NCEO - National Center on Educational Outcomes

Reporting Educational Results for English Language Learners with Disabilities


Reporting of educational results to the public and to the federal government helps ensure that public schools are accountable for all students, including ELLs with disabilities, meeting higher educational standards. Failure to report scores of some students sends the message that they are not important−that the students do not count. What is reported is what the public knows and reacts to. Federal laws require states to ensure that ELLs and students with disabilities participate in their assessment systems. They also require separate public and federal reporting for each of these groups. States are to report the performance of ELLs compared to fluent-English-speakers. They also are to report the performance of students with disabilities compared to students without disabilities. The laws do not explicitly require reporting of data specifically on ELLs with disabilities.

At this time, most states publish public reports on the participation and performance of the overall student population and of subgroups such as ELLs and children with disabilities. These reports are usually available on state department of education Web sites. The reports include the number of students who took an assessment, along with student scores. They may also include the number of children who took an assessment with accommodations. ELLs with disabilities are included in these reports under the subgroups of ELLs and students with disabilities, but only a few states report the participation and performance of ELLs with disabilities as a separate subgroup.

States are required to report assessment data for students with disabilities and ELLs separately to the federal government as a condition of receiving federal funds. These reports are sent to the secretary of education each year using forms that specify how the data are to be submitted. States must report the progress they intend to make toward achievement targets that they have set for ELLs and students with disabilities. These results are reported both to the federal government and to parents. In addition to these reporting requirements, districts must inform parents of ELLs who are participating in a language education program of the program's failure to meet the achievement targets within 30 days. Again, ELLs with disabilities are included in federal assessment reporting requirements in the overall student population and in the two subgroups of ELLs and students with disabilities, but not as a separate subgroup of ELLs with disabilities.

More is available on large-scale assessment reporting for fluent-English or native-English-speaking students with disabilities.