Large-Scale Assessment and English Language Learners With Disabilities

Kristin K. Liu, Jenna M. Ward, Martha L. Thurlow, Laurene L. Christensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This article highlights a set of principles and guidelines, developed by a diverse group of specialists in the field, for appropriately including English language learners (ELLs) with disabilities in large-scale assessments. ELLs with disabilities make up roughly 9% of the rapidly increasing ELL population nationwide. In spite of the small overall percentage of students that they represent, this group experiences significant learning and assessment challenges. In the context of successfully educating all students to high standards, it is important for state education agencies, policymakers, and local education agencies to improve achievement outcomes for these students. One of the first steps in improving test performance is to design and implement comprehensive and accessible assessment policies, and consequently assessments, that address the specific needs of ELLs with disabilities. Doing so will give them the chance to demonstrate the knowledge and skills they have, thus allowing the test results to more accurately show areas for school improvement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)551-583
Number of pages33
JournalEducational Policy
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, © The Author(s) 2015.


  • assessment
  • disability
  • English language learners


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