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Equitable and Fair Assessments of English Learners in California’s New Assessment System

As a group, English learners perform lower than most other student groups on current state standardized tests and other academic indicators (high school graduation, participation in a-g course requirements, participation in Advanced Placement (AP) classes, etc.). Language barriers inhibit their ability to demonstrate what they know and can do academically when they are assessed using test directions and items narrowly designed for native English speakers.

The purpose of this article is to focus on the specific assessment needs of English learners, and to provide a comprehensive set of recommendations regarding equitable and fair assessments to better support efforts to improve outcomes for these students.

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