Standardized achievement tests that are used for assessment and accountability purposes may not provide reliable and valid outcomes for English language learners (ELLs) because extraneous sources may confound the outcome of assessments for these students. Performance assessments, by contrast, may offer opportunities for these students to present a more comprehensive picture of what they know and are able to do. In this paper, the author discusses limitations with the standardized achievement tests currently used for ELLs and share information on how performance assessments can be efficiently used to lead to better understanding of these students' content knowledge and to improve their academic performance. Issues and limitations of a performance assessment approach for ELL students are discussed, along with how to make these assessments more accessible to ELL students. Student Performance Assessment Series: This report is one in an eight-part series on student performance assessment.
Administration and Leadership