPS go a step further for ELLs who are at the beginning or intermediate level of English language proficiency. Students who do not proceed quickly through these levels are at particular risk of falling behind academically and having difficulty catching up once they reach higher proficiency levels. The ELPS require districts to provide intensive, focused, and systematic second language acquisition instruction designed specifically to build the foundation of English vocabulary, grammar, and syntax that these students vitally need to get beyond the intermediate level.
LPACs are responsible for obtaining the necessary information from the individual student’s teachers. In determining whether students meet the participation requirements, decisions must be made on an individual student basis.
An ELL whose parent or guardian has declined bilingual/ESL services required by state law is not eligible for special ELL assessment, accommodation, or accountability provisions. There is no testing in Spanish, no linguistic accommodations during testing, no English I special provision, and no unschooled asylee/refugee provisions.