English Learners (ELs) are those students in Wyoming schools whose primary language is other than English. English Learners enter Wyoming schools with a variety of language backgrounds, educational experiences and levels of English proficiency. Wyoming State educational agencies, local education agencies and schools are held accountable for increasing English proficiency and core academic content knowledge of English learners.
Title III of the No Child Left behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) is part of legislation enacted to ensure that English learners, including immigrant children and youth, develop English proficiency and meet the same academic content and academic achievement standards that other children are expected to meet. To meet NCLB Title III requirements, states are mandated to identify and annually administer a standards-based English language proficiency test to all English Learners (ELs) in grades K – 12. In order to comply with the NCLB requirement of an annual English Language Proficiency Assessment for ELs, Wyoming joined the WIDA (World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment) consortium in 2009. The WIDA consortium’s goal is to provide research based assessments, standards, and professional development to its member states. WIDA provides Wyoming with a placement test called the W-APT (WIDA ACCESS Placement Test) as well as the annual English Language Proficiency Assessment for ELs ACCESS for ELLs (Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State). These assessments are based on WIDA’s five English Language Development (ELD) standards.