Rhode Island requires that the English language proficiency (ELP) of all English language learners (ELLs) be measured annually with the ACCESS for ELLs.

Rhode Island is a member of the World Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) Consortium. The WIDA Consortium is a member-based organization made up of U.S. states, territories and federal agencies, and is dedicated to the research, design and implementation of a high-quality, standards-based system for K-12 English language learners. As a member of the WIDA Consortium, Rhode Island utilizes the ACCESS for ELLs to annually measure the English language proficiency (ELP) of ELLs across the state. The ACCESS for ELLs was developed by the Center for Applied Linguistics in collaboration with the WIDA Consortium.

Purpose: The purpose of ACCESS for ELLs is to assess the developing English language proficiency of English language learners (ELLs) in Grades K–12. The assessment data and results are used to determine the English language proficiency level of students; to inform classroom instruction and assessment; to aid in programmatic decision-making; and to provide data for meeting federal and state requirements with respect to student assessment.

Standards and Test Design: ACCESS for ELLs tests are based on the WIDA English Language Development standards and are criterion-referenced English language proficiency tests designed to measure students’ social and academic proficiency in English associated with the arts, mathematics, science, and social studies across the four language domains of speaking, listening, reading, and writing.