Alternate ELP Assessments: Alt-ELP

Alternate English language proficiency assessments are assessments of English language proficiency (ELP) based on alternate achievement standards (often referred to as Alt-ELP). These assessments are intended for English learners with the most significant cognitive disabilities who are unable to participate in general ELP assessments even with accommodations. 

The 1997 reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) required the participation of all students with disabilities in state and districtwide assessments and the development of alternate assessments for those students unable to participate in general assessments. In the 2015 reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), ELP assessments, including Alt-ELP assessments, became part of the accountability system. Performance on the Alt-ELP also is to be used to determine when a student is ready to be exited from English language development services. 

The name of the Alt-ELP assessment may be different in each state. To meet federal accountability requirements, the Alt-ELP must be aligned to ELP standards, which in turn are to be aligned to states’ academic content standards.