Updated Assessment Principles and Guidelines for English Learners with Disabilities

Related Content
Liu, K. K., Lazarus, S. S., Thurlow, M. L., Jarmin, J., Ward, J., & Christensen, L.
Institutional Author
National Center on Educational Outcomes
Resource Type
Acquisition Number
Published Date
05-26-2021 3:53 PM
Published Year
Number of Pages
Subscription Only
This report is an update of the assessment principles and guidelines for English language learners published in 2013 (Thurlow, Liu, Ward, & Christensen). That report, which was developed by the Improving the Validity of Assessment Results for English Language Learners with Disabilities (IVARED) project, presented essential principles of inclusive and valid assessments for English learners with disabilities. Since the publication of that report, the educational context has changed. This update of the report recognizes the contextual changes, but does not alter the principles themselves. This report presents five core principles of valid assessments for English learners with disabilities, along with a brief rationale and specific guidelines that reflect each principle. The principles are: Principle 1. Content standards are the same for all students. Principle 2. Test and item development include a focus on access to the content, free from bias, without changing the construct being measured. Principle 3. Assessment participation decisions are made on an individual student basis by an informed IEP team. Principle 4. Accommodations for both English language proficiency (ELP) and content assessments are assigned by an IEP team knowledgeable about the individual student's needs. Principle 5. Reporting formats and content support different uses of large-scale assessment data for different audiences. The report contains different score report formats as guides to parents and students. When reporting large-scale assessment data of English learners with disabilities to parents and students, it is important to provide score reports that the parent and student can understand. Parents from diverse backgrounds may not have familiarity with the education system or knowledge of how large-scale assessment data are used by U.S. schools.
Language Proficiency
English Learners with Special Needs