Technical Assistance Brief: ESSA and English Language Proficiency

In December, 2015, President Obama signed the “Every Student Succeeds Act” (ESSA) which reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and replaced the No Child Left Behind Act. In response to a specific informational request from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, this TA brief provides considerations to states for including English language proficiency standards in state accountability systems. It summarizes ESSA’s requirements for English language proficiency standards and indicators, provides an overview of six states that currently are addressing English language proficiency indicators, summarizes the information on Pennsylvania’s English language proficiency testing, and concludes with key considerations for states. An appendix includes more detailed information about the six states: Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Texas.