Federal and state laws require that ELs be assessed annually to measure their proficiency in reading, writing, listening, and speaking English, as well as the progress they are making learning English.
ACCESS for ELLs® 2.0 is based on the WIDA English Language Development standards and administered once annually each January and February. It is a standards-based, criterion-referenced English language proficiency test designed to measure English learners' social and academic proficiency in English. It assesses social and instructional English used within the school context as well as the language associated with language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies across the four language domains (listening, speaking, reading, and writing).
The scores produced by ACCESS for ELLs® 2.0 will identify which proficiency level an EL has achieved at the time of the assessment (mid-year) in each of the single domains of speaking, listening, reading, and writing and the composite areas of literacy, oral language, and overall proficiency.
The purpose of ACCESS for ELLs® 2.0 is to provide data and resources to strengthen curriculum, instruction, and classroom assessment, and to identify EL students who are progressing toward, or have achieved, English language proficiency.
ELs also must participate in the annual state-mandated MCAS assessment. English learners in their first year of enrollment in U.S. public schools have the option of not participating in the ELA portion of MCAS ELA in Grades 3-8 and Grade 10. All ELs, without exception, must participate in MCAS Mathematics and Science and Technology/Engineering tests scheduled for their grade, regardless of year of enrollment in U.S. schools. ELs who are in their second year of enrollment or beyond must participate in all MCAS testing.
ELs who are proficient Spanish-speaking students in grade 10 and who have been enrolled in schools in the continental United States for fewer than three years may take the English/Spanish MCAS in Mathematics if they are able to read and write at or near grade level in Spanish.