January 2003

 

TO:

District Superintendents

 

Superintendents of Public and Nonpublic Schools

 

Principals of Public and Nonpublic Schools

FROM: 

Gerald E. DeMauro

SUBJECT:

The Inclusion of Limited-English-Proficient Students
in the Grade 8 Intermediate-Level Science Test

 

 

At the time of the printing of the Grade 8 Intermediate-Level Science Manual for Administrators and Teachers, the Department was reviewing its rules for inclusion of limited-English-proficient (LEP) students in State tests for which a written translation is not available in the studentís native language. The purpose of this review was to ensure that the rules for inclusion of LEP students were in compliance with recently established federal requirements of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. While this review is not entirely complete at this time, some decisions concerning this matter have been made and can now be shared with school personnel.

The provisions of the NCLB Act do not permit any exemption of LEP students from the Stateís science tests. All LEP students must take the Grade 8 Intermediate-Level Science Test. This policy supersedes the Departmentís previous policy that allowed LEP students who scored below the 30th percentile or below the publisher's recommended score on a standardized test of English reading to be exempted from taking the Grade 8 Intermediate-Level Science Test if a written translation of the test was not available in their native language.

The Grade 8 Intermediate-Level Science Test is available in Chinese, Haitian Creole, and Spanish. This test may be translated orally into other languages for those LEP students whose first language is one for which a written translation is not available from the Department. Schools are permitted to offer LEP students specific testing accommodations when taking the Grade 8 Intermediate-Level Science Test to ensure valid and reliable test results. Please refer to page 5 of the Grade 8 Intermediate-Level Science Manual for Administrators and Teachers for a complete description of the testing accommodations that schools may provide to LEP students when taking this test.