AB English Learner Education (ELE)
Chairperson Suzanne Szwarcewicz, email@example.com
As required by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, every English Learner is formally assessed annually using WIDA/ACCESS test (starting January 2013 and replacing the MEPA/MELA-O assessments.) The ACCESS test assesses the student's fluency in speaking, proficiency in writing, reading ability and listening comprehension within the context of the language of social interactions, English Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies. The results from the ACCESS are used to place students in the appropriate instructional levels within the ELE program in all grades and help plan instructional programs.
In addition to The ACCESS test administered in January, English Learners are also required to participate in spring MCAS testing. The Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) is Massachusetts' annual assessment of all students in all public schools in the state, including students with disabilities and English Learners. MCAS assesses performance based on the state curriculum standards, and it reports on the performance of individual students, schools and districts. (*There is an optional exemption from the English Language Arts MCAS for ELL students in their first year of US schooling.)
Federal and State Mandates for English Learners (ELs)
Federal Law: NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND ACT (2001)
No Child Left Behind is a federal law with the goal of ensuring that every student in the nation received equal education opportunities and access. Its primary purpose is to close the achievement gap between disadvantaged and minority students and their peers.
State Guidelines (Section 3102): Massachusetts' Initiatives
Some of the guidelines include:
- To help ensure that children who are limited English proficient, including immigrant children and youth, attain English proficiency, develop high levels of academic attainment in English, and meet the same challenging State academic content and student academic achievement standards as all children are expected to meet;
- To assist all limited English proficient children, including immigrant children and youth, to achieve at high levels in the core academic subjects so that those children can meet the same challenging State academic content and student academic achievement standards as all children are expected to meet, consistent with section 1 11(b)(1);
- To promote parental and community participation in language instruction educational programs for the parents and communities of limited English proficient children;
- To hold State educational agencies, local educational agencies, and schools accountable for increases in English proficiency and core academic content knowledge of limited English proficient children by requiring (a) demonstrated improvements in the English proficiency of limited English proficient children each fiscal year, and (b) adequate yearly progress for limited English proficient children, including immigrant children and youth as described in section 1|1(b)(2)(B).