The LEP Partnership is a U.S. Department of Education initiative to improve assessments of English language proficiency, reading, and mathematics for LEP students. No Child Left Behind (NCLB) focuses attention on the academic achievement of more than 5 million limited English proficient (LEP) students in the U.S. An important step to improving instruction and closing the achievement gap for English language learners is high quality assessment. We must be able to measure what LEP students know and don't know--both in terms of core subject matter and acquiring English language skills--so that we have the data we need to address students' academic needs.
Developing high-quality and appropriate assessments and accommodations for LEP students is complex and challenging work for States. The Department is committed to supporting these efforts. As part of the LEP Partnership, the Department is providing technical assistance and support to States working on a continuum of strategies for assessing LEP students.
The Department is partnering with the National Council of LaRaza, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the Council of Chief State School Officers, the Comprehensive Center on Assessment and Accountability and the National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition to support the LEP Partnership. All States are invited to be a part of the LEP Partnership. The Department intends to disseminate across all States the findings, practices, policy recommendations, assessment instruments, and tested accommodation practices based on the work of the LEP Partnership.
LEP Partnership Technical Assistance Projects
The U. S. Department of Education has supported work on six technical assistance projects to help States improve assessments for limited English proficient (LEP) students. These projects were recommended by States at the LEP Partnership meeting in Washington D.C. in October 2006:
- A Handbook of Best Practices in Test Accommodations and State Assessment Policies for English Language Learners (ELLs)
Practical Guidelines for the Education of English Language Learners
Research-Based Recommendations for the Use of Accommodations in Large-Scale Assessments (2006) PDF
Research-Based Recommendations for Instruction and Academic Interventions (2006) PDF
Research-Based Recommendations for Newcomer Adolescents (2006) PDF
Title III Notice of Final Interpretations
On October 17, 2008, the Department published in the Federal Register a notice of final interpretations regarding ten issues related to the implementation of the assessment and accountability provisions in Title III of the ESEA.
Letter Regarding Title III "Supplement Not Supplant"
On October 2, 2008, the Department sent a letter and guidance to States regarding the "supplement not supplant" provisions of Title III and the use of Title III funds for English language proficiency assessment development and administration.
LEP Partnership Meetings
October 15-16, 2008, Meeting
October 28-29, 2007, Meeting
October 28-29, 2006, Meeting
- Agenda MS Word
LEP Partnership Letters, Press Releases, and Fact Sheets
- Letter Inviting States to Review Their English Language Proficiency Standards and Assessments (December 17, 2007)
- Secretary Announces Partnership with States to Improve Accountability for LEP Students (July 27, 2006)
- Building Partnerships to Help English Language Learners (July 2006)
Standards, Assessment and AccountabilityED information on Title I assessment, including regulations, guidance, adequate yearly progress, state accountability plans and assessment systems
- Non-Regulatory Guidance on Assessment and Accountability for Recently Arrived and Former LEP Students