English Learner Companion to Reducing Bias in Special Education Evaluations


Revises the existing Minnesota Department of Education's guidelines for special education for English learners (ELs) to ensure the guidelines reflect recent federal and state policies for ELs with disabilities, are grounded in current research in this area, and are aligned with the World-class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) consortium. The updated guidelines, along with additional web-based materials, will delineate the special education referral process and eligibility decision making.

The ongoing educational reform in the country and changes in instruction and assessment of ELs with disabilities emphasize the need of Minnesota educators to be empowered with the most recent policy and practice guidelines to effectively serve their students. The EL Companion is a highly regarded and comprehensive manual for educators highlighting procedures to carry out special education evaluations with EL students. Keeping this document and its supplemental materials up-to-date and accessible to a wide range of educational stakeholders is of paramount importance. This project will also address dissemination of the EL Companion content including professional development initiatives for educators to assist with the implementation of the updated guidelines.

This project was archived on 2019-08-27T00:00:00.000-05:00

Martha L Thurlow
Martha L Thurlow
Minnesota Department of Education
Minnesota Department of Education


Chris Rogers :: Research Fellow

Kristin K Liu PhD :: Senior Research Associate

Martha L Thurlow :: Senior Research Associate

Linda S Goldstone :: Research Fellow


  • Educational accountability and assessment
    • English Learners with Disabilities
      • Students with Disabilities