HB 17-1160 (Hamner & Wilson/Priola & Fields) Kindergarten through Third Grade English Learner Reading Assessment Language

Originally Posted: February 10, 2017
Last Updated: April 21, 2017


This bill allows school 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. An amendment was added in committee to require districts to administer a reading assessment in English if a student demonstrates partial proficiency on an English language acquisition assessment.


The Children’s Campaign supports this legislation as a way to reduce or eliminate the double-testing of English learners in bilingual programs. 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 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 their native language when students are not learning predominantly in English.

Current Status

The bill passed the Senate on a bipartisan vote of 24-10 and now heads back to the House for amendment considerations.

Previous Statuses

April 14, 2017

Passed the Senate on 2nd reading and is now scheduled for a vote on 3rd reading in the Senate.

April 7, 2017

Passed amended out of the Senate Education Committee on a bipartisan vote of 5-2 and now heads to the Senate floor.

March 17, 2017

Introduced in the Senate and assigned to the Senate Education Committee, where it is scheduled to be heard on Thursday, March 23 at 1:30 p.m. in Room 352.

March 3, 2017

Passed the House unanimously with a 61-0 vote. The bill now heads to the Senate.

February 24, 2017

Scheduled to be heard in the House Education Committee on Monday, Feb. 27 at 1:30 p.m. in Room 0112.

February 10, 2017

Introduced in the House – Assigned to the House Education Committee.