"Data" and "data analysis" have long been buzzwords in the education community. Their importance with ELL students, however, cannot be overlooked. We know that historically ELL students do not make the same academic achievements and gains as their monolingual peers. In order to teach our ELL students more effectively and efficiently, we need to know more about their levels of English proficiency, and their academic strengths and areas of improvement. Knowing how to interpret LAB-R and NYSESLAT data is your first step in analyzing data and developing a comprehensive education plan for your ELL students.

There are a variety of reports that you can print out from ATS that will give you data and information about the ELLs in your school. But it is crucial that you know how to read the reports so that you can accurately make sense of all the information that they can provide you with.
The DOE provides a list of commonly used reports on its website .
A guide to obtaining LAB-R and NYSESLAT data from ATS is also available from the DOE.

Ordering NYSESLAT Materials

Each year schools are required to follow the procedures outlined by the State Education Department for requesting, shipping and storing NYSESLAT materials. For the 2012-2013 academic year, all NYSESLAT materials must be requested through NYSED’s online exam request system. For more information, visit the NYSED website.


Interpreting LAB-R Data

There are a few different reports that you can print out that will provide you with NYSESLAT data. One report is the LAB-R Scores report (ATS code RLAB), and another is the exam history report (ATS code REXH) which lists every student's scores for any city or state test they have taken. There is also a report called the RLAT which provides you with a list of all ESL eligible students.

For the RLAB report, you will see either a N, Y, or X next to students' names. The "N" means that the student is not an ELL, either because their home language is English, or they passed the LAB-R. A "Y" next to a student's name means that yes, the student is an ELL and is a beginner or intermediate. The "X" signifies that the student is an ELL and tested at the advanced level.

Interpreting NYSESLAT Data

Like with the LAB-R, you can print either the exam history or RLAT reports to get NYSESLAT data for your students.
For the test history report, look to see which students have a "LAT" score for the current year. If a student has a "LAT" score it means he or she took the NYSESLAT, and the letters and digits next to the "LAT" tell you the last time the student took the test. For example, "SP09" means the student took the NYSESLAT in the spring of 2009. Across from the LAT listing is a letter that tells you the final decision for the student's level of English Proficiency. The letters you may see include:

  • B (which means beginner);
  • I (which means intermediate);
  • A (which means advanced); or
  • P (which means proficient).

Students whose most recent score lists a B, I, or A are your "current" ELLs and need services for the year. Students who have a "P" are considered proficient and are no longer required to receive ESL services.

If you get a notice that a student has an "invalid" NYSESLAT score, it means that one or more of the student's tests is missing. Because the NYSESLAT has separate tests for speaking, listening, reading, and writing, the answer grids for all four test modalities must be turned in for each student, in order for students to receive a NYSESLAT score. If one or more answer grids are missing, the student will not be given a score for that year.

Analyzing NYSESLAT Sub-Tests

In addition to finding the students' overall decision, or English proficiency level, you will also find on the reports students' raw scores for each of the NYSESLAT's four tests: listening, speaking, reading and writing.

To arrive at the final "decision" about a student's proficiency level, the student's reading and writing scores are added together, and the speaking and listening scores are added together. A proficiency level is assigned to each "subset" based on the student's scores. In order for the student's to move their overall or final decision up a proficiency level, they need to move up in both their reading/writing proficiency level and listening/speaking proficiency level.

There are conversion charts provided by the city that will tell you a student's reading/writing or listening/speaking proficiency level based on their combined raw scores. You must first add up the raw scores (reading + writing, and listening + speaking) and then use the conversion chart to determine each "subset's" scaled score. Then you can use the converted scaled score and look it up on the scaled score range chart to determine that subset's proficiency level. Although the scale ranges change year to year, an example of what they will look like can be found in the 2010 memo from the State Education Department:

The latest memo from the State Education Department "Determining ELL Performance Level" makes clear that:
A student’s English performance level is determined by the scale scores on both the Listening & Speaking and Reading & Writing components of the NYSESLAT.

The NYSESLAT is the only test that may be used to assess an ELL student’s progress towards English language proficiency or to exit a student from ELL status.

The following guidelines should be followed in determining a student’s overall performance level:
  • To move from one performance level to the next, the student must score within the range of the higher performance level in both the Listening & Speaking and Reading & Writing components.
  • ELL students who have advanced in only one combination of modalities remain at the lower performance level.
  • To move from any performance level (beginning, intermediate, or advanced) to the English proficient level, the student must score at the proficient level in both the Listening & Speaking and Reading & Writing components.

ACCOUNTABILITY: NYSED has identified the three (3) Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives Targets (AMAO) that the Consortium must achieve to demonstrate that our students are making steady progress towards English language proficiency changes.