What Is Progress in English Language Proficiency? #success4ME

Maine defines English language proficiency (ELP) as sufficient skill in English necessary to meaningfully access the curriculum. As part of Maine’s Model of School Support, part of Maine’s rollout of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), this indicator of school success focuses on English learners and measures the progress they make toward English language proficiency each school year. ESSA requires that each state include an indicator that gauges, “progress in achieving English language proficiency as defined by the State and measured by the assessments within a State-determined timeline for all English learners.”

What does this look like in Maine?

English learners are students who have a primary or home language other than English and are in the process of learning English. Around 3% of Maine’s students are English learners and their schools support them in learning English to succeed academically. They may receive English language support services inside or outside of their regular classes, through programs specifically for English language development, or through a variety of other supports. It usually takes 4-7 years for an English learner to become proficient in English, but this can vary depending on many factors.

Each year, English learners are administered ACCESS for ELLs, an assessment that measures a student’s ability to listen, speak, read, and write in English. A student’s overall score ranges from 1.0-6.0. In Maine, English language proficiency is defined as level 4.5, so the progress in English language proficiency indicator measures how much progress a student makes each year toward reaching level 4.5. A school’s score for progress in English language proficiency is based on the average percentage made towards the annual target for each student, where there are at least ten (10) English learners.

School level descriptors for progress in ELP is as follows:

Emerging Developing Meeting Excelling
The average progress towards the students’ annual target is less than 65% The average progress towards the students’ annual target is between 65% and 80% The average progress towards the students’ annual target is between 80% and 95% The average progress towards the students’ annual target is greater than 95%

How progress in ELP will be presented on the report card:


In the example provided below, there are less than 5 students who are English learners and therefore the data has been suppressed (notated by a *).