EL Assessment Under STAAR – Lots of Changes!

8 Changes for ELs under STAAR*

Get ready for a welcome revamp of EL assessment! Under STAAR, EL testing policies are much more streamlined, making the whole process easier on teachers and administrators, but probably more difficult for students. Here’s a list of the major changes followed by links to information resources:

  1. LEP Exemptions: No more LEP exemptions from testing. All ELs will be assessed in reading/writing/English, math, science, and social studies
  2. Linguistically accommodated assessment, called STAAR L,  includes assessments for grades 3 8 and all EOCs.
  3. Linguistic Accommodations: There are fewer accommodations available, but they are available to more students.
    1. Substantial Accommodations: Recently arrived ELs (been in U.S. schools 3 years or less and have not attained Adv. High on TELPAS Reading) may receive “substantial” accommodations for math, science, and social studies tests (bilingual or other dictionary, extra time, text read aloud, clarification in English). Unschooled asylees/refugees may also receive these substantial accommodations.
    2. Limited Accommodations: ELs who have been in U.S. schools longer than 3 years or who have scored Adv. High on TELPAS Reading may receive limited accommodations for math, science, social studies, reading, writing, and English I, II, and III. Limit accommodations include use of a bilingual, ESL, or standard dictionary, extra time, and clarification in English of words in prompts or OER questions. Since there is no STAAR L for reading, writing, or English I – III, all ELs will be able to receive limited accommodations on these tests.


  1. Math, Science, Social Studies Assessments:
    1. Linguistically accommodated versions of STAAR/EOC, called STAAR L will be available for math, science, and social studies only. These versions will contain substantial accommodations.
    2. ELs who don’t qualify to receive the substantial accommodations of the STAAR L version a test, will take the standard version and may receive limited accommodations.


  1. 5.     Reading, Writing, English Assessments
    1. No STAAR L offered for reading, writing, or English I, II, or II. All ELs, including recent immigrants and unschooled asylees/refugees, will have to take the regular version of STAAR/EOC for reading and writing or English.
    2. ELs, regardless of year in school, may have limited linguistic accommodations.
    3. For ELs who have had three years or less (five years for qualifying asylees/refugees), scores on the English I or II do not have to count toward the cumulative EOC score required for graduation, and do not have to count as 15% of the course’s final grade. ELs may retake the English I or II EOC at a later date if they wish to raise their cumulative score.
    4. The provisions described in “c” do not apply to recently arrived ELs taking the English III EOC. Scores count for those ELs just as they do for non-ELs. ELs taking the English III EOC may have limited accommodations, however.
    5. Spanish STAAR is available for qualifying students in grades 3 – 5. Same qualifications apply as under TAKS.
    6. Online administration of Reading/writing and English I – III beginning 2013 testing year, and will have clickable clarification in English accommodation
    7. What’s Out
      1. Testing over two days
      2. Spanish/English tests side by side
      3. STAAR L versions for STAAR Spanish or STAAR Modified. ELs taking either Spanish STAAR or STAAR Modified will take the standard version of those test; however, ELs taking STAAR Modified may receive linguistic accommodations no matter how long they have been in U.S. schools.
      4. Oral translation or bilingual glossaries except for STAAR Mod.
      5. No “insufficient schooling” or “lack of adequate progress” requirements
      6. No postponement of exit level assessments
*The changes described above are PROPOSED CHANGES only. They have yet to be adopted, which should happen at the end of September, 2011.


  1. KChapa Said,

    September 21, 2011@ 12:33 am      

    All these new guidelines still need to be approved by the Commissioner… They are not final until approved next week.

  2. jennyannrowe Said,

    September 21, 2011@ 1:31 pm      

    YES! Thank you for pointing that out. I will update the post to include that information.


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