HB17-1160 (Hamner & Wilson/Fields & Priola) Reading Assessment Language for English Learners

Summary: This bill allows schools districts or charter schools to decide if they want to administer reading assessments to English language learner students in kindergarten through third grade in English or in student’s native language if the assessment is available in that language. The student’s parent may also request that the test be administered in English. If the student takes the assessment in their native language, the school must determine in partnership with parents when the students will take the assessments in English.

Position: The Children’s Campaign strongly supports this legislation. Assessments given to English learners in their language of instruction provide a more accurate picture of their reading ability. The state risks over-identifying English learners as having significant reading deficiencies if they are tested in English before they have acquired enough of the language. The current requirement of double-testing for some English learner students, at the expense of language learning opportunities and instructional time, adds a testing burden to a small group of students that is not required of other groups of students. This bill would remove the requirement to double-test students in English and Spanish when students are learning predominantly in Spanish.

Current Status: Introduced in the House – Assigned to the House Education Committee

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