Common Core Test Accommodations Approved for Language Learners


September 17, 2013

Tricia Gallagher-Geurtsen, Ed.D.

There are two organizations creating tests for the Common Core State Standards: Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium and the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).  PARCC announced it's accommodations for English Learners and Students with DisAbilities in June.  Smarter Balanced announced their accommodations this week.  Options for English Learners (at the discretion of states, districts, and school policies) include:

Math Test

  • translated test directions
  • translated glossaries for select words in math test items
  • translations of test items
  • nondigital translated glossaries for selected math terms on some test items

English/Language Arts Test

  • access to a bilingual or dual-language word-to-word dictionary for the extended writing portions of an ELA performance task

The translations will be in Spanish and Smarter Balanced has said it will provide glossary translation tools in Vietnamese and Arabic.



 "help even the playing field for English-learners to demonstrate what they have learned"

-----Gabriel Uro

“The purpose of the test is to find out how well these kids can read.  If for whatever reason they can’t do it, that’s what we want to know.”                 -----Timothy Shanahan

PARCC consists of the District of Columbia plus 25 states that include AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, MS, ND, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC and TN.

SBAC consists of 31 states that include AL, CO, CT, DE, GA, HI, IA, ID, KS, KY, ME, MI, MO, MT, NC, ND, NH, NJ, NM, NV, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, UT, VT, WA, WI, and WV


References: Maxwell, L.A. & Samuels,C.A. (September 18, 2013).  Consortium Approves Common Core Test Supports.

Tricia Gallagher-Geurtsen
Tricia Gallagher-Geurtsen


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