About Us

What is ELPA21?

The assessment system that best measures English learners’ mastery of the communication demands of states’ rigorous academic standards.


The ELPA21 assessment system exists because of our state members, our staff, and our contributors. Every decision to enhance the assessment system is driven by our members and implemented by our staff and contributors. The end result is an assessment system that is customizable and incorporates what we now know about how English learners gain proficiency.


ELPA21 is housed at the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST) at the University of California, Los Angeles. CRESST’s mission is to deliver high-quality research, assessment development, and measurement innovation that informs teaching and learning. Our members are located across the country and united in their goal of delivering the best assessment system for English learners in their states.


ELPA21 is unique: We are improving the way ELs are prepared for college and careers. The ELP Standards describe language proficiency as interactive in nature and embedded in grade-appropriate rigorous content knowledge. The assessment system reflects and informs enhanced instruction, and the assessments incorporate recent technological advances to measure, with precision, how students use language within academic contexts. All ELPA21 elements make ELP more rigorous and redefine instruction, measurement, and outcomes. Our work is guided by the belief that a high-quality, comprehensive EL assessment system can help students succeed—regardless of ability, disability, home language, or subgroup. We involve EL and content-area educators, researchers, and state leaders in planning and decision-making.